Oceans as an opportunity

Unlocking the full potential of the blue economy

The blue economy is expected to be an important driver of economic growth in the coming years, with a shift towards innovative sustainable solutions. Newly developed activities contributing to this growth include energy production and storage, aquaculture, desalination, coastal protection and nature development for ecosystem services.

The use of newly created land at sea has recently been the subject of various discussions, with a number of different views. Technically feasible, questions remain as to how artificial islands can contribute optimally to the blue economy and boost sustainable use of resources.

Conference programme

Oceans

24 October 2021

Deep dive session
Artificial islands and sustainable blue growth
14:30 - 16:00
Belgian Pavilion

Oceans

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Oceans

Deep dive session

Artificial islands and sustainable blue growth

24/10/2021, 14:30 - 16:00 GST (Dubai)

12:30 - 14:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

11:30 - 13:00 WAT (Nigeria)

06:30 - 08:00 EDT (New York)

19:30 - 21:00 KST (Seoul)

18:30 - 20:00 CST (Beijing)

16:00 - 17:30 IST (New Delhi)

07:30 - 09:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Belgian Pavilion & online

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What potential do artificial islands offer in terms of being platforms for sustainable growth and contributing to delivery of SDGs? We zoom in on several ocean developments and raise probing questions about the extent to which activities benefit from being carried out on artificial islands. The aim is to derive better insights into the added value from artificial island developments and help us create synergies between different activities conducted on shared islands.

Opening

Jan Jambon

H.E. Jan Jambon

Government of Flanders

Minister-President

Since September 2018, Jan Jambon has been the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy, Culture, IT and Facilities. Before that, he was a Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and the Interior of Belgium.

Jan Jambon began his professional career as a Systems Engineer and Account Manager at IBM, where he worked from 1984 to 1992. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and an MBA from the University of Antwerp.

Presentation

Alexander D’Hooghe

Alexander D’Hooghe

ORG Permanent Modernity

Director

Alexander D’Hooghe is an associate professor at MIT and senior founding partner of ORG Permanent Modernity, an internationally active design agency and think tank for urbanism and architecture, based in Brussels and New York. He has been published internationally, notably by The Liberal Monument (Princeton, Fall 2010) and in other relevant journals in Germany, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and elsewhere. His urban designs and analyses have included sites in New York City, Shenzhen, Belgium, The Netherlands, Iceland, South-Korea, Malawi, Ghana and Russia.

D’Hooghe was formerly the director of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), which focuses on the complex, large-scale urban issues of our time. He has a PhD from the Berlage Institute of T.U. Delft (2007), having previously obtained master’s degrees in urban design from Harvard in 2001 and in architectural engineering from the University of Leuven in 1996. D’Hooghe has worked with renowned architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Marcel Smets.

One of Alexander’s recent achievements is the successful ‘Over de Ring’ process, which joins thousands of citizens and experts together to co-create the future mobility of the City of Antwerp.

Presentation

Marcus Haward

Marcus Haward

University of Tasmania

Professor of Oceanics & Cryosphere

Marcus Haward is a political scientist specialising in oceans, Antarctic governance and marine resources management at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania. He is the author of over 140 research publications and several books, including Oceans Governance in the Twenty-first Century: Managing the Blue Planet (with Joanna Vince), Global Commodity Governance: State Responses to Sustainable Forest and Fisheries Certification (with Fred Gale), and Australia and the Antarctic Treaty System, (co-editor with Tom Griffiths).

He is currently working on oceans and Antarctic governance, knowledge systems in coastal management, marine biodiversity conservation in a changing climate and Australia’s regional fisheries interests.

Haward is currently editor of the Australian Journal of Maritime and Oceans Affairs published by Taylor & Francis.

Presentation

“Blue-Green” Artificial islands – power hubs of clean energy transitions

The ocean space could bring new opportunities for harvesting renewable energy and growing food. Artificial “blue-green” energy islands could act as power hubs to serve various communities and countries, contributing to SDG7 (by providing access to affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all), SDG17 (by facilitating partnerships across diverse sectors) and SDG13 (by providing mechanisms for effective climate change-related planning and management).

Their creation calls for smart designs and careful planning to ensure preservation of marine habitats. It also requires governance via international common laws, engagement from stakeholders and financial cooperation.

