In general

What is MCA?

MCA is a 'DO' campus & community where companies, technology & knowledge are connected to strengthen and further develop the maritime sector. It is a place where companies come together to come up with new solutions and apply them in a very practical way.

It is also a community or ecosystem of e.g. companies, researchers and educational institutions that wish to tackle the innovation challenges of the maritime sector together. MCA is a new public hotspot in Antwerp. It is a place where the whole community is welcome to come and eat, relax and experience the maritime sector.

Who is MCA for?

MCA is an open campus and will be accessible to everyone. In addition, MCA is a place where organisations, ranging from larger companies to start-ups, education and research institutions, come together to innovate in the maritime sector. MCA is also for the community, for people and associations from the wider Antwerp area.

What will the site look like?

The site is a composition of buildings each with their function or combination of functions. The building will be structured like a ship with a bow, deck and bridge.

The project will take place in stages? Can you tell us more about the first stage?

The first stage consists of a reception building, including R&D facilities, alongside which separate R&D halls and outdoor areas are foreseen, as well as the necessary parking facilities.

When will stage 1 be completed?

According to the current planning, the reception building, situated on the river Scheldt, will be in use by the end of 2023, after which the other buildings and facilities will follow.

Which architect do you work with?
  • KCAP from Rotterdam: International architects office
  • TRACTEBEL as supporting architect
  • ABV+ as executive architect
  • Atelier Romain for the master plan and for the dialogue to be conducted in relation to the adaptation of the GRUP (town and country plan).
How big is the site and what was on it before it was demolished?

The site is approximately 54,000 m². Before the building demolition, it was a BP site, an old oil blending plant. Until the demolition and clean up, the site was fully taken up by buildings.

How high is the building?

The reception building on the river Scheldt will be about 46m high and have 8 floors.

How many people will work there?

There will be 500 to 700 employees on our site.

How much office space do you provide?

At MCA, different parties with different needs are brought together. The site is therefore built with all kinds of functions and multiple useable spaces. There will be different types of workplaces for both larger companies and start-ups, with innovative activities taking place in the R&D halls, co-working spaces, project spaces, (digital) labs and meeting facilities. MCA provides an attractive mix of spaces that interact with each other and can be used for various purposes at different times.

The office functions are supportive to the whole concept.

Why does the GRUP need to be changed?

Worldwide, there are many school and research campuses, incubators and business campuses. A site like MCA, which focuses on bringing together all players in function of the maritime sector, does not yet exist.

Whether it involves large companies, start-ups, education and training institutions, researchers, etc. This way, MCA can be developed as a full-fledged knowledge cluster to offer the appropriate facilities for all future innovation challenges and various players in the maritime sector.

A revision of the GRUP is necessary. In addition, an adjustment is needed to develop MCA as a new hotspot where we also want to introduce the neighbourhood to the possibilities of the maritime industry.

Where did the idea of MCA come from?

80% of the challenges of CMB, the initiator of MCA, are also the challenges of other companies in the maritime sector. By working out the future of shipping together in Antwerp, MCA enables us to create sufficient scale in Europe and therefore keep up with much larger shipping players from Asia and America.

What does MCA stand for?

MCA stands for Maritime Campus Antwerp. There are several pillars to this:

  • Public hotspot in Antwerp: MCA will become a new hotspot in Antwerp with cultural activities and catering facilities.
  • Campus: MCA houses organisations for collaboration and innovation.
  • Ecosystem & community: MCA is wide ranging and focuses on joining strengths between the various actors in the broad maritime sector at the European level.
  • The beating heart of maritime Europe & the maritime knowledge cluster in Antwerp for Europe.
  • Technology & innovation
  • Matchmaker & bridge builder: the triple helix story & the cooperation between industry, academia, R&D & government
Isn't MCA just going to be an office complex?

If the needs of maritime players were only offices, companies would not have to change location. Because R&D on sustainable fuels and engines, drones, growing vegetables on board, maritime training, etc. does not fit into an urban setting, these innovations are crucial for a company to follow closely and adapt its organisation. That is why MCA is being developed. Not only the innovative parties on the site, but also the larger maritime players will have to completely reinvent themselves as organisations over the next few decades in order to continuously adapt to the changes that are hitting the sector at a rapid pace. This means that the office functions on MCA also have to be adaptable and connected to the other activities on the site.

When will the construction start?

Construction is scheduled to start in 2021.

What does CMB have to do with this?

CMB is the initiator and founder of MCA.

Why is MCA temporarily withdrawing the permit application?

The permit application for MCA is being withdrawn today, March 25th 2021, by Reslea, part of CMB, for further discussions, a reworking and a resubmission in the short term.

With regard to MCA's environmental permit, which was submitted on January 15th 2021, it has been established that on February 25th 2021 the Council for Permit Disputes passed a nitrogen ruling. The nitrogen ruling will probably not have a major direct impact on the MCA project. However, because of a sense of urgency with regard to the impact of nitrogen on the environment, Reslea would like to further detail the various elements in the project that could have an impact on this.

Due to the limited time left in the current permit procedure, it is materially not possible to complete the dossier further and to let it run its course. Withdrawing the application followed by resubmission as soon as possible is the only possible way forward. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to have the necessary consultation at short notice. This way of working currently gives the most legal certainty and leads to the most transparent way of working.