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Inauguration Chair Marine Bio-Economy

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From Research to Sustainable Business

On Friday, November 17, Ghent University and the European Food Centre officially inaugurated the chair 'Marine Bio-Economy'.

The chair ‘Marine Bio-Economy: From Research to Sustainable Business’ aims to better understand the factors influencing scaling in the blue economy and enhance synergies between various subsectors of the blue economy, such as fisheries and aquaculture. This chair is further reinforced with a part-time ZAP mandate involving educational responsibilities. In this way, interaction with the educational offerings of Ghent University will be ensured, initially with the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. Specifically, the following aspects will be strengthened in the curriculum of the Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology: business management, entrepreneurship, and innovation management in the field of the blue economy.

The implementation of the chair complements and strengthens the current activities of Ghent University through the consortia BLUEGent and Marine@UGent, the Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, and the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. Furthermore, the chair aligns with the vision that Ghent University aims to develop at Ostend Science Park.

" Many new blue technologies are not yet applied on a commercial scale. Innovative developments, such as offshore solar panels and seaweed cultivation on land or at sea, often do not progress beyond the pilot phase. Transitioning to a pre-commercial phase is highly capital-intensive, and companies often lack the financial capacity to support it. Additionally, the emerging nature of the sector results in evolving expectations for the skills of a blue professional. It is already clear that the field of the blue economy struggles to attract individuals with the right skill set to work in a rapidly developing and highly knowledge-intensive environment. "

Margriet Drouillon, professor and business developer at Ghent University
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