NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

In late February, the NBOC attended the Blue Innovation Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island. The BIS is the region’s premier blue technology event and truly keeps with its mantra of “by the industry, for the industry.” This year’s event presented a diverse range of topics and attracted 300 attendees, 100 speakers, and 40 exhibitors. The NBOC was among one of them and we certainly valued our time on the show floor meeting with so many ocean technology start-ups and SMEs advancing products and services to support our pillar industries.

Immediately following the conference, the NBOC hosted an Ecosystem Tour in New Bedford for 30 conference attendees, which included mostly blue technology companies. A good portion of those companies were part of a Canadian delegation organized by the Consulate General of Canada in Boston. During the tour, attendees heard presentations from NBOC Executive Director, Jennifer Downing; New Bedford Port Authority Executive Director, Gordon Carr; and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Managing Director for Offshore Wind, Bruce Carlisle. They also participated in a Port Tour and visited New Bedford Research and Robotics and UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology.

According to Jennifer Downing, “Attending the Blue Innovation Symposium and having the opportunity to host post conference tours in New Bedford for attendees over the last two years has helped the NBOC expand its blue tech network and develop several business connections that could have big impacts for New Bedford’s ocean economy. Bravo to Toby Stapleton and his team at the Blue Venture Forum for putting on another stellar event. We are pleased to participate and support it.”

New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference

New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference

October 24th-25th, 2024

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The City of New Bedford has for generations been tied to the sea. The Port of New Bedford is home to America’s highest grossing commercial fishing industry. Today, it is also home to America’s first, commercial-scale offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind 1. New Bedford is once again lighting the world, actively positioning itself to be a leading hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry and a robust ecosystem for blue innovation and technology.

Join us in historic, downtown New Bedford for a unique and immersive industry event that will include tours, diverse program tracks, and ample networking opportunities with industry leaders, local businesses, and key stakeholders at the center of advancing offshore wind in New Bedford and the Commonwealth. Engage in insightful conversations on industry trends, opportunities, and challenges, and learn how New Bedford is growing into a model cluster of diverse marine industry businesses and assets.

Didn’t join us for our 2023 conference? Check out last year’s agenda.

Thursday, October 5th

Networking Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:50 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery, Sponsored by DEME Group

Opening Remarks & Keynote Presentations: 9:05-10:20 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater
Welcome: Jennifer Downing, New Bedford Ocean Cluster; Keynote Presentations: John Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford; Jan Kjaersgaard, GE Renewables; Klaus Moeller, Vineyard Wind

Break: 10:20-10:35 a.m.

Panel Discussion on Fishing & Offshore Wind Coexistence Challenges & Opportunities: 10:35-11:35 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater
Panelists: Eric Reid, New Bedford Ocean Cluster & New England Fishery Management Council; Crista Bank, Vineyard Wind; Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority; Capt. Jarrett Drake, New Bedford Lobsterman

Lunch: 11:35 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery

Break: 12:30-1:00 p.m. (Board buses and travel to program tracks)

Program Tracks: 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Workforce Development & Training, “Developing a Diverse & Equitable Offshore Wind Workforce of the Future” at Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute

Track includes a facility tour, fireside chat with NOWI leadership, and a panel discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Jennifer Menard, Bristol Community College; Dr. Alan Lowden; Dr. Cynthia Brown, IWNL Energy; Carlos Avila, New Bedford Ocean Cluster; Jennifer Cullen, Vineyard Wind; Jennifer Daloisio, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Callum Dewar, Maersk Training

Supply Chain, “Building the Offshore Wind Supply Chain in Massachusetts: Reflecting on Progress and Preparing for the future” at Shoreline Marine Terminal North, Pope’s Island, Sponsored by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Track includes a facility tour, panel discussion, and engaging roundtable discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Bruce Carlisle, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Dan Kent, Vineyard Wind; Michael Quinn, Quinn Fisheries & Shoreline Offshore; Vicki Chapman, Chapman Construction Group; Philip Hamels, Jan De Nul; Joel Whitman, Foss Offshore Wind; Matt Cadwallader, TerraSond

Innovation & Technology, “Fisheries & Offshore Wind: Advancing Science and Opportunities for Innovation” at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Track includes a facility tour, presentations, and panel discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Kevin Stokesbury, UMass Dartmouth; Pingguo He; Steven Cadrin, UMass Dartmouth; Travis Lowery, Vineyard Wind; Tim Barrett, Owner/Operator of F/V Odessa and President of Northeast Fishing Sector 10

Port Asset Tour #1: 3:30-4:15 p.m. and Port Asset Tour #2: 4:15-5:30 p.m. at Cuttyhunk Ferry, 66B State Pier, New Bedford(rotating tours)
Speakers: Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority; Andrew Saunders, New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal; Tim Griffin, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Free time: 3:30-5:30 p.m. We encourage you to explore historic, downtown New Bedford during your free time. We recommend a visit to one of the following locations, which are in walking distance to the waterfront.

