Innovative Business Network (IBN) Offshore Energy

Working together towards a strong and innovative offshore energy value chain is central to our operation. It provides you with substantive support in research and development in the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy sector.


The Innovative Business Networks (IBN), set up by Vlaio in early 2017, aims to create dynamism within a group of companies active in a specific domain or sector. IBN Offshore Energy is the cluster aimed at companies that market or sell products and/or services in the offshore energy sector. Large companies, SMEs, startups and R&D-intensive and innovation-aware organisations can all form part of this cluster.

Sirris coordinates this initiative and carries out the operation in close collaboration with UGent, VUB and Agoria.

Innovatieve bedrijfsnetwerken



Our mission consists of facilitating the process for our clients by which a concrete idea becomes a fully-realised project plan.
“We facilitate getting the idea off the back of an envelope and into a project plan”.

or idea creation
  • We follow the market and technology trends, as well as the subsidy calls and existing subsidy frameworks for industrial research & innovation. As well as pursuing this here in Flanders we also look for opportunities and connections with similar clusters internationally. To develop ideas into new products or services, we share relevant knowledge and insights from our operations. This can come from both market-pull and technology-push. Specific thematic workshops will also contribute to this and we will also try to act as a matchmaker between members.
Concept Evaluation
Ideas are made concrete in a conceptual description of the potential project by
  • ‘Scoping’ further
  • Performing a small-scale study of the state of the art and the market
  • Increasing insight into the business plan
  • Identifying potential subsidy channels and potential partners.
  • A quick patent search can also be included in this phase.
Proposal Planning
  • Innovative Business Network Offshore Energy provides a framework for submitting dossiers. We then help translate the concept into a concrete project plan or action plan and can support its defence.

Like to know more? Download our cluster's pitch presentation and take a look at what's on our activities agenda.

NB: The IBN is not, in principle, involved in the project execution itself unless the projects are continued with one of the IBN partners Sirris (OWI-Lab department), UGent, VUB or Agoria if these have the relevant and necessary knowledge, expertise or infrastructure


We focus on a number of themes that are relevant to companies operating in the cluster activity. We keep track of the market and technology developments within these themes and inform our members about the current RD&I calls. In addition, we facilitate matchmaking between members regarding these themes and look for opportunities for tackling mutual challenges and opportunities (cluster actions). We also look for international collaborations that would be useful to the cluster.

In addition, we also develop specific business topics provided by members whose topics do not fall within the foregoing.

In addition, as a member of the network, you will also receive:

  • Targeted support in the form of the market and technology knowledge needed for translating your ideas into concrete, innovative products or services.
  • Insight into current research, development & innovation calls and participation in focused workshops that explore current challenges or trends. These workshops and meetings take place in a closed group that is only open to cluster members.
  • Targeted information about innovation cooperation with other companies or relevant knowledge institutions, both in Flanders and throughout Europe.
  • Insight into the relevant funding frameworks for supporting your research and innovation.
  • Access to an industrial and academic network of experts and relevant contacts in the Belgian and European offshore energy sector.

Together with you, we turn ideas into concrete innovations!


  • To rapidly couple disseminated knowledge to effective implementation
  • Market-oriented R&D investments are supported by way of demonstration
  • New value chains are created by setting up integrated solutions
  • Flemish content is represented in international forums that are active in research, development and innovation.


IBN Offshore Energy started in early 2017 and runs, in principle, for 3 years.

You can join in one of these ways:

Steering group members are intensively supported and kept informed in a way that is relevant to them. These members control the policy and action priorities (membership of the steering committee is possible on request).
Valorisation group members are kept informed in a way that is relevant to them (€ 1,200 per annum).
Startups (up to 3 years old, up to 10 FTE) can join the valorisation group on request at a reduced rate.


Pieter Jan Jordaens – Sirris / OWI-Lab
(Cluster Manager - IBN Offshore Energie)
+32 491 34 53 82

Sirris is the coordinator of IBN Offshore Energy. In addition to this cluster project, Sirris supports OWI-Lab companies through specific research development & innovation themes. It can also rely on the unique testing, demonstration and measurement infrastructure set up by Sirris, in addition to a partner network and 140 multidisciplinary engineers and experts.Companies can keep up to date with the latest news from the IBN Offshore Energy Cluster through the OWI-Lab website and Sirris Blog.

Contact us
Contact us to participate in this program