Candidates for the 2022 Blue Innovation Awards

The Blue Innovation Awards are an initiative of Blue Cluster to give exposure to innovative projects, products and services of businesses and public authorities. For the third edition, we received a great deal of entries, involving more than 50 organisations in total.
28 October 2022

On 13 and 14 October, all candidates got the chance to pitch their project, service or product by means of a presentation. Afterwards, all entries were objectively judged by our jury on the basis of their innovative character, link with the blue economy, market potential, international ambitions and link with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Once again, the quality of the entries was very high. In the end, our expert jury succeeded in selecting two potential winners for each category. We are pleased to present the nominated initiatives per category:

Blue Innovation Wave (for SMEs).

CPS Monitoring (Marlinks)

Marlinks is a Flemish SME that develops systems with optical detection technology for the continuous monitoring of submarine cables. Marlinks uses specialised technology, more specifically 'Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS)', to measure the acoustic vibrations along the submarine cables.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing enables continuous, real-time measurements along the entire length of a fiber optic cable. Marlinks has now come up with a new solution that uses this technology to monitor the cable protection system (CPS) of an offshore wind farm.

Moray Base (MULTI.Engineering)

The Moray Base is the conceptual design of a foundation for floating offshore wind turbines. is responding to developments in the offshore wind sector, where floating installations are increasingly being used.

Unlike existing wind floater concepts, the Moray Base is designed to use similar product technologies to the successful monopile manufacturing process and the supply chain for bottom-fixed wind turbines.

Corporate Blue Innovation Wave (for large companies)

Hydrocat 48 (CMB.Tech)

Special vessels are used to transport personnel and materials to offshore wind turbines quickly and efficiently: crew transfer vessels or CTVs. These vessels traditionally run on diesel.

With the Hydrocat, CMB.TECH has designed the world's first hydrogen CTV. The vessel is powered by a dual fuel engine that runs on a combination of hydrogen and diesel.

Drilled XL monopile foundations for offshore wind farms (DEME)

The sea is very interesting for generating wind energy due to its large surface area and often powerful winds, but not every seabed is equally suitable for installing wind turbines. Extensive research is therefore necessary to determine where offshore wind turbines can be installed.

DEME has now developed a groundbreaking solution that makes it possible to develop and operate offshore wind farms in an economical and environmentally friendly way on a rocky seabed, where conventional installation methods are not suitable.

Blue Innovation Swell (for collaborative initiatives)

Design of a MArine and River Cleaner (MARC) (IMDC,, Fraunhofer, Schottel Hydro, Soliton)

Every year, a lot of plastic from companies and consumers ends up in rivers and canals, and through these waterways this waste ultimately ends up in our North Sea and the ocean.

To tackle this problem at source, the partners in the DeMARC project are designing a reliable operational system for collecting plastic waste in waterways.

Belgian pilot within UNITED (Ghent University, Jan De Nul, Brevisco, Colruyt, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Pa

Multi-use of the available space at sea can contribute to the sustainable and efficient use of ocean resources, delivering tangible economic and environmental benefits. This Belgian demonstration project focuses specifically on the combination of offshore wind, aquaculture and the restoration of flat oysters and seaweed cultivation.

The UNITED project is a good example of collaboration between science and the marine industry, partly thanks to the diversity of the partners within the consortium.

Blue Innovation Captain (for government initiatives)

Treating wastewater with willows: a nature-based solution (Aquaduin)

In our society, both households and industry use large amounts of water. Since we are faced with a water shortage in Belgium, it is important to reuse the available water as much as possible.

Aquaduin is a drinking water company that places maximum emphasis on natural wastewater purification. For example, the potential of willow fields to further purify wastewater is being investigated. This initiative is part of the European Interreg project FRESH4Cs.

ASHIP – Autonomous Ship Innovation Platform (Flanders Hydraulics)

Flanders Hydraulics has recently acquired a second towing tank in Ostend. To diversify the use of the towing tank, a test platform for autonomous shipping has been developed in this basin.

This platform uses a ROS (Robot Operating System) to accurately measure the position of ships in the basin. This makes it possible to control the ship using autonomous control algorithms.

Further procedure

The selected entries per category will be presented at the Port Authority Building during the Blue Innovation Party in Antwerp on Thursday 15 December 2022. The winner will be announced afterwards. 

Everyone will have ample opportunity to vote for their favourite. After the award of the other categories, the winner of the Inspirational Blue Wave (public award) will be announced.

We would like to thank all organisations that submitted a project, product or service for their participation.

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