Help find more sustainable ways of using our marine wealth and you could end up partnering with GreenBridge and other Ostend-based marine stakeholders.
3 Blue Challenges
The oceans provide us with private goods and services such as food, energy,… as well as common goods and services like relaxing environment, cleaner air and unique history. They’re also a source of pure joy. People love going to the beach. In fact, tourism could well be the biggest ocean-related industry in terms of employment. It is heavily characterized by seasonality: during winter time coastal cities seem to run dry while often being overloaded in summer. In Belgium, we’ve built a huge sea-coast oriented, monotomous tourist industry that is based mainly on real estate and hotel and restaurant industry. It is also an industry that has extracted a huge environmental cost, with little “natural” beauty of our coastline remaining.
We’re convinced that there is huge potential in creating a more diverse and sustainable tourist offer called ‘blue tourism’. We are looking for living-lab ideas to nurture a futuristic blue tourism vision that embraces the richness of the ocean all year long in a smart, sustainable and resilient way with innovation right at its heart. If you think you have something to contribute, join this challenge where we’ll come up with radical new ideas for having good clean fun in and at the sea!
Belgium has four sea ports that in 2016 processed 283 million ton of goods from nearly 30,000 ocean going vessels. And together they create work for more than 220,000 people. In other words, the maritime industry remains hugely important for the Belgian economy, but it also comes at an environmental cost.
Circular economy concepts have yet to make significant impact in these industries, but the opportunities are tremendous. Innovation is key in developing new concepts. The Port of Ostend has a strong focus on blue energy associated to the wind turbine parks in the North Sea and circular economy is set as a key priority. Sustainable decommissioning shall be the challenge of the coming decade. Additionally, two entrepreneurs shall in this session share their business cases: creating leather from fish skin and the recycling of sailing sails as luxury bags. Inspiring best practice example set the tone to stimulate your imagination. If you want to turn marine waste into a profitable business, join us!
Blue Digital Experience
More than 70% of the world is covered in water. Our ocean is inextricably linked to life on land and the future of humanity. The oceans drive the weather and climate, it supports a huge diversity of life, in short it allows life on earth. And yet the ocean is still relatively unexplored. Understanding the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, so called ‘ocean literacy’, is crucial to safeguard the sustainable use of this blue world.
In this challenge we immerse you in the wonders, threats and dangers of our ocean. We are looking for novel solutions, such as immersive educational experiences, digital simulations of offshore activities, that help create more ocean-literate people, people who can communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way and make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.
Partner with GreenBridge and Flanders Marine Institute
GreenBridge, an Ostend-based Blue Growth incubator, is interested in supporting top Hack Belgium teams with mentoring, office space and other incubation support. The Flanders Marine Institute can support teams as a gateway to the marine science community in Flanders.
GreenBridge aims to be a sustainable breeding ground for successful technological entrepreneurship. It supports tech companies with office space and tailor made services package. Together with the University of Ghent, GreenBridge is also developing an active knowledge pool around Blue Growth (the sustainable exploitation of oceans) thanks to its unique location on the coast and its proximity to Energy Port Ostend. Blue Growth encompassess blue energy, aquaculture, marine biotech, deep sea mining and coastal defense.
The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is a centre for marine and coastal research. As a partner in various projects and networks it promotes and supports the international image of Flemish marine scientific research and international marine education.
In its capacity as a coordination and information platform, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) supports six hundred marine scientists in Flanders by disseminating their knowledge to policymakers, educators, the general public, the blue economy and scientists.
Brainstorm Solutions to the Challenges
To solve the above challenges, we recommend you take part in the Ideation Workshops Blue Tourism, Circular Economy, and Blue Digital Experience with experts from GreenBridge, the Flemish Marine Institute and University Ghent, on Day 1.
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Make sure to also have a talk with Noémie Wouters and Tina Mertens. Noémie, CEO of GreenBridge, is your Ocean’s Theme Curator and your lead expert, connector and coach throughout the 3 day event. Tina from Flanders Marine Institute will also be available for expert advice.
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About the Ocean Societal Theme
More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. As a market, the ocean is worth $3 trillion per year and employs millions. But our oceans are both a threat, due to rising sea levels, and under threat from overfishing, pollution and acidification. Join us and let’s take a different attitude towards the oceans.
Visit the Ocean Societal Theme page
Visit the My Journey page to learn more on how you should organise your 3 Days. Lot’s of other Ideation, business, design and technology workshops to pick. Don’t forget to also visit the Experience Zone.