Blue Science & Technology Summer Training | Marine@Ugent

Blue Science & Technology Summer Training


3 - 14 July 2023

Ghent & Ostend, Belgium

6th edition of the Blue Science & Technology Summer Training.

Meet your peers and get submerged in multidisciplinary lectures and workshops, various unique site visits.

Two days of the summer school will be hosted in Zeeland, the Netherlands. 



Planet earth’s defining feature is the ocean, covering approximately 70% of the planet’s surface. It is the reason that life exists. It produces oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide and contributes to freshwater renewal. The ocean provides important goods and services to society. It is a major part of the world economy, with more and more nations looking to the ocean as a way to meet the needs of their people, particularly coastal communities.

In crowded seas such as those around the European Union, including the North Sea, pressures on the environment are building and space is at a premium. In managing these areas, the interests of different economic sectors, including fishing, energy, shipping and tourism, must be considered.

Tomorrow’s generation of marine scientists and engineers, high level technicians, and other trainees will need to be able to work in a multi-disciplinary fashion. Knowledge is required beyond the complex scientific and technical issues, but requires employees to cut across scientific, environmental, economic and social disciplines.

The Blue Science & Technology Summer Training (BlueS&T) introduces key components that build a strong foundation for a sustainable blue economy. Study the smart solutions for marine and maritime challenges with us and you’ll widen your skills and build your grasp on one of the most significant areas of innovation, research and development in the modern world.


Learning objectives

The objective of this Summer Training is to offer an add-on learning opportunity for participants with a mainly scientific background to be prepared for the rapidly evolving demands of the blue economy sector. During the program students will:

  • Obtain insight into business opportunity development and the commercial realities faced by industry, through guest lectures from blue economy entrepreneurs and on-site visits
  • Gain hands-on experience in the field
  • Learn additional soft skills important for your career
  • Be able to communicate with peers, with various stakeholders in blue economy field, and with a general public concerning scientific concepts and research
  • Acquire an advanced scientific problem-solving capacity, design multidisciplinary approaches and collect, analyze and interpret data
  • Be competent to further develop a network in an international and multidisciplinary context and apply this in an integrated problem-solving nature



BlueS&T aims to close the mismatch between knowledge provided by higher educational establishments and the competences requirements of Blue Economy's technical staff by combining ex-cathedra lectures on a specific scientific subject with hands-on practical and multidisciplinary workshops and on-site visits.

BlueS&T is organized as a two-week course with topics like oceans and human health, sustainable seafood, coastal engineering and Building with Nature, social innovation and maritime spatial planning and multi-use at sea. This set-up provides students the option to participate for the full duration of the course or one week.

Participants benefit from a blend of project work to encourage independent learning, foster collaborative skills, plenty of teacher time in tailored classes and interactive workshops. BlueS&T maximizes contact time with our experts, and ensures participants get the most enriching educational experience possible. What sets us apart are our partnerships. By partnering with world-leading companies in the field participants will be tackling real-world projects in a range of inspiring settings, guided by our academics and industry professionals.

Students enjoy ex-cathedra lectures (about 50%) where leading academics devote their full attention. A mix is provided of (inter-)national lectures from amongst others Ghent University, VLIZ, KU Leuven, VUB, HZ University of Applied Sciences, NIOZ, Wageningen University and Research, and various international partners of the EPIBOOST consortium like University of Aveiro (Portugal) and the 3i University Network like University of Lille and Kent 

The knowledge gathered during the ex-cathedra lectures will be combined during multidisciplinary workshops and lab-activities, panel discussion and various onsite visits.




The themes of Summer Training sessions are mostly related to the 5 priorities of blue economy as relevant for the entire region, i.e. the EU countries as well as non-EU-countries. Themes will include, but are not limited to:

  • Blue economy in the EU (governance and finance)
  • Healthy oceans
  • Ecosystem services
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Coastal engineering and Building with Nature
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Maritime transport
  • Bioprospecting
  • Deep sea exploration and mining
  • Social innovation
  • Entrepreneurship


Participants will be asked to participate actively, including by presenting a group assignments at the end of the Summer Training.


