The idea of the Maritime Campus Antwerp (MCA) is simple: bringing different maritime players, government, education and R&D together in one location to find answers to the maritime challenges of tomorrow. On the former BP site south of Antwerp, an active campus and community is being built around the broad maritime industry.
The Antwerp maritime industry, and by extension the European, faces various challenges: competition from the Far East, keeping maritime know-how in Europe, adapting ship designs and operations to stricter environmental legislation, digitization, training and attracting talent, etc. The answers to those challenges are innovation and cooperation.
Various maritime players therefore want to join forces to join as many actors as possible at one water-bound location: established companies and start-ups, ship owners, ship managers, engine manufacturers, public entities and governments, educational and research institutions, design agencies, IT, communication and data companies, but also lawyers, banks and venture capitalists. In addition to a business center, there will be co-working and co-creation facilities, laboratories, large R&D facilities, workshops, educational facilities and supporting services.
“Belgium’s maritime industry is world-class but in a world where the maritime center of gravity is clearly shifting to the East, competition is fierce. To defend and further expand our unique position, we want to set up a maritime campus and community in Antwerp. Our goal is to make MCA the beating heart of maritime Europe. ” says Alexander Saverys, CEO of CMB and founder of MCA. More than 40 parties already support the initiative.
“Maritime Campus Antwerp promises to become the place to be for on-site research into techniques and processes that are relevant to the maritime sector in Antwerp. To mention just one aspect: the importance of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel in shipping. We are therefore delighted that more than forty private partners have joined forces and will join Blue Gate Antwerp and develop the Maritime Campus, "says Claude Marinower, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Blue Gate Antwerp Public Holding .
“Maritime Campus Antwerp will be the nerve center for innovative projects that will benefit the broad maritime sector. Antwerp's close link with the water and the river Scheldt will be strengthened once more and the upgrading of the Blue Gate site will also create a leverage effect for the wider Hoboken environment. As Alderwoman for the port and urban development, I look forward to the result, "says Annick De Ridder Alderwoman for Urban Development, Spatial Planning and Port.
The development of the campus starts now. After the completion of the soil remediation - probably at the end of 2020 - the construction of the first phase will start with an aim to open the MCA campus just two years later. For its campus, MCA fully endorses the sustainability objectives of Blue Gate Antwerp Public Holding - the seller of the site - and wants to create an inspiring environment for its community. The community will be set up already this year with some initial collaborations around innovative processes.
Alexander Saverys +32 3 247 59 01