This presentation will provide insights into the design of a toolbox for achieving the above, while enhancing symbiosis with other marine sectors.

Catalina Spataru

Catalina Spataru

University College London

Professor of Global Energy and Resources

Catalina Spataru is a professor of Global Energy and Resources at UCL, the founder and Head of UCL Islands Laboratory, and Deputy Director of the UCL Energy Institute. Her expertise is in the field of global energy and resources, from theoretical investigations to implementation of research and practice to support policy makers and sustainability agendas.

The Islands Laboratory at UCL is a unique initiative that aims to support island nations, helping planners and businesses develop sustainable solutions in a climate change context. It takes a nexus-informed mixed methodological approach to energy and resource use scenarios analysis.

Spataru established the “Blue-Green” artificial islands, which involved exploring future scenarios for modular floating structures/systems and symbiosis with other sectors at sea.

She currently directs the work of the Re-Energize Governance of Disasters for Sustainable Development consortium, which is the funded part of the Collaborative Research Action on Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience through the Belmont Forum. In this, her work takes a nexus-informed approach to actionable insights for climate change disasters risk reduction and resilience governance, in collaboration with partners from Qatar, Japan, USA, Mauritius, Ghana and Italy.

Catalina Spataru also directed the work on the energy markets and regulations part of the Open Piazza consortium led by Unit9. This involved several businesses from the UK and Canada coming together to develop a digital platform for helping the built environment attain sustainable energy, by assessing the benefits introduced by energy storage and generation, and the business cases needed to justify the required investments.

She has delivered several talks at events such as the Cheltenham Science Festival, the European Business Summit in Brussels, the UN Environmental Management Group Nexus Dialogues series, Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development and other international conferences.

 

Presentation

Zinzi Reimert

Zinzi Reimert

North Sea Farmers

Manager Offshore Test Site

Closing

Peter Thomson

H.E. Peter Thomson

United Nations

Special Envoy for the Ocean

In 2017, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres appointed Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean, with the aim of galvanising concerted efforts to follow up on the outcomes of the 2017 United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference. This includes maintaining the momentum for action to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Thomson leads the UN’s advocacy and public outreach efforts inside and outside of the UN system, ensuring that the many positive outcomes of the 2017 Ocean Conference, including the over 1,500 voluntary commitments, are analysed and implemented. He also works with civil society, the scientific community, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders, to coalesce and encourage their activities in support of the implementation of SDG 14.

Thomson has distinguished experience in diplomatic services and is familiar with the work of the United Nations, including from his role as Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN and President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, during which time he provided visionary leadership in guiding the preparation of The 2017 Ocean Conference.

Elected President of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority’s 2011-2012 session and President of the Council of the Authority’s 2015-2016 session, Thomson chaired the Group of 77 and China (2013) and served as President of the Executive Board of UN Development Programme/UN Population Fund/UN Office for Programme Support (UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS) from 2014 to 2015. As a civil servant in the Government of Fiji, he has devoted many years of his life to working in the fields of rural development and foreign affairs.

25 October 2021

Thematic session
Blue Innovation Awards
18:45 - 20:00
Belgian Pavilion

Oceans

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Oceans

Thematic session

Blue Innovation Awards

25/10/2021, 18:45 - 20:00 GST (Dubai)

16:45 - 18:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

15:45 - 17:00 WAT (Nigeria)

10:45 - 12:00 EDT (New York)

23:45 - 01:00 KST (Seoul)

22:45 - 00:00 CST (Beijing)

20:15 - 21:30 IST (New Delhi)

11:45 - 13:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Belgian Pavilion & online

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Want to learn about the latest blue economy initiatives coming out of Flanders? Watch the Blue Innovation Awards to become acquainted with this year’s nominees and cast your vote in our audience award.

The Blue Innovation Awards is a Blue Cluster initiative to give exposure to promising projects, products and services within the fast-growing blue economy in Belgium.

