Blue Cluster travels to Australia

From October 23 to 27, various members and partners of Blue Cluster took part in an economic mission to Australia. This was an excellent opportunity to put the flourishing blue economy in Flanders on the international map.
31 October 2023

Australia is a country of endless possibilities. This offers many interesting opportunities for Belgian companies. More than 200 business leaders from Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia therefore took part in this mission led by Princess Astrid.

One of the spearheads of this cross-sectoral mission was offshore energy and hydrogen production. This group business trip was therefore particularly interesting for Flemish actors in the blue economy. A brief report of the activities can be found below. 

Exploring the market

During the economic mission, all participants had ample opportunity to make contacts with various local companies, institutions and governments. The program included individual meetings with potential partners, tailored to the individual wishes of each participating company.

Furthermore, official meetings, company visits, seminars and networking receptions were also on the agenda. The participants were introduced to the main players and developers in the field of offshore wind energy and hydrogen, and visited the Port of Kembla and Port of Bell Bay.

Presenting Flanders

The timing of the economic mission coincided with All-Energy Australia Melbourne, one of the country's leading renewable energy fairs.

At this fair, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) had a group stand where more than 10,000 visitors could delve into the expertise and know-how of Flemish companies.

Working together

During the Belgian economic mission to Australia, De Blauwe Cluster also concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian cluster organisation Blue Economy CRC.

This partnership with 44 partners from no fewer than 10 countries (including Blue Cluster members DEME and Ghent University) paves the way for innovative, commercially viable and sustainable developments linked to the sea.

With this agreement, both organisations confirm their strong and unequivocal commitment to continue making joint efforts to further develop the sustainable blue economy.

Piet Opstaele (CEO of Blue Cluster) and Greg Johannes (chairman of Blue Economy CRC) signed the document in the presence of Matthias Diependaele, Flemish Minister of Finance and Budget.

Sharing insights

During the course of the economic mission, several workshops and seminars took place, during which the Australian public showed a lot of interest in developments in the Flemish blue economy.

Blue Cluster had the pleasure of delivering various keynotes, shedding light on the offshore wind sector in Flanders and explaining which digital tools are used in the industry. 


The Belgian economic mission to Australia led by Princess Astrid was an initiative of the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency in close collaboration with the regional bodies FIT (Flanders) AWEX (Wallonia) and as well as the Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs..

The following Blue Cluster members and partners took part in the mission: Bureau Veritas; DEME; Ghent University; Jan de Nul; John Cockerill; KU Leuven; North Sea Port; Parkwind; Sarens; Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics; and Zingametall

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