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Innovation hub Campus@Sea officially launched

The Hague, 1 April 2021

Since 2020, The Hague has had another innovation hub, Campus@Sea, which focuses on innovation on and around the sea. The campus is an initiative of the Municipality of The Hague and the province of South Holland. Together, they highlight the opportunities that the sea offers us to help achieve social tasks like sustainable energy and food supply. They create the limiting conditions in which innovative parties from industry, research and educational institutions can optimally work on sea-based innovations for a better world.

The innovation hub in Scheveningen is entering a new phase due to the upscaling of the activities in Campus@Sea. For example, through the launch of an online community on 1 April, including its own website. The number of partners and projects is also being expanded to ensure the success of public-private partnerships. “The Hague and the neighbouring coastal area have the potential to become a national hotspot for innovations in and around the sea. The condition is a place where entrepreneurs and researchers can meet and have the space to experiment. Campus@Sea is a catalyst in this,” says Adri Bom-Lemstra, member of the provincial executive of the Province of South Holland.

Under the auspices of Campus@Sea, the Municipality of The Hague and the province of South Holland are bringing together parties that innovate on the sea and on the coast. Campus@Sea is not just a physical place. Above all, it is a network of networks that drives sustainable innovation in and around the sea. Furthermore, there is space for the vital practical experiments.

While climate adaptation, energy transition and biodiversity are increasingly the focus of attention, the sea is being used more and more as an opportunity to fulfil our social tasks in that respect. “The sea is increasingly becoming part of the transitions we are now facing. For example, wind farms. But more can be done, and at the same time we also need to protect the sea. In South Holland, with our long coastline, it is only logical that we should explore the opportunities offered by the sea and how best to use them,” says Bom-Lemstra.

The Netherland has sixteen seaports. The port of Scheveningen is one of the smaller ones and is proving an innovative breeding ground with important added value. There is not enough space for big logistics operations, but its size is ideal for knowledge-intensive activities. Because of the sea’s totally different demands, a lot of effort is required to adapt technologies which already function on land to use at sea. Furthermore, the sea offers different possibilities, such as energy from water by using waves, tides and currents. “The port of Scheveningen offers the perfect starting point for this. It is big enough to accommodate good experiments and research. Furthermore, there is an open connection with the sea, without a lock, which makes it easy and fast to get onto the sea for testing,” says Saskia Bruines, deputy mayor in the municipality of The Hague.

“Off the coast of The Hague, there are two test sites at sea. One of them is even completely closed to shipping, to protect vulnerable experiments, particularly in seaweed farming. In the second test site, data is collected. Both test sites are just off the coast and can be reached in an hour and half by boat,” says Bruines.

The location of The Hague is also very valuable in terms of the wider ecosystem. The Hague is near Delft with its University of Technology, TNO and other relevant knowledge institutes. The presence of central government also makes The Hague a dynamic place. “In that respect, the region has everything. It means that parties can find each other at an early stage of the innovation. Policy makers and entrepreneurs can easily connect. And as multi use of the sea increases, there will need to be tighter control at sea. All the parties involved are available just a cycle ride away,” says Bom-Lemstra. “The sea is increasingly becoming a hub in the energy, climate and food transition,” Bruines concludes. “In the Netherlands, there is no other city on the sea which has the opportunities that the international city of The Hague offers. Campus@Sea makes a promise which is unrivalled in the world.”


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