Bringing the Ocean to Society
9 Aug 2019
New joint InnovOcean Campus build for VLIZ and ILVO in Oostende
The commissioning of the new facilities is planned for the spring of 2022.

Under the name InnovOcean Campus, the EurOcean Member Flanders Marine Institute VLIZ – together with its (inter)national project partners – and the Ostend location of the Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO) will move into a new common complex in Oostende. The contract for the building order was signed in Brussels on the 8th of July by the Flemish ministers Muyters (for Economy, Science and Innovation) and Van den Heuvel (for Agriculture and Fisheries). The commissioning of the InnovOcean Campus is planned for the spring of 2022.

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), a centre for marine and coastal data, information and research, is currently housed in the buildings of the fish auction in Oostende. However, in the longer term these buildings will get a new use. Together with its project partners – the Project Office for IODE of IOC/UNESCO (EurOcean Cooperating Member), the secretariat of the European Marine Board, the EMODnet secretariat and the Coastal Regional House of the Province of West Flanders – VLIZ was in search of a new location.

The marine department of the Flemish research institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Nutrition Research (ILVO) was confronted with high energy bills, wear, moisture and unsafe working conditions in its buildings from the 70s. ILVO researchers need specific infrastructure, such as physico-chemical laboratories and experimental studio space for wet applications (aquaculture).

The solution for a common new building has been found on vacant land next to the current ILVO building in the Ankerstraat in Ostend. The program for the joint InnovOcean Campus includes offices, a conference center, a marine library, physico-chemical laboratories, aquaculture laboratories and a workshop.

The InnovOcean Campus promises to be a new landmark in Ostend: a special project with a unique content and appearance. The façade is provided with blue glass mosaic, of which not only the color, but also the reflection of sun and clouds, refers to the typical coastal shades of color. It is a building tailored to the future: the design encourages maximum collaboration and knowledge exchange. Moreover, the building has a circular and modular design and the spaces can be re-arranged and adapted to changing needs. Technical sustainability is also embedded in the design. It is a compact, almost energy neutral building (E-level: max. 30) with other aspects of sustainable construction included (such as low-maintenance and healthy materials, water (re)use, integral accessibility, daylight and acoustic comfort).

The total project budget amounts to approximately 17 million euros excluding VAT. The building consists of 7 floors and a technical floor (with 8000 m² gross floor area). The commissioning of the InnovOcean Campus is planned for the spring of 2022.

The new building will be realized by the company Algemene Bouw Maes (part of the Van Roey group). The tender process was coordinated by the Flemish investment company PMV.