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Factory for the Future: Greenbridge - Ostend

A real innovation hub for small and medium enterprises to research and develop new technologies in this new energy sector

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What’s happening? How does it happen?

Factory for the Future Blue Energy is based in GreenBridge, located in the port of Ostend. With the main aim to attract and help small and medium enterprises to work in this new energy sector and to research and develop new technologies, this location is a real innovation hub. The North Sea is a source of energy: wind, tides and waves can deliver continuously energy. This makes West-Flanders, and especially Ostend, the place for energy production. This new sector creates a big amount of employment and opportunities to develop new technologies. The Factory for the Future Blue Energy helps small and medium companies to develop themselves in this sector, both on national as international level. The base of the Factory for the Future is in Ostend at Greenbridge. This is a Blue Growth incubator: knowledge center, demonstrator, advisor... The research center focusses on research & development in making new products in the blue energy.

“By 2020 the offshore production will cover 10% of all electricity demand in Belgium.”

What is the relation with the port and water?

Since the port of Ostend is profiling itself as a energy port, with good connections to the windmill parks in the North Sea, many companies want to be based there. Greenbridge/Factory of the Future aims to attract and help new companies in this energy sector. This will make that Ostend will evolve as a blue-energy specialized port.

What is the relation with the city?

Ostend has a high unemployment rate. Attracting new companies and invent new technologies will ask for specific skills/work. New employment created will be welcomed by the city.

What are the ambitions?

By 2020 the offshore production will cover 10% of all electricity demand in Belgium. Greenbridge/Factory of the Future invests in research, development and infrastructure with the aim to also have more jobs, expertise and international acknowledgement.

Who is behind it?

Ostend is the main basis for establishing the ‘blue energy’ activities. With the Factory of the Future companies, knowledge institutes and authorities combine their knowledge and establish a experimental platform on international level. New technologies and idea’s can be developed on a worldly level. This creates opportunities on the level of research, advice, engineering, financing, logistics, building, exploitation and maintenance. All this creates again new jobs and specialization on all fields. With a technology park of the university of Ghent based in Ostend, there is a new research centers for testing on maritime constructions. OWI-lab, platform for research & development/innovation.

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