Cooperation agreements | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Cooperation agreements

Since the foundation of VLIZ, its central task has been to support marine scientific research in the broadest sense and make it visible. Cooperation with universities, research institutions and individual research groups in Belgium and abroad is therefore continuously enhanced.  

VLIZ has approximately thirty cooperation agreements with universities, individual research groups, scientific institutes, network organisations and public bodies, some of which have been in force since the start-up of VLIZ. These cooperation agreements collect practical arrangements and action items to support data management, research result dissemination, the documentation of the activities and contact information of research groups, the use of research infrastructure, etc. 

At regular intervals, a team of VLIZ employees visits these research groups so that they can better detect the needs and wishes and review the current cooperation agreements. In addition, various other scientific groups are visited to exchange information concerning activities and services as well as to stimulate possible cooperation proactively.

National cooperation agreements

National cooperation agreements have been concluded with:

Research performing organisations

  • Hasselt University
    In 2013 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and Hasselt University, mainly with regard to biodiversity and taxonomic databases.
  • Ghent University
    In 2012 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and the inter-faculty marine research cluster Marine@UGent. In addition, cooperation agreements have been concluded with individual research groups or professors, mainly with regard to marine biodiversity data. In 2015 a cooperation agreement was concluded with Ghent University and the Wildlife Rescue Center Ostend for the realisation and exploitation of an experimental flight cage for the research of birds.
  • University of Antwerp
    In 2010 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and the University of Antwerp, mainly with regard to environmental effects in the Scheldt Estuary (OMES).
  • KU Leuven
    In 2006 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and KU Leuven, mainly with regard to databases, hydrodynamics, sediment mechanics and marine and estuarine biology.

Governmental organisations

  • Province of West Flanders
    In 2014 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and the Governor of West Flanders with regard to the repository management within the framework of the implementation of the law on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.  
  • Flemish Environment Agency (VMM)
    In 2009 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and VMM, mainly with regard to databases relating to monitoring of transitional and coastal waters.
  • Flanders Heritage Agency
    In 2004 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and the Flanders Heritage Agency, mainly with regard to maritime archaeology and nautical heritage.
  • Policy area of Mobility and Public Works (MOW)
    In 2003 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and MOW, mainly with regard to the disclosure and exchange of scientific information and the use of measurement data of tidal systems.
  • Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models and the Scheldt estuary (MUMM)
    An operational cooperation agreement has been concluded between VLIZ and MUMM with regard to the operational coordination of RV Simon Stevin and RV Belgica
     
  • VLOOT dab
    VLIZ has concluded a cooperation agreement with VLOOT dab which regulates the deployment and management of the research vessel ‘Simon Stevin’. In 2014, an addendum was signed for the optimisation of sailing time with the RV Simon Stevin. A second addendum was signed in 2015 for a more flexible availability of the research vessel (outside the availability schedule), the use of the research vessel at public events and the involvement of the ship in ESFRIs (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) and other international partnerships for coordinated marine research.

Network organisations

  • The Blue Cluster
    In 2019, a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and De Blauwe Cluster, to promote cooperation in the field of project work, internationalization of research, scientific support, common events and communication, as well as on the representation of VLIZ in the management bodies of The Blue Cluster..

International cooperation and pooling of efforts

International cooperation and pooling of efforts are also an important strategy of VLIZ to tackle the major challenges the seas and oceans are facing. Cooperation with foreign experts provides a significant impetus to support excellent and innovative scientific research.

At present, VLIZ has four bilateral cooperation agreements with internationally renowned research institutions. These cooperation agreements collect practical arrangements and action items to support data management, research result dissemination, the documentation of the activities and contact information of research groups, the use of research infrastructure, etc.

  • Dirección General Intereses Marítimos (DIGEIM) - Quito, Ecuador
    VLIZ and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs (DIGEIM) of the Ecuadorian Navy have been working together since 2008, but in 2020 they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further expand this cooperation. The agreement sets out objectives such as the joint implementation of marine research projects, strengthening the links between the marine research networks in both countries, and the exchange of data, information and expertise across various themes.

  • Instituto del Mar del Peru - Lima, Peru
    In 2019 the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE) and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. In this way the new partners express the desire to develop closer scientific cooperation and knowledge exchange. For example, on the exchanging of expertise and data, or mutual access to each other's research infrastructures such as research vessels and instruments.
  • Ethic Ocean - Paris, France
    In 2019, the collaboration agreement concluded earlier in 2014 between VLIZ and Ethic Ocean (then under their old name SeaWeb Europe) was renewed, with the Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO) as an extra partner as an extra partner. The MoU was created in the context of the Belgian adaptation of their “Guide des espèces à l´usage des professionnels” and includes joint actions, the exchange of knowledge, data and information and the joint layout of derivative products.
  • NingBo University - NingBo, China
    In 2016 a cooperation agreement was concluded  between VLIZ and Ningbo University (NBU) promoting mutual understanding and academic cooperation based upon the principle of reciprocity. General areas of interest for cooperation are the exchange of staff, joint research projects, exchange of information, academic materials and publications and finally the participation in academic conferences and seminars, or organization of academic conferences and seminars.
  • University of California Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, USA
    In 2017, VLIZ and the University of California Santa Barbara's (UCSB) Benioff Ocean Initiative (BOI) signed an agreement to collaborate closely on marine research, exchange expertise, and promote researcher mobility.
  • L’Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski (UQAR-ISMER) - Québec, Canada
    A cooperation agreement was concluded in 2015 between VLIZ and UQAR-ISMER, mainly with regard to cooperate in the field of marine research. Joint research projects, training programs or funding applications can be part of this collaboration. In addition, exchange of students, professors and scientific personnel between the two institutions will be facilitated.
  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) – Texel and Yerseke, the Netherlands
    In 2013 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and NIOZ to strengthen the development of knowledge with a view to socially relevant issues. Within this scope, the availability and use of data for scientific research, management and policy development are promoted, common research initiatives are developed and the use of each other’s facilities is optimised.
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) – Mombasa, Kenya
    In 2012 a cooperation agreement was concluded between VLIZ and KMFRI to promote collaboration in marine sciences as well as the exchange of data, expertise and information. A website, dedicated to this renewed but also to the historic collaborations (e.g. the Kenya-Belgium Project in marine sciences), offers an extensive collection of marine publications, a photo gallery and the recent developments in this cooperation.