2020 highlights of VLIZ demonstrated in new yearbook | Compendium Coast and Sea

2020 highlights of VLIZ demonstrated in new yearbook

2020 was an unusual year for VLIZ. VLIZ was forced to cancel, postpone or reschedule a whole range of planned activities and events, including the festivities on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. But COVID-19 also created opportunities. In the past year, VLIZ demonstrated its flexibility by quickly switching to a new way of working and redirecting activities. Apart from the basic services, the projects and the ongoing research, VLIZ fully invested in new initiatives. This resulted in a varied package of innovative research, new publications and refreshed forms of (digital) communication related to the corona crisis. You can read about some of these initiatives in the highlights of 2020.

Still in 2020, VLIZ made great progress with its two new construction projects: the InnovOcean Campus and the Ocean Innovation Space. Also, barely three years after the start-up of the Research Department, it shows that VLIZ research is running at full speed. The 54 peer-reviewed publications and 25 research projects from 2020, and the 16 doctoral projects that VLIZ initiated or facilitated since 2017, attest to that. Other milestones of the past year are (1) the establishment of a legal framework for the sailing time of the research vessel RV Simon Stevin, (2) the large number of Policy Information Briefs of VLIZ that make research results a directed part of marine and coastal policy issues, (3) the renewed and contemporary electronic newsletter of VLIZ, Testerep magazine, (4) the very first Belgian unmanned vessel to enter and leave a commercial seaport with the help of pilots in a shore-based control centre, (5) the continuation of four ongoing data projects and initiatives in which the Flemish Marine Data Centre and the IT department of VLIZ play a crucial role, and (6) the publication of an extensive overview of the established non-indigenous marine and coastal species in the Belgian part of the North Sea and the adjacent estuaries.

Finally, the 2020 yearbook also offers a condensed overview of the achievements of VLIZ since the start of the current management period in 2017. This is in preparation of the new five-year management agreement between VLIZ and the Flemish Government and the Province of West Flanders, and the evaluation of the institute in 2021.

Both the Dutch and English versions of the yearbook can be consulted digitally (pdf) via the VLIZ website.

(c) Image: VLIZ