A "Water Climate Hub" will be built at Ostend Science Park to strengthen research and innovation in sustainable water management. Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits (CD&V) provides 3 million EUR for this project.
In order to offer innovative solutions more quickly, the Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits has commissioned VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) to start up and develop a 'Water Climate Hub', in collaboration with the Flemish Knowledge Center for Water ( VLAKWA). The Water Climate Hub should strengthen research into sustainable water management and put innovations on, for example, reuse of water and less waste into practice more quickly.
At Ostend Science Park
The central research department will be located in Ostend and will be part of the new Ostend Science Park, Flanders’ most innovative science park in the field of the so-called “blue economy”. This unique location at the center of our blue economy will also create more than 50 high-quality jobs. The Water Climate Hub will first be located in Bluebridge, the incubation center of Ghent University, but will eventually have its own building.
The Water Climate Hub brings companies, researchers and governments together in the search for sustainable and innovative water solutions. This ranges from buffering water on agricultural plots in combination with industrial estates, smart reuse of rain or waste water on industrial estates to the reduction of water use in companies.
The Klaratex laundry in Wevelgem has already understood that sustainable water management is essential. The industrial laundry washes an average of 6,000 items of clothing a day and requires (a lot of) clean water. That is why the help of VLAKWA was called in. Thanks to research and advice, the laundry now works with machines that maximize the reuse of rain and waste water. Their unique approach and innovative solar water installation are now widespread knowledge in the sector.
Another example is Nuresys, a West Flemish SME from Zwevegem, which has developed an innovative water purification technology to recover valuable nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from waste water. In collaboration with Aquafin and VITO / VLAKWA, among others, a demonstration project was started to test this technology. Using this pilot installation as a reference, Nuresys was able to break through internationally in the Netherlands, Germany and even Spain. But there are also various installations in Flanders, such as at Agristo, a company active in the potato processing industry.
Minister Crevits uses these practical examples to highlight the many possibilities in the field of innovation: “They are leading, but at the same time also everyday examples of Flemish innovative technologies and sustainable drought solutions. I want to continue on this momentum. I strongly believe that with our Flemish Water Climate Hub we will strengthen Flanders as a model region in Europe for efficient and sustainable water management. ”