Unique opportunity

Do you want to broaden your knowledge even more and extend your participation in the Blue S&T Summer Training with an additional week? Then why not join the Blue Carbon Summer School in Wimereux, from 26th until 30th of June 2023? As part of the cooperation in the 3i University Network and the EPIBOOST consortium, Station Marine de Wimereux (University of Lille) hosts this intensive programme with general lectures focused on carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems, but also field and experimental demonstrations of carbon exchange measurements. This training is certified by the University of Lille, allowing participants to obtain a certificate corresponding to a 30h training (ECTS). The Blue Carbon Summer School 2023 will take place in the Station Marine de Wimereux, one of the oldest marine stations in France. For more information and registration, visit the Blue Carbon Summer School website.

On-site visits and excursions

NXTGNT was founded in 2008 to create a rich and unique substrate for groundbreaking research, development and valorization at Ghent University. The main goal of NXTGNT is the establishment of a reference center and core facilty for next generation sequencing (NGS), (epi-)genome and transcriptome analysis at Ghent University. NXTGNT established a unique service platform by the integration of a state-of-the-art NGS library preparation facility with several sequencing platforms and a strong expertise in -omics data-analysis (bioinformatics).

Ship and visit the first Belgian offshore wind farm at sea! During the trip guides immerses you in coastal shipping and port management, international shipping, technical operations of the ship, environmental monitoring and offshore licensing procedures to exploration of marine birds and mammals. The ultimate goal the wind farm on the Thornton Bank, some 30km outside the coastline.

The gaming industry offers a wide range of interesting and mature technologies that can be deployed in an industrial context. Find out which immersive technologies are on the eve of a new technological wave. Let’s find out and experiment yourself in the workshop of Howest DAE. The best gaming school in the world.

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) promotes accumulation of marine knowledge and excellence in marine research in Flanders. One of their core activities is to support marine scientific research by providing the research vessel ‘Simon Stevin’ and other research equipment and infrastructure for common use.   

Discover the multidisciplinary marine research community in the broadest sense of the term at the visit to their facilities.


The Dhooge family specialises in the growing of crustaceans and shellfish since 1906. Their business “de Oesterij” is established in Yerseke in the Dutch Province of Zeeland. They are committed to deliver the highest quality products in a sustainable way. Long-term cooperation with customers and chefs is an essential component of this. The Dhooge family is pleased to welcome our Summer Training participants for a tour on land and on water, and to have you taste their range of fresh oysters and mussels.

Do you like to explore areas of untouched nature? Breathing in the pure air as you hike through a beautiful, rugged landscape. Ever visited an international bird airport?

The Zwin Nature Reserve or Zwin Plain straddles the border between Flanders and the Netherlands. Dunes enclose the area. A channel called the Zwin Channel connects the area to the sea, making it an 'intertidal area'. Thanks to the daily influence of the salty seawater, the nature reserve boasts extraordinary fauna and flora which can hardly be found elsewhere along the Belgian coast.

Vibrant Ghent is well worth a trip. The capital of East-Flanders offers a fascinating cultural cocktail brimming with trendy, modern urban life. Ghent is a city where people enjoy life: a chilled-out place where anything goes and a city that feels human. Its friendly, welcoming people love the good life. Don’t miss the chance to admire some of Ghents most famous monuments, such as the Castle of the Counts, or discover the many microbreweries and food spots in the city centre during your stay.

Ostend is a bustling city by the sea with new developments moving forward at breakneck speed. But its maritime character remains proudly intact. Step along the most remarkable spots of the fishing culture, the dazzling port life and the unique maritime heritage. The maritime character that moulds and shapes Ostend into the city by the sea.

To build an academic community to support the Blue Economy sector, we need to form a strong and reliable network . The participants of the BlueS&T will be the starting point of this network.

Previous edition of the Blue S&T Summer Training

Have a look at the aftermovie of the 2021 Blue S&T Summer Training to get a glimpse of this amazing training course.



UGent Directors

Prof Peter Troch

Prof. Peter Troch is Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Director of the Coastal Engineering Laboratory at Ghent University. He is coordinator of the design and construction of the new "Coastal and Ocean wave Basin" at Ostend Science Park. He has 25 years of academic experience in the field of coastal engineering and open channel flow hydraulics. His research is focusing on wave induced response of coastal structures (wave overtopping, pore pressure propagation, scour protection), on wave propagation and harbour penetration modelling, on wave energy converters (modelling of wake effects) and on eco‐hydraulics of vegetated lowland rivers. For his research, he is developing and using physical and numerical modelling and field monitoring at a wide range of locations. Together with Dr Vicky Stratigaki, they are organisers of the WECANet COST Action project (CA17105).