Cocktail Reception: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at The Black Whale

    After-Hours: 8:00 p.m. Not ready to call it a night? These great spots are in walking distance to The Black Whale: 

    Friday, October 6th

    Networking Breakfast: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery 

    Speaking Program I: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater 

    Vineyard Wind 1- Electrical Service Platform
    Anthony Janeczek, Semco Maritime Operations Manager
     

    Fireside Chat
    Andrew Saunders, New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal; Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority 

    From Chemistry to Offshore Wind
    Megan Eddings, NewWave Chief Strategy Officer 

    Break: 11:00 – 11:15 a.m. 

    Speaking Program II: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater 

    From Catch to Current: Transforming New Bedford Fishing Vessels into a Renewable Energy Pioneer
    Ed Washburn, Coast Line Transfers Managing Director/Partner
     

    Fireside Chat: Vineyard Wind & Chapman Construction Group
    Dan Kent, Vineyard Wind Labor Relations Manager; Vicky Chapman, Chapman Construction Group President 

    Break: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

    Lunch, Self-Guided Museum Tours, Offshore Wind Industry Videos in Cook Memorial Theater 

    Thank you to our 2023 sponsors

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    NEW BEDFORD, MA, November 8, 2023 The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) announces the launch of our new logo, marking a significant moment in our ongoing organizational development. The newly unveiled logo reflects the organization’s goal to establish New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the surrounding region as the foremost ocean economy on the East Coast.

    The motivation behind the logo redesign stems from a comprehensive marketing and communications planning process the NBOC has undertaken. While the NBOC just launched in late 2021, our journey began back in 2017 when we signed a partnership agreement with the Iceland Ocean Cluster, making us part of the global ocean cluster network. The Iceland Ocean Cluster and other cluster organizations worldwide are making their fisheries and ports more profitable and sustainable through the clustering concept. The NBOC’s Founders knew that New Bedford was fertile ground to do the same, and that vision drove the organization to where it is today.

    In the words of the NBOC’s Executive Director Jennifer Downing, “Until now, we’ve shared a logo with the Iceland Ocean Cluster. Iceland has been a huge pioneer to the ocean cluster movement, so it has made a lot of sense to visually align with their brand. We continue to gain a lot of value from being a part of the network, and this will not change. However, the Port of New Bedford and our maritime economy is unique. We’ve also come a long way as an organization in just two years. It is time for the NBOC to have a distinct brand identity that captures our mission, values, and four pillars while also honoring the global ocean cluster network we proudly are part of.”

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster is a non-profit marine industry association that facilitates connections between maritime companies in greater New Bedford and strengthening their markets across the world. Our efforts are strategically focused on four interrelated marine industry pillars: Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing & Processing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy. According to Downing, “We have four industry pillars at the NBOC; while we want to see each prosper, we also seek to facilitate their intersection whenever possible. The convergence of industries will create a true ocean economy in the Port of New Bedford. It’s ambitious but incredibly exciting.”

    The new logo now encapsulates these aspects, offering a holistic representation of the organization. This redesign symbolizes the New Bedford Ocean Cluster’s dedication to our mission, its uniqueness in the marine industry, and our commitment to growth and development.

    “The ocean has always been a source of opportunity for the people who have come to New Bedford to build our city while building better lives for themselves,” said NBOC Board President John Bullard. “The Ocean Cluster is showing how related sectors of our ocean economy can thrive together through mutual respect and understanding.”

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to leverage New Bedford’s strategic coastal position and extensive ocean economy and knowledge base to attract investment, support the formation and growth of maritime businesses, and foster initiatives that can create economic and community impact from the sustainable use of ocean resources. The NBOC works collaboratively with the private sector, public sector, and academic institutions to establish New Bedford and the region as a leading ocean economy through the advancement of Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing & Processing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy.

    Learn more about the New Bedford Ocean Cluster at www.nboc.org/ or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

    New Bedford Ocean Cluster 2023 Annual Meeting

    New Bedford Ocean Cluster 2023 Annual Meeting

    New Bedford Ocean Cluster

    2023 Annual Meeting

    Thanks for joining us!

