UGent matches with entrepreneurs on Campus Oostende

(14-12-2018) Professors and business developers from UGent have met representatives of 18 West Flemish companies at the GreenBridge science park in Ostend.

The entrepreneurs asked their R & D questions to these experts, with a view to long-term cooperation and the improvement of their product or services.

'This network is an interaction. On the one hand, our researchers help these entrepreneurs with a specific research question. On the other hand, Ghent University can learn from the experience and questions of entrepreneurs. What is available in the field? What are their needs and problems? These questions do not only inspire the applied, but even fundamental research at Ghent University, ' explains Professor Carl Devos, Ghent University Representative in West Flanders. 'This meeting also opens up cooperation in the field of education, such as through internships or company visits. In addition, UGent researchers can use the unique infrastructure of those companies over time. In short, both companies and UGent will be better and smarter here. '

The success of this network event lies in its diversity. The sectors present vary from tourism, security, hospitality, chemistry to product & design and audiovisuals.

This event illustrates that Ghent University is serious about Campus Ostend. The further development of the incubator GreenBridge NV and the recently established 'Ostend Science Park', which will manage the science park on the Campus, remain a top priority.

Gateway to the local knowledge economy

'The focus of Campus Oostende is primarily blue growth: marine and maritime innovation. At the same time, Ghent University also wants to play its role in the local knowledge economy in a broader context with GreenBridge as a gateway. In the Economic House, co-organizer, we found an ideal partner for this, 'says Dr Noémie Wouters, CEO of GreenBridge.

The event brought together 12 research groups, represented by professors and business developers, in Ostend, together representing some fifty interested people. Initiators Prof. Carl Devos, Raf Jacxsens (CEO of Ostend Basic Chemicals and also director of UGent) and Thomas Dupon (CEO of the Economic House) are satisfied with the rise and diversity of matchmaking.

'The success is an excellent example of the importance that Ghent University, as a socially responsible university, attaches to the relevance of its activities, also for the business community', according to Prof. Carl Devos. 'For entrepreneurs this is a unique opportunity to enter into a dialogue with top experts within their sector and to support entrepreneurs in their business operations', Thomas Dupon explains.

GreenBridge and UGent TechTransfer gladly took the liaison with UGent experts for their account. CEO Dr Noémie Wouters is grateful for the enthusiasm that has been set for the day. 'The fact that the rector Rik Van de Walle provided his explicit support was a nice boost.'

A total of 35 research questions from as many companies are handled by the researchers. The 18 companies participating in the meet & greet on December 13 at GreenBridge are:

L’ homard et la moule - Vichiunai Europe NV - Sea Matters - V-hub - Aroma Koffie - Passion 4 Wood - Zazou - Les Cabanes d'Ostende - Ostend Basic Chemicals - GC-Advice - vzw Duinhelm - Caerus Vision - Electro Rosseel bvba - Sanseveria Bagelsalon - K9 Detection Belgium - Belgian Natural Ice Cream Production - Vesuvius - Sucake.