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05.05.2020 | News

Maritime campus Antwerp (MCA) start of works

MCA will bring together maritime and port-based players from start-ups to corporations. This do-campus will be the centre for innovation extending to the broad maritime and port industry. Here companies, public partners, researchers and start-ups will form a community. The ambition is to strengthen the European and global maritime industry and make it sustainable.

The demolition and soil clean-up works are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The ambition is to start the construction works for the first building phase of about 30.000m² early next year. The ambition is to open in 2023.

Alexander Saverys, CEO of shipping company CMB and initiator of MCA, puts it like this:

“For the moment we have world class ports like the Port of Antwerp and a world class maritime industry in our country. The world is changing fast and competition is also increasing. To maintain our position we need to look and think ahead. I strongly believe in cooperation and innovation as key for these challenges. Joining forces with partners creates scale and by combining know-how and competences will result in R&D and innovative ideas that will help us to respond to new evolutions in the industry. The new campus will help us to maintain our current position and even strengthen and expand it.”

Reslea, the real estate branch of CMB, last year acquired the former BP-site located at the Benzineweg next to the nature reserve ‘Hobokense polder’. The vision of MCA is being translated into an ambitious first building project and masterplan for the entire site. This campus will grow into a do-campus with room for the core businesses of larger maritime corporations, collaboration and collective creation, labs, workshops, a vast range of R&D-facilities, classes and education and supporting services. MCA aims to connect as many qualitative players from the broad maritime industry as possible in one community looking for answers to the maritime challenges of tomorrow; private, education and research, public partners can all take part.

“The idea of co-creation for MCA is also applied to the way we are developing the campus and why we chose an innovative building team formula. We looked for partners who share our vision on MCA and our vision of collective creation. The building team partners are compatible and stable companies that bring the right people to the table. Because the team will work together for many years to come, the competences, means and mentality were extensively screened. It is exciting to make a change and to see how this will develop into an inspiring campus concept. Also the MCA community will be based on this rather atypical approach.”, concludes Bart Huybrechts, Managing Director of Reslea and MCA.

Since last year a building team has been working on the design of the first building and the vision for the development of the site. The building team for MCA is a first because of the very early involvement and the far-reaching collaboration with the architects KCAP and Atelier Romain, contractor Willemen Construct, engineering company Tractebel and smart building specialist Spacewell. The demolition and soil clean-up will be executed by Deme Environmental Contractors (DEC) and Aertssen.

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