    The NBOC held its first second Annual Meeting on January 25th. About 100 people gathered at the New Bedford Whaling Museum for an update on the organization work and accomplishments over the course of 2023. Special remarks were provided by New Bedford Mayor, Jon Mitchell, members of the NBOC Board of Directors, and NBOC Executive Director, Jennifer Downing.

    Speakers emphasized the NBOC’s significant progress in continuing to raise the organization’s profile on global stages, launching new industry events like the New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference held in October 2023, establishing valuable industry interest groups like its Fisheries Advisory Committee, the expansion of key staff, and the launch of new collaborative, high impact projects like the Southeastern New England Ocean Tech Hub. The meeting was followed by a lively reception in the Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery. Check out photos from the meeting below!

    New Bedford Ocean Cluster September 2022 Newsletter

    New Bedford Ocean Cluster September 2022 Newsletter

    Welcome to the first New Bedford Ocean Cluster monthly newsletter!

    Allow me to introduce myself: I’m Jennifer Downing, and this year the Board of Directors invited me to become the first Executive Director of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. It is an honor and privilege to guide this organization and help advance greater New Bedford’s ocean economy. 

    As part of our mission to bring together all the maritime interests in and around the Port of New Bedford, and throughout the Massachusetts region, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) will be sharing news of interest, happenings of note, and member information each month going forward. 

    If you’re new to the Ocean Cluster concept, here’s a quick refresher:

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster is a nonprofit organization formed to align the maritime interests of the city and region under one umbrella organization. The four pillars of the NBOC are Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing; Aquaculture; Offshore Renewable Energy; and Innovation and Technology

    In addition to the four pillars of the NBOC, I’d like to acknowledge a fifth: People. As in you – NBOC partners, supporters and followers. 

    This unique ecosystem of marine businesses and workforce distinguishes our region and is the foundation of its economy and culture. It includes our economic development agencies working to advance policies and programs to strengthen our blue economy, and the entrepreneurs and academic institutions pushing the boundaries of marine innovation into the future. 

    The NBOC is something we are all very much building together. Our foundation is the historic Port of New Bedford. At this place, we are building on centuries of maritime trade and industry in an entirely new way, but based upon lasting values of collaboration and cooperation.

    The NBOC is patterned after successful ocean clusters around the world. It directly traces its lineage to the game-changing Iceland Ocean Cluster, which pioneered the model.

    In fact, several years ago the NBOC and Iceland Ocean Cluster established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote network building and collaboration among maritime businesses and entrepreneurs,

    In  June, the NBOC signed a second MOU with the Belgium Blue Cluster signaling our intention to collaborate and share best practices. 

    These important partnerships serve to increase New Bedford’s  competitiveness and global reach. 

    Working together into the future, whether around the corner or around the globe, the NBOC seeks to pursue the strategies that will ensure the Port of New Bedford remains the highest value fishery in the nation. It’s managed that astounding achievement for 21 consecutive years – and that fact both informs and defines our work. 

    The NBOC is also dedicated to seizing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the birth of the offshore wind industry represents for New Bedford, Massachusetts and the nation. Already, the country’s first commercial-scale wind farm is being built utilizing the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, soon to be joined by New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal. We aspire to make the NBOC a powerful tool to attract ever-increasing investment in offshore wind, creating jobs and opportunities in this community for decades to come. 

    Aquaculture is a burgeoning field of marine harvesting that has yet to find strong purchase in our waters, but holds immense promise that needs to be explored. And, as we all know, technological innovation has transformed our lives and economy in fundamental ways. Embracing blue technology isn’t an option – it’s critical to riding the waves of tomorrow. 

    Today, I’m thrilled to invite you to the very first annual meeting of the NBOC. It will take place on Wednesday, October 12 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  It’s an occasion to bring us all together and chart a course for the NBOC we are building. Bring your questions, ideas, and passion for this unique idea we are turning into reality at the fabled Port of New Bedford.

    Until we meet, below you’ll find recent news of interest, curated events, and other information of importance to our shared New Bedford Ocean Cluster. 

    Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director

    DID YOU KNOW….?

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster maintains an ongoing social media presence on Facebook and LInkedIn. You can “Like” and “Follow” each page to receive news updates throughout the month between newsletters. #NBOC #newbedfordoceancluster

    ACT LOCAL

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster, in partnership with Vineyard Wind, has launched Act Local. It’s a program designed to maximize the positive economic impacts of the Vineyard Wind 1 project in the greater New Bedford region by encouraging local business participation in the offshore wind industry. The program is part of Vineyard Wind’s commitment to Look Local First in support of its Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm. Learn more at this link on the NBOC website.