MEET THE EIGHT NOMINEES

Blue Innovation Wave (for SME’s)
1. Leveraging AI for carbon-neutral shipping (Toqua)
2. Enreau (Blue Power Synergy)

Corporate Blue Innovation Wave (for large companies)
3. Automated monitoring & detection of marine mammals (Jan De Nul)
4. MANTA-line (BEXCO)

Blue Innovation Swell (for collaboration initiatives)
5. MPVAqua (TRACTEBEL, Jan De Nul, DEME, SOLTECH & Ghent University)
6. D4PV@Sea – Design for public value at sea (ORG, DEME, Econopolis & Jan De Nul)

Blue Innovation Captain
7. A triple helix approach for innovation in the Belgian Navy (Belgian Navy)
8. Port of Antwerp: the Echodrone & more (Port of Antwerp)

26 October 2021

Plenary session
Sustainable Ports
11:30 - 13:00
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Oceans

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Oceans

Plenary session

Sustainable Ports

26/10/2021, 11:30 - 13:00 GST (Dubai)

09:30 - 11:00 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

08:30 - 10:00 WAT (Nigeria)

03:30 - 05:00 EDT (New York)

16:30 - 18:00 KST (Seoul)

15:30 - 17:00 CST (Beijing)

13:00 - 14:30 IST (New Delhi)

04:30 - 06:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Dubai Exhibition Centre & online

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Sustainable port development is a very important issue from both economic and environmental perspectives. Not only for governments as port management agencies, but also for port authorities and terminal operators. Ports have a direct impact on international and domestic freight transportation as well as local and national economic and social development. It’s therefore important to harmonise individual ports’ roles and functions with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This session will reveal major technological innovations which are significantly increasing sustainability in ports and port operations. It will also discuss how these are applied on-the-ground and what is needed to deploy them at scale.

Chaired by

Hafeezur Rehman

Hafeezur Rehman

VITO Arabia Science and Technology LCC

CEO

Keynote speech

Khwezi  Tiya

Khwezi Tiya

Coega Development Corporation (South Africa)

CEO

Khwezi Tiya, the Chief Executive of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (University of Natal, South Africa), an MBA (Nyenrode Business University, the Netherlands) and a master’s degree in Financial Management (SOAS, University of London, UK).

He also completed the Advanced Management Programme (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA) As part of his senior executive development.

Khwezi’s attendance at the Harvard Business School’s 2014 Global Energy Seminar helped shape his thinking and understanding of energy transitions. His certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) in 2005 is testimony to his understanding of overall requirements for complex project development and project management.

Khwezi Tiya began his professional career as an engineer in 1992, working on multidisciplinary projects. He then went on to work for Standard Bank Corporate & Investment Banking in 2010 as Head of the Oil & Gas and Public Sectors (South Africa) in the Client Coverage Division. Having progressed from engineering to management, he now he seeks to master the art of leadership.

Khwezi’s study and work experience have provided him with valuable international exposure. He is passionate about economic development, with a focus on infrastructure, energy and industrialisation, as well as mentoring and inspiring young people.

Keynote speech

Philip  Heylen

Philip Heylen

Ackermans & van Haaren

Business Development Manager

Keynote speech

Wilfried Lemmens

Wilfried Lemmens

Royal Belgian Shipowners’Assocation

Managing Director

Wilfried Lemmens joined the Royal Belgian Shipowners’Association in 2015. As its Managing Director, he is responsible for the organisation’s day-to-day activities.

Keynote speech

Luc  Arnouts

Luc Arnouts

Port of Antwerp

Director International Relations & Networks

Thematic plenary session
Sustainable and smart shipping: all hands on deck (hosted by SDSN)
16:00 - 17:30

Oceans

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Oceans

Thematic plenary session

Sustainable and smart shipping: all hands on deck (hosted by SDSN)

26/10/2021, 16:00 - 17:30 GST (Dubai)

14:00 - 15:30 CEST/SAST (Brussels, Cape Town)

13:00 - 14:30 WAT (Nigeria)

08:00 - 09:30 EDT (New York)

21:00 - 22:30 KST (Seoul)

20:00 - 21:30 CST (Beijing)

17:30 - 19:00 IST (New Delhi)

09:00 - 10:30 BRT (Rio de Janeiro)

Online

Join us online >

The future of shipping will require speedy and integrated technological solutions that work beyond traditional sectors. Solutions which aim to deliver greater benefits to people, communities, businesses and the planet.

