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
Blue Tourism Innovations
The oceans provide us with food, energy and transport routes, but 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. We spend our seaside holidays sunbathing, swimming, surfing, sailing, diving, fishing, birdwatching, walking or simply gazing at the ocean. In Belgium, we’ve built a huge sea-oriented tourist industry that is based mainly on real estate and a seasonal 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 future called blue tourism. 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!
Blue Circular Economy
In addition to the 8 billion kilos of plastic waste dumped in the ocean, marine & coastal industries such as shipping, fishing and tourism also generate huge amounts of non-plastic based waste. 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 is hugely important for the Belgian economy, but it also comes at a major environmental cost.
Circular economy concepts have yet to make significant impact in these industries but the opportunities are tremendous. For example, you can create leather from fish skin, use old fishing nets and ropes for wastewater treatment or as building material, and re-use sails in all sorts of products. And we haven’t even mentioned plastic! We’re just touching the surface of what’s possible, so join us this challenge if you want to turn marine waste into a profitable business.
More than 70% of the world is covered in water. Our oceans are inextricably linked to life on land and the future of humanity. Oceans drive the weather and climate, they support a huge diversity of life, in short they allow life on earth. And yet the oceans are still relatively unexplored. Ocean ‘literacy’, that is, people’s understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, is generally poor.
In this challenge we are looking for novel solutions, such as immersive educational experiences, 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, Blue Circular Economy, and Blue Literacy 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.