Inventory of the marine research landscape in Flanders and Belgium: who, what, where and evolution | Flanders Marine Institute

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Inventory of the marine research landscape in Flanders and Belgium: who, what, where and evolution

Added on 2018-01-16
Every year the compendium secretariat of VLIZ reports a policy informing brief on the current state of marine research in Flanders and Belgium. This in the framework of the Compendium for Coast and Sea. The inventory touches upon the marine research capacity and the scientific output, but also looks at international partnerships, the geographical focus of the study areas and the use of research vessels among various other things. The inventory shows that marine research is growing in Belgium and is firmly internationally anchored.

Graph from Pirlet et al. (2017): Marine research groups in Flanders and Belgium (yellow: Flemish university associations; orange: French speaking universities and colleges; light green: Flemish institutions; dark green: Federal institutions)

Every year the marine research landscape in Flanders and Belgium is mapped according to a fixed methodology. Currently (reference point October 2017) we identified 115 marine research groups. This is a considerable increase compared to the 82 groups that were counted in the first census dating back to 2013. The marine research in Flanders / Belgium is indeed on the rise. It seems to be preparing for a future where the blue economy and the importance of the seas and ocean is becoming increasingly important!

These marine scientists publish between 500 and 600 peer-reviewed publications each year. In 78% the research takes place outside the Belgian part of the North Sea and in 72% there is international cooperation. For the most part the international cooperation is in partnership with the neighbouring countries and the US. Research vessels are also deployed in about 28% of the cases (2008-2016), accounting for a total of 194 different research vessels.

With this annual policy information brief (available in Dutch only) VLIZ seeks to inform the marine and maritime (science) policy, the marine research community and other stakeholders. These figures and trends will further be discussed and put in a broader context within Chapter 1 of the Compendium for Coast and Sea 2018 (release foreseen November 2018).

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