    RECENT NEWS of #NBOC Interest

    FEATURE STORY: Southcoast Today/The New Bedford Standard-Times has written a comprehensive look at the work of the NBOC. “Everything we’re doing is with the goal of creating local wealth, new jobs, and a talented and active marine workforce,” – says Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director in the article.  “(The) NBOC is working to understand where supply chain gaps exist in New Bedford and across the U.S.” Read the entire feature at this link.

    A NEW DIRECTOR at the NEW BEDFORD PORT AUTHORITY: Gordon Carr, former Deputy Director of Real Estate Strategy and Policy at the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), has been chosen as the next Executive Director of the New Bedford Port Authority (NBPA). Carr was selected by the Port Authority Commission from among 39 applicants. Carr is expected to take over in late September. Read the City of New Bedford announcement here

    BLUE ECONOMY RESEARCH: UMass Dartmouth recently opened its newest state-of-the-art research, learning and product development laboratory in the School for Marine Science & Technology in New Bedford. The Biodegradability Laboratory supports the development of biodegradable and ocean-safe plastics and other materials by accelerating their path to market with a focus on increasing sustainability. Find out more about it here

    NEW FUNDING FOR WATERFRONT RAIL: New Bedford’s Ice Cube Maritime cold storage facility helps to process and store seafood products.”This is a site where because they have rail access they will be able to move their product far more quickly, far more efficiently, far more cost effectively and in the meantime, take trucks off the road,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. WJAR News 10 report here

    NOW ONLINE: The Doers Lab is a new initiative at The Communal Space in the City of New Bedford that seeks to connect youth to opportunities for equitable employment in the offshore wind industry in the city and region. Learn all about them and what they do at this link: The Doers Lab

    SAFETY FIRST: At a 131-year-old maritime academy along Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, people who will build the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm are learning the skills to stay safe while working around turbines at sea. Boston 25 News has the story here

    THE PRINCE OF TIDES: A New Bedford-based company is seeking to harness tidal energy. Its founder and director John Miller is an engineer who’s been studying ocean energy “longer than anyone,” noted John Bullard, president of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster Board of Directors. Full story here.

    EVENTS OF NOTE:

    Sun. Oct. 2 // BUZZARDS BAY WATERSHED RIDE – Need some time off? Enjoy the scenic landscapes of Southeastern Massachusetts in and around New Bedford while supporting the protection of watershed lands and clean water on the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride. Choose your own adventure from the 100-mile, 75-mile, or 35-mile overlapping cycling routes that ride past coastal farmlands, windswept beaches, cranberry bogs, and scenic harbors between Rhode Island and Cape Cod. Register and choose your ride here. 

    Wed. Oct. 12 // JOIN THE NEW BEDFORD OCEAN CLUSTER for its first Annual Meeting at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA. The program will include an update on our progress, the election of Officers and Directors, a keynote speaker, and reception with light hors d’oeuvres and spirits. RSVP to this free event by October 6 via THIS LINK

    Questions? Email Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director (jennifer.downing@nboceancluster.org)

    Thurs. Oct 6 // The Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) public comment meeting – As part of its effort to seek out public comment regarding the proposed Revolution Wind project, BOEM will hold a meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Keith Middle School, 225 Hathaway Boulevard, in New Bedford, MA. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). More information can be found here

    Thurs. Oct. 13 // THE NEW BEDFORD PORT AUTHORITY monthly meeting will take place at 5:00 p.m. The NBPA office is located at 123 MacArthur. Drive, New Bedford. 

    Tues. Oct. 18 & Wed. Oct. 19 // The American Clean Power Association (ACP) WINDPOWER 2022 Conference & Exhibition takes place in Providence, RI at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Find out more at this link, including exhibit, sponsor and agenda information. 

    Wed. Oct. 19 //  The New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) will hold its 2022 Annual Meeting from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Harbor View Gallery at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Light refreshments and networking are on the agenda, along with a look at NBEDC initiatives and a keynote address by Frank Barrows, Senior Advisor for Commemorations  and Anniversaries, National Park Service. RSVP at this link, and follow NBEDC on Facebook for updates.

    Belgian Economic Mission Visits New Bedford and Celebrates Leadership in Offshore Wind

    Belgian Economic Mission Visits New Bedford and Celebrates Leadership in Offshore Wind

    Belgian Economic Mission Visits New Bedford and Celebrates Leadership in Offshore Wind

    New Bedford, Massachusetts – A delegation of Belgian companies visited New Bedford on June 10, 2022 to explore opportunities for partnership and investment in the region’s growing offshore wind market. The delegation is the third foreign trade mission to visit New Bedford this year with an interest in forging relationships with local stakeholders and learning about the City’s marketplace assets and advantages in offshore wind.