Dr Sara Vandamme

Dr Sara Vandamme obtained a Doctorate degree in Biology in 2014. After a career in academic research and working for a European stakeholder origination, she currently works as the coordinator of the Marine@UGent, an interfaculty research consortium which unites and supports all marine and maritime expertise of Ghent University. Dr Vandamme has a broad knowledge of the blue economy sector and research, stakeholder participation and science communication. Other research interest include EU fisheries management, CFP reform, population and seascape genetics analysis. One of her activities is the coordination of the Blue Science and Technology Summer Training.

Dr Eveline Diopere

Dr. Eveline Diopere obtained a Doctorate degree in Biology in 2014. She is a marine biologist, specialised in population genomics of marine fish, evolutionary adaptation, transcriptomics, linkage and comparative mapping and genetic marker development. After her PhD she worked for the Flemish Government, where she was in charge of a team granting environmental permits. Currently, Dr. Diopere works at the Blue Growth Research Lab and focusses on bioprospecting research. She also coordinates the new marine and maritime multidicipliciplinary research facilities of Ghent Univeristy at Ostend Science Park, together with Prof Asselman. Additionally, she co-organises this Summer Training.

Prof Jana Asselman

Prof. Jana Asselman is head of the Blue Growth Research Lab (BGRL) at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University. She coordinates the multidisciplinary marine and maritime UGent research facilities located at Ostend Science Park. She teaches courses in human health risk assessment, Oceans & Human Health and Blue Economy at Msc level in both Flemish and international Msc programs at UGent. Her research topics are related to marine biotechnology, biopolymers in the marine environment, bioprospecting and human health risks of ocean pollution, including micro- and nanoplastics.

Prof Colin Janssen

Prof. Colin Janssen is professor of Ecotoxicology and Applied Marine Ecology at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University. He is chair/promotor of the Marine@Ugent - an interfaculty research consortium which unites and supports marine and maritime expertise of Ghent University. He is also chair/promotor of the Business Development Center BLUEGent, a world leading research partnership in the field of Blue Life Sciences and Aquaculture, coordinating and promoting innovation and valorization initiatives and projects in the field of Blue Economy.  Furthermore, Prof Janssen is vice–chair of the Board of Directors and chair of the scientific committee of the Flanders Marine Institute. He teaches courses in aquatic ecology, and environmental health & toxicology and risk assessment to graduate and undergraduate students. His research activities cover a wide range on applied ecological topics which include: the study of the ecological risks of chemicals and other stressors in freshwater and marine systems, stress ecology, marine litter and the fate and effects of microplastics, oceans and human health and various marine applications of innovative research and technologies.

Participating institutes

Prof Jaak Monbaliu

Prof. Jaak Monbaliu is chair of the department of civil engineering of the KU Leuven and Chair of the Marine@KU Leuven consortium together with Prof Filip Volckaert.

His main research topics are (1) Coastal and Estuarine Hydrodynamics: which focusses on numerical modelling of currents in shelf seas and estuaries, wave generation and propagation in the coastal zone, interaction of waves and currents, and statistical properties of waves, (2) Sediment Mechanics: focuses on the behavior and fate of non-cohesive sediments (sand) and cohesive sediments (mud) in coastal areas, estuaries, rivers, reservoirs and sewer systems and (3) Remote Sensing: which offers the opportunity to gather data simultaneously over large, sometimes inaccessible areas, such as tidal flats.

Dr Karolien Vanpuyvelde

Dr. Karolien Van Puyvelde obtained her PhD in Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2013. Currently she is coordinator of the 2-year master programme “Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management” (Oceans & Lakes) organized at three Flemish universities. This multidisciplinary programme puts strong emphasis on acquiring skills, both in marine and lacustrine research and management. It requires full-time attendance and active participation in lectures and practical exercises, visits to marine and lacustrine research centers, field courses, seminars and a professional internship. Oceans & Lakes is recognised as an ICP (International Course Programme) which is supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council – University Development Cooperation (VLIR-UOS). This means that there are targeted and well-developed trajectories possible to university development cooperation with South partners: the application of science and management skills to global and local challenges, aligning with the UN's sustainable development goals.

