In April 2022, VLIZ Director Dr. Jan Mees and VLIZ international relations Director Dr. Ann-Katrien Lescrauweat visited IFOP facilities in Valparaíso, an opportunity in which a collaboration agreement was signed between both institutions. This agreement promotes researchers and technicians exchange for training and joint research work and facilitates access to research infrastructure and data exchange between institutions.
Aiming to strengthen VLIZ and IFOP’s relationship Dr. Jan Meet extended an invitation to IFOP Director Gonzalo Pereira and IFOP Environment Department Head Dr. Gastón Vidal to visit their VLIZ facilities in Oostende, Belgium and the facilities of its strategic partners and their directors such as the Research in Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Institute (ILVO) with its Director Dr. Hans Polet, the European Marine Council (EMB) with its Director Sheila Heymans and of Chancellery and Government of Flanders Foreign Affairs Department Mr. Peter Desmet. This visit took place in November.
Regarding the activity, Dr. Gastón Vidal commented, work schedule was intense and tremendously productive, it allowed us to make contact with VLIZ and its partners directors and researchers to get to know their facilities (laboratories, research vessel and equipment) and theirmost important research lines among them; microplastics, marine ecology using metagenomics and metatranscriptomic methods, restoration of marine ecosystems and artificial reefs use, acidification, generation of oceanographic digital twins, and real-time monitoring and assessment systems for fishing stocks. Work lines are similar between both institutions and there is interest in working together, therefore, we are currently exploring a work and financing agenda that allows our researchers and technicians to participate in training programs and participate in projects. sets.
During this trip, there was also a visit to Belgium’s Chilean Embassy where the Director and Gastón Vidal met with Gloria Navarrete Brussels Ambassador. In addition, the opportunity was taken to visit the AZTI facilities in the Basque Country. AZTI is a scientific and technological center specialized in marine environment and food, which provides cutting-edge and value-added products and technologies based on solid science and research.
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