Research Infrastructure division | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Research Infrastructure division

The VLIZ Research Infrastructure division provides logistical support to marine researchers by ensuring the management, maintenance and operational support of the research facilities and equipment.

The Research Infrastructure division coordinates access to the land-based and sea-based research infrastructure VLIZ places at the disposal of the Flemish and international marine research community.


  • The multidisciplinary coastal research vessel ‘Simon Stevin’, which is operational in the Belgian part of the North Sea, the Western Scheldt estuary and by extension in the Southern Bight of the North Sea and the eastern part of the English Channel. The division is responsible for the scientific programme and management of the research equipment on board.
  • The rigid inflatable boat ‘Zeekat’, which can operate both from RV Simon Stevin and autonomously, and which can be used to support research in ports and in the river Scheldt.
  • Facilitate access to other vessels and ships of opportunity.
  • A wide range of marine scientific measuring and sampling equipment.
  • The core repository, a cold store for storing oceanographic drill cores.
  • The development of the Ostend Marine Station, a marine research station where scientists have access to wet and dry laboratories, and can conduct experiments in seawater under controlled conditions.
  • The Marine Information and Data Acquisition System (MIDAS), a data system on board RV Simon Stevin which stores navigation data as well as meteorological and oceanographic information in a database and which makes these data accessible to scientists. The system also allows to register the research activities and to document the sailing schedule.
  • A delivery van and an all-terrain vehicle made available for scientific purposes.
  • The Research Infrastructure division is a partner in European and international projects and networks and concludes cooperation agreements that are important for the operation and availability of RV Simon Stevin, ROV Genesis and all research infrastructure.
  • The contribution to the marine components of the European research infrastructures (ICOS, LifeWatch and EMBRC)

Staff members:

Head of division and contact: André Cattrijsse

Staff members