The Secretary of State for Scientific Policy, Elke Sleurs, has provided an additional €1,848,000 for a major overhaul of the RV Belgica and the digitisation of our collections.
Keeping the RV Belgica Seaworthy
The Secretary of State, Elke Sleurs, has set aside an additional €1,019,000 for a one-off refurbishment of the oceangoing research vessel, the RV Belgica, in winter. It is a decision that speaks volumes about the importance of this research boat. It is an essential tool for some 1,200 oceanographers from universities and Belgian scientific institutions (including RBINS).
This sum will allow the financing of major maintenance work which is vital for keeping the RV Belgica in a seaworthy condition. The replacement of the ship remains an urgent issue, as the vessel is over thirty years old, and it could take more than three years to acquire a new boat.
Digitising Our Type Specimens
The Secretary for Scientific Policy has also provided €829,000 to buy equipment for the high definition digitisation of our type specimens: two CT-Scanners, one for biological specimens and one for geological and paleontological specimens.
Once digitised, images of these type specimens can be easily consulted and studied. Our collection’s rare specimens will subsequently be much more accessible for those working on theses or carrying out international research.
Type specimens are unique in that they act as a universal reference for a particular species, therefore quality digitisation is vital. Currently RBINS and RMCA (the Royal Museum of Central Africa) collectively manage more than 250,000 type specimens.
To find out more about the digitisation of type specimens at RBINS you can read the following article: Researchers Present Low-Budget Method for Mass-Digitisation of Specimens.
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