Marine sector R&D community Maritime Campus Antwerp (MCA) – an initiative of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) - will open its ‘do-campus’ in 2024 following the approval for a 40,000m3 building permit.

Due for works to begin in Spring next year (2022), the facility will provide maritime-based companies, start-ups, education, and research institutions an opportunity to collaborate and increase sustainability within the sector.

Focusing on innovating and accelerating decarbonisation, MCA aims to work together with the city of Antwerp to ‘tackle the challenges’ of shipping in a city known historically for its fossil fuel use.

“MCA is ideally suited in Blue Gate, the former Petroleum South cluster. In the same place where fossil fuels created prosperity in the 19th and 20th centuries, we now wish to use innovation, technology, and sustainability to build tomorrow’s prosperity,” said Alexander Saverys, CEO, CMB.

The new site formerly belonged to energy giant bp and will feature facilities dedicated to labs, workshops, R&D – used to test hydrogen engines and build hydrogen applications, education, and support services.

Bart Huybrechts, Managing Director, MCA, commented on the new development, stating that it runs parallel with other MCA projects, such as the accelerator platform Plug And Play Maritime and its MCA LABS centre.