Such massive transformation needs all hands on deck: researchers, industries, regulators, investors. Success will depend on various stakeholders bringing existing and emerging technologies to market at scale, while following transition pathways aligned with Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement.

Chaired by

Laura Cavalli

Laura Cavalli

SDSN Italy

Program Director Agenda 2030 and Network Manager

Presentation

Use of 5G in improving port operations at the port of Livorno, Italy

The UN SDGs and their corresponding measurable KPIs for ports have been used to monitor sustainability performance and help make business decisions for port master plans. The results of these evaluations have been merged into a new methodology for technology assessment. With sustainability considerations embedded, this assessment methodology delivers representative measurements of both a port’s competitiveness and the impact of its operations on sustainable development. Overall, it is estimated that 5G will enable optimisation of vessel berthing to the point of costs being reduced by an average 20% per year, or approximately EUR 2.5 million. This may also lead to an 8.2% reduction in associated CO2 emissions per terminal operation, as well as increasing automated quay cranes’ productivity by 20–25%.

Silvia  Ferrini

Silvia Ferrini

Port System Authority of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea

Director of Development European Programs and Innovation

Presentation

Technological economic and social transition pathways for implementing Agenda 2030 in our seas and oceans

As a response to the climate crisis and its effect on marine ecosystems and coastal populations, SDSN networks covering Greece, the Black Sea and Mediterranean decided to bring together several initiatives (SDSN Seas Initiative, Global Roundtable for Sustainable Shipping and Ports, Plastic Busters Initiative, Global Maritime Accelerator) and Blue Growth research projects to accelerate science-driven blue growth and implementation of Agenda 2030 in the Euro-Asian Seas and beyond.

Phoebe Koundouri

Phoebe Koundouri

Athena Research and Innovation Center

Director Sustainable Development Unit

Presentation

Maritime ClimAccelerator

The shipping sector accounts for about 80% of the volume of global trade, and is directly responsible for approximately 3% of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions. In April 2018, the IMO adopted an ambitious GHG reduction strategy with a vision to reduce at least 50% total GHG emissions from shipping by 2050. The Maritime ClimAccelerator, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, through its vast network of collaborators, will offer participating start-ups funding, training, peer-to-peer coaching and theme-specific mentoring (both virtually and in-person). The 30-40 start-ups accepted per year will be asked to provide innovative solutions for the maritime industry’s transition to sustainability, both locally and globally.

Alexandros G. Charalambides

Alexandros G. Charalambides

Cyprus University of Technology

Head of Department of Chemical Engineering

Presentation

Piet Opstaele

Piet Opstaele

Port of Antwerp

Innovation Enablement Manager

As the innovation ‘enablement’ manager for the Port Authority, Piet Opstaele is one of the people driving the Port of Antwerp’s digital and innovation transition. Based on a strategy with a pragmatic approach in executing concrete innovation projects, he brings tangibility to the concept of the ‘Port of the Future’ and leads the development of Port of Antwerp as an open innovation platform. On this platform, startups, companies, knowledge institutions and other authorities can create new value for the Antwerp port ecosystem.

Piet Opstaele spent the 1990’s at Tele Atlas, a producer of digital geographic data and one of the most successful start-ups in the Benelux, which was eventually acquired by TomTom in 2008. Between 2011 and 2014, he managed a consultancy firm where he was closely involved in start-ups in the energy sector. Piet holds master’s degrees in history and spatial and urban planning, post-graduates in energy and environmental management, and an international management MBA.

Presentation

Wilfried Lemmens

Wilfried Lemmens

Royal Belgian Shipowners’Assocation

Managing Director

Wilfried Lemmens joined the Royal Belgian Shipowners’Association in 2015. As its Managing Director, he is responsible for the organisation’s day-to-day activities.

17 January 2022

Special session
Sustainable ports (by invitation only)
18:00 - 19:30
Sustainability Pavilion

Oceans

18 January 2022

Deep dive session
Oceans
09:30 - 11:00
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Oceans

19 January 2022

Deep dive session
Oceans
11:15 - 12:30
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Oceans

Top experts

Oceans

Deep dive session

Building artificial islands in the ocean

Thematic coordinators

Oceans

Thematic partner