Prof Patrick Meire

Prof. Patrick Meire is head of the Ecosystem Management Research Group and chairman of the Department of Biology of the University of Antwerp. His research concentrates on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and wetlands and the processes in the land-water interaction along the whole river continuum and the river-coastal sea interaction. The studied systems vary from small streams with riparian margins over larger rivers and floodplains to estuaries. These studies, both descriptive and experimental in nature, are integrated to predict the impact of different management options on the functioning and the biodiversity of the system.


Dr. Jasper van Houcke is head of the Aquaculture in Delta Areas research group at HZ University of Applied Sciences. The applied research of the group is focused on sustainable production of low trophic marine organisms such as microalgae, seaweed and shellfish. Dr. Jasper van Houcke is the Dutch national representative in the West European Fish Technologists’ Association (WEFTA). WEFTA aims to be an important platform in Europe for institutions engaged in fish processing, applied food science, aquaculture, seafood technology, health effects of seafood consumption and consumer studies. He is board member of the Shellfish conference foundation (Stichting Schelpdierconferenties), a foundation aiming at knowledge transfer between industry and research partners within the shellfish sector. Dr. Jasper van Houcke is involved in several courses regarding aquaculture, shellfish cultivation and seafood quality. His research activities cover aspects such as production strategies and prediction, quality and quality improvement strategies and bioactive molecules.

Practical info

1. Dates: 3 July – 14 July 2023

The face to face sessions will consist of 33 teaching hours per week, which will include ex-cathedra lectures, hands-on practical and multidisciplinary workshops and on-site visits. Two days of the summer school will be hosted in Zeeland, the Netherlands. 

Students who complete the 2-week programme will be provided a certificate of Ghent University stating that the course has the equivalent of 3 ECTS-credits. For the acceptance of these credits in to your curriculum, please consult with your own university.

2. Location: Ghent University and Ostend Science Park, Ostend, Belgium

3. Tuition Fee:
     • Members of specific UGent and KUL Doctoral Schools (see 5. Participants): free
     • Non-members: €850.00 for 2-weeks 

This includes:
     • Tuition and all course material
     • On-site visits and excursions
     • Certification
     • Lunch, coffee breaks and two social dinners
     • Transport from/to Zeeland and accomodation, breakfast included

Not included:
     • Personal expenses
     • Transport from/to home location to Belgium
     • Other meals than listed above
     • Other overnight stays than listed above, 10 in total
     • Insurance

All participants are supposed to fund this short training programme by their own financial means. Please do not apply if you have not yet managed to secure funding.

4. Registration Deadline: 31 May 2023

5. Participants from diverse disciplinary backgrounds will be admitted:
     • Passionate about exploring the challenging role of oceans and seas in our future society
     • Excited about marine and maritime sciences, business development and entrepreneurship

The Summer School is recognized as specialist course by the (Bioscience) Engineering and Natural Sciences Doctoral Schools of Ghent University as well as the KULeuven Arenberg Doctoral Schools. As such, for PhD students who are a member of these doctoral schools, the course is free and will be added to the curriculum by the Doctoral Schools administration after successful completion.

6. Scholarships: at UGent we're determined to attract the very best talent from all corners of the world. We offer a limited number of travel grants to applicants with an outstanding profile.

7. Travel Grant by the Sea as a Good Cause. This year, the Sea as a Good Cause awards one travel grant to a promising student in marine sciences. This student should be enrolled in an MSc or PhD program in marine science at one of the affiliated institutes and be younger than 35. The overall budget available for the travel grant is 4.000 EUR and is funded by The Sea as a Good Cause. The grant includes the travel cost for the flight (lowest fare, economy class), accommodation and subscription fee for the summer school. More information about this call and the eligibility criteria can be found here. Fill out the registration form and send it to  . Deadline for application is 7 June 2023. 

8. Personal data: In accordance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), personal data provided by candidates in the application form will be processed only for the purpose of the assignment of the grant and the ensuing relevant procedures. No data of any kind will be transmitted to third party. For privacy reasons we would like to inform all participants that photo- and film material can be taken at the Blue S&T summer school. The obtained visual material may be used as internal archive material or external promotional material.


Register Now !

Blue Science & Technology Summer Training (BlueS&T) is made possible with the support of the Flemish Government and partners: