Blue Cluster was established at the end of 2017 as a partnership for the development and promotion of economic activities linked to the sea. Over 150 enthusiastic companies and knowledge institutions have joined since then.
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At the end of 2017, Colruyt, DEME, Econopolis, INVE, Jan De Nul, Sioen Industries, Tractebel Engineering, Vanbreda Risk & Benefits, Vyncke and ZERI founded the non-profit  organisation under Belgian law Blue Cluster. The objective was to establish improved, cross-sectoral partnerships and closer cooperation between knowledge centres and government agencies so as to encourage new investments and undertake innovative projects in the Belgian part of the North Sea and beyond.

openingsevent blauwe cluster


In early 2018, an application was submitted for recognition as a spearhead cluster. This recognition was granted on a conditional basis in March 2018.

In February, Caroline Ven became the CEO of Blue Cluster. Under her leadership, the partnership experienced strong growth. 

In June, Blue Cluster was officially launched with an opening event. This event was attended by numerous prominent figures.

In September, Flanders' Maritime Cluster was integrated into Blue Cluster. This was an important step towards the final recognition as a spearhead cluster.

In November, Blue Cluster launched its very first call for project proposals to be submitted by companies.

At the end of 2018, the Blue Cluster team consisted of eight staff members. Another two employees were seconded.


In February, the cluster pact was signed. Since then, Blue Cluster has been a fully-fledged spearhead cluster in the Flemish innovation landscape.

In March, Blue Cluster and the Belgian Offshore Cluster concluded a strategic partnership. This marked the beginning of a fruitful cooperation.

In April, Blue Cluster made its first international foray by taking part in a mission to Taiwan

In July, representatives of our members and partners learned a great deal about the coast during the first edition of the Coastal Scan.

In November, we organised the Coastal Marine Tour and took care of the very first Oceans programme of G-STIC.


In July, the second edition of the Coastal Scan took place. Due to the coronavirus crisis, no external parties could participate in this event.

On 1 October, Caroline Ven handed over the reins to Marc Nuytemans, and a new chapter in the story of Blue Cluster began.