Continued innovation and technological development are extremely important to further expand our leading position in blue energy. In order to build knowledge and give SMEs and knowledge institutions the opportunity to test and develop innovative products, it is essential to have an adequate infrastructure suited for conducting tests in a marine environment.

Living lab for science and maritime projects

n 2018 the Flemish government approved the Blue Accelerator project.  As part of the Blue Accelerator project, POM West-Flanders therefore setup, together with a number of strategic partners, a living lab in real life marine conditions. This innovation and development platform serves as a 'living lab' to perform tests in the context of the expansion of Blue Energy projects (offshore wind energy, and wave and tidal energy) and the broader blue economy. The Blue Accelerator platform meets these needs of scientific institutions and maritime companies. The platform will be developed by the Provincial Development Company (POM) West Flanders and will be exploited until 2033.

With Ostend as a base, this living lab consists of four elements:

develop a range of test facilities in on, near and offshore environments for the benefit of science and industry.
support the users of the test platform by realizing a common framework for all test facilities with relevant partners and relevant authorities
an academically driven innovation program to apply drones in offshore conditions
an open innovation platform blue energy to strengthen innovation in this sector

The test platform will be developed by the Provincial Development Company (POM) West Flanders and will be exploited until 2033.

Together with VLIZ, Ghent University, VIVES University of Applied Science and TUA West, VITO is involved as a scientific partner in the project. VITO will demonstrates the benefits and use of drones in this specific context by supplying real-time data and a high resolution 3D photogrammetric reconstruction of the test facility.

Project Manager
+32 14 33 68 28