North Sea Commission events

On 23 and 25 May the North Sea Commission will host the following events. These events are by invitation only.

23 May

08.30 - 16.00  Youth event

North Sea Commission member regions are invited to send young representatives (two per region) to the event, which will cover topics from the North Sea Commission’s agenda. More information will be sent to members and questions can be directed to Youth Advisor here.

12.30 - 17.30  Annual Business Meeting (including lunch)

The highest decision-making body of the North Sea Commission will meet physically again. Meeting documents will be sent out in May.

17.30 - 18.00  Executive Committee meeting

A short meeting to follow up decisions from the ABM, if needed.

25 May

From 08.30 - 12.00  Study tours

Study visit 1 :  the Port of Oostende - hub for blue innovation, science and economy

Site visit to the Port of Oostende - hub for blue innovation, science and economy

During this site visit you will learn about the transformation of the port of Oostende from a modest fishing and ferry port into a port accommodating various blue economy sector nowadays. The port area accommodates traditional sectors such as fisheries and shipping but also innovation clusters, knowledge institutions, start-ups, businesses and recreation. Among the many examples are the offices of renowned maritime institutions like: Flanders Marine Institute, EMODnet, IODE of UNESCO and the European Marine Board.  

The very presence of these variety of actors operating and working within the port combining traditional methods with research, science and innovation ensures that an unique blue ecosystem has been created. The port also functions largely as a maintenance port for the nearby offshore wind farms.Our visit will also take us to the beach near the port where experiments are taking place with new nature-based techniques for natural sea defences. Further inland is Ostend Science Park where Bluebridge is headquartered which functions as an incubator for companies working in the blue economy. All those stakeholders have resulted in a vibrant ecosystem in an area that still bears the scars of an eventful history, with visible remains of both World Wars and the Napoleonic era.

 Time schedule 

  • 08:40: Departure from Bruges
  • 09:20: Arrival at Fort Napoleon– harbour of Ostend
  • 09:25: Welcome with coffee  in Fort Napoleon
  • 09:30:Supporting a blue knowledge economy (10’) – Ira Lardinois, POM West-Vlaanderen
  • 09:40: Ostend Science Park: Boosting blue business, research & network and Bluebridge: incubator and innovation centre of Ostend Science Park (’15)
  • 09:55: Blue Cluster: member organisation committed to stimulate blue growth in Flanders (’15) – Ann Overmeire, Blue Cluster
  • 10:10: Walk towards Maritiem Plein:
    • Stop 1: Blue Accelerator: maritime innovation and development platform and test site for blue economy research, development and innovation projects – Ira Lardinois/Tom Baur, POM West-Vlaanderen (5’)
    • Stop 2: Marine Station Ostend: Flanders Marine Institute & Marine Robotics Center – Hans Pirlet, VLIZ (10’)
  • 11:05: Arrival at Maritiem Plein– soup break
  • 11:25: Departure from Ostend
  • 12:05: Arrival at Bruges
Study visit 2 : Europe in Bruges
During this walk through the beautiful city of Bruges , project managers from the city of Bruges will offer you an insight in the different European projects that have helped the city to tackle some of the major challenges they are faced with as a local authority today.
Through cooperation with various partners throughout Europe, the city of Bruges has managed to roll-out some very innovative projects dealing with climate change, mobility, water management and green corridors …

When and where

Youth Event

When: 23 May
Where: Hotel Casselbergh, Hoogstraat 6, 8000 Bruges.

North Sea Commission Annual Business Meeting and Executive Committee meeting

When: 23 May
Where: Hotel Casselbergh, Hoogstraat 6, 8000 Bruges.

Study visits

When: 25 May
Where: Hotel Casselbergh, Hoogstraat 6, 8000 Bruges.

Study visit 1 :  Leaving from Hotel Casselberhgh at 08.40 (back at Casselbergh around 12.05).
Study visit 2 :  Leaving from Hotel Casselbergh at 09.00 (back at Casselbergh around 11.00).