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Aquaculture start-ups get a brand new place in Ostend


MariFish Inc: start-ups and SMEs in aquaculture and related fields soon to have a brand new home at the fish auction site in Ostend

MariFish Inc. is a collaboration between the European Food Centre, Ghent University (BLUEGent), Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en Voedingsonderzoek, and Ostend Science Park. The project aims to partially transform the fish auction site in Ostend into an incubator space for start-ups and SMEs active in aquaculture and related fields in the Blue Economy. In addition, the site will be a pilot test environment / living lab with access to sufficient volumes of seawater of good quality. The exploitation of the incubator / living lab will be linked to an incubation program, where specialized advice will be provided for the SMEs in (zoo-)technological and business-related fields.

Recently the demolition of the old buildings along the Wandelaarkaai in Ostend, Belgium began: the starting signal for the large and innovative MariFish Inc. project. The old buildings and hangars are currently being taken down, to make way for an incubator for start-ups, active in the aquaculture sector and related fields in the Blue Economy. After the construction of a new fish auction a few years ago, the site will now also make room for research and sustainable entrepreneurship. The new complex will be ready by the end of 2023.

The start-ups and SMEs that will be located on the MariFish Inc. site will be active in, among other things:
-Onshore farming seaweed, seafood and shellfish;
-Onshore processing of mariculture production at sea;
-Depuration of imported mariculture products;
-Supporting technology to carry out the three previous activities.

MariFish Inc. will not interfere with the existing fisheries activities on site, but will complement them. The start-up companies that settle there can later, when they are up and running, scale up and move to a more permanent home.

The MariFish Inc. project runs from October 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2023 and was funded by the European Regional Development Fund through VLAIO – Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.