The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is the coordination and information platform for marine scientific research in Flanders. The VLIZ is a focal point for marine and coastal-related research and serves as an international contact point.
The VLIZ signs cooperation agreements with Flemish research groups and administrations and furthermore integrates its activities in national and international networks.
Major activities are the management of the Flanders Marine Data and Information Centre (VMDC), the Infodesk, the Sea Library and the research vessel 'Simon Stevin'.
The VLIZ is an autonomous institute with the legal status of a non-profit organisation and has the following strategic objectives:
- Promoting Flemish marine scientific research.
- Serving as an international contact point in the marine scientific field.
- Promoting the international impact of Flemish marine scientific research.
- Promoting the visibility of Flemish marine scientific research to the public at large by means of popularisation and sensitisation.
- Providing scientific information on the sea to policy makers, whether or not upon request, so that they can use this information to develop their policy with regard to marine affairs.
To realise these strategic objectives the VLIZ gives priority to the following activities:
- Supporting marine scientific research by making use of research vessel 'Zeeleeuw' and other research equipment and infrastructure for common use. The VLIZ also contributes to the (inter)national planning, management and efficient use of marine research infrastructure.
- Managing and further developing the Flanders Marine Data and Information Centre (VMDC).
- Managing a multimedia centre that is developing a collection of marine scientific and coast-related literature and multimedia.
- Promoting a network of marine scientists and other persons concerned by offering a platform, organising meetings, congresses and conferences and releasing publications.A core task of the VLIZ is to map expertise in Flanders on a permanent basis and to present this expertise both in Belgium and abroad.
- Managing an information desk that provides objective scientific information to scientists and policymakers in Flanders and abroad as well as to teachers, students and interested citizens in Flanders.
Within its scope as supporting research infrastructure for marine sciences the VLIZ fulfils a special role. The cooperation with Belgian and foreign universities, research institutes and individual research groups will be further extended thanks to the conclusion of cooperation agreements.