    The delegation’s visit was hosted by the New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) and part of a larger Belgian Economic Mission to the U.S., organized by Flanders Investment & Trade and the Consulate General of Belgium.

    “We have fostered ties with European industry leaders for nearly a decade, and those connections now are coming to fruition,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We look forward to deepening partnerships with seasoned offshore wind companies from mature industries across northern Europe, who recognize the opportunity to grow their businesses in the Port of New Bedford.”

    The NBOC’s mission is to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation for New Bedford residents. Working collaboratively with a range of private sector, public sector, and academic partners, the NBOC will work to establish New Bedford as the leading ocean economy on the East Coast through a strategic focus on four interrelated industry pillars: aquaculture, commercial fishing and processing, offshore renewable energy, and innovation & technology.

    “We are excited to welcome the Belgian delegation to New Bedford to experience all that the city has to offer the burgeoning offshore wind industry,” said Jennifer Downing, Executive Director of the NBOC. “New Bedford has been at the forefront of developing offshore wind in the U.S., much like Belgium has been in Europe, for over a decade. Our regions can both experience economic benefit from each other’s leadership in this industry.”

    “The port of New Bedford is destined to become one of the main gateways in the development of offshore wind projects in the Northeast. The newly formed New Bedford Ocean Cluster brings together key stakeholders and is at the heart of the local ecosystem. It was important for us to bring our Belgian companies to New Bedford, to plug into that ecosystem, and to prepare them for the opportunities,” said Ralph Moreau, Science & Technology Counselor for the Americas at Flanders Investment & Trade.

    Delegates spent the afternoon at the Whaling Museum networking and hearing presentations by Mayor Jon Mitchell, Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director; and Bill White, Avangrid Renewables’ President and CEO, Offshore. A panel discussion with representatives from Context Labs and Spherical Analytics, MassCEC, Bristol Community College, and the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board explored state and local issues and opportunities related to offshore wind workforce development and training.

    “As part of the IBERDROLA group, AVANGRID is leading the way in the U.S. market by leveraging our global experience, expertise, and supply chain network to drive new investment and job creation in communities like New Bedford,” said Bill White, Avangrid Renewables’ President & CEO, Offshore. “By working with the City of New Bedford, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, and our partners from Belgium and Flanders, we’re building a new platform for economic growth in Massachusetts’ South Coast region while advancing our nation-leading portfolio of offshore wind projects.”

    MOU Signals Future Collaboration

    On the evening of June 9th, the NBOC and local partners including the New Bedford Economic Development Council, Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth, and others, joined the Belgian Economic Trade Mission at the Greentown Labs in Somerville to celebrate leadership in offshore wind development in Massachusetts. The event brought together state and local government, developers, supply chain leaders, and key organizations advancing the industry across the state.

    In front of Gov. Charlie Baker, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, and Flanders Minister-President Jan Jambon, the NBOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Belgium Blue Cluster to formally express both parties’ intent to explore collaboration, and foster innovation and international trade.

    The Belgian Blue Cluster is a non-profit organization created in 2017 by private companies with the aim of developing and valorising innovative and sustainable economic activities related to seas and oceans. The Blue Cluster has 192 industrial members and 17 publicly funded partners. Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade represented The Blue Cluster at Thursday’s event on behalf of its CEO, Marc Nuytemans.

    Nuytemans said the Blue Cluster is excited to be linked to the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, adding: “The experience of our Belgian pioneers combined with the potential of NBOC will create powerful and elegant opportunities in the Blue Economy both in Belgium and in the USA.”

    “The NBOC is thrilled to work more closely with the Blue Cluster of Belgium to explore collaborative opportunities to strengthen ocean innovation and economic growth in our respective regions. By sharing expertise, innovating together, and joining forces to create scale, our regions can increase their competitiveness and at the same time contribute to the major energy transition the world is facing.” Downing said.

    Thursday’s program also included a keynote speech by Klaus Moeller, CEO of Vineyard Wind. Vineyard Wind is developing the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind 1, just 30 miles off the coast of New Bedford. Vineyard Wind has established operations in New Bedford and will be using the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base for construction and installation of the 800-MW project.

    Bill White, CEO of Avangrid Renewables, delivered the event’s closing remarks. Avangrid has committed to building an Offshore Wind Control Center in New Bedford, a state-of-the-art facility that will provide operations and control support for its 1,232-MW Commonwealth Wind project.