Innovation / research and development

The port can innovate and grow sustainably through research and development. Research and development are crucial for innovation and growth, which is why we work with specialised knowledge centres, teach future professionals, invest in the latest technology and so on.

More cooperation, more expertise

Sirris and Catalisti are two examples of cooperation agreements. Over one hundred companies and five universities have joined forces in Catalisti to share their knowledge about sustainable innovation in the chemical industry. Sirris is the innovation centre of and for the technological industry, with projects in logistics, management, water and energy, corporate social responsibility and so on. It has already achieved several good results, including using algae as an alternative fuel, plasterboards which can purify the air, solvent-free glues and so on.


Various companies also support research by offering chairs, allowing a lecturer to conduct research or teach. Examples include a chair in the new Master degree in Safety Sciences at the University of Antwerp or the BASF-Deloitte-Elia Sustainability Chair of the Antwerp Management School.

Partnership with the University of Antwerp 

The Antwerp Port Authority, the port community and the University of Antwerp have joined forces in a structural partnership, called “Port of the Future”. The platform is used to examine problems and implement results.

New, smart technology

“Antwerp Capital of Things”, a project of the City of Antwerp, the University of Antwerp and Imec, the research and innovation hub for nanoelectronics and digital technology, aims to boost the potential of IoT (Internet of Things) for Antwerp companies (within and outside the port). Gaining a better understanding of the available data is a crucial part of this. As a result, cargo flows can be managed more intelligently, logistics and transport can be optimised and so on. 

Circular Economy

Moreover, the Antwerp Port Authority stimulates innovative ideas that contribute to the circular economy, including materials that are more efficient in terms of energy consumption, have less of an impact on water and air quality, the recycling of waste or by-products and so on.

VOKA offers opportunities

VOKA also offers support to companies that are interested in innovative development

  • with its Innovation Business Club. 
  • with ‘Logistics of the Future’, a hackathon for students and specialists in programming, graphic design, project management and so on.
  • with NxtPort, a data sharing platform

Have a question? Contact one of the many partnerships, such as Catalisti. Do you want to find out whether subsidies exist for your idea or initiatives? You can find further information about this on the VLAIO website.

Sustainable Development Goals Port of Antwerp