Press release ILVO kicks off the first transnational agrifood Data Space


Bridge between DjustConnect (Flanders - ILVO), Agdatahub (France), and Tritom (Finland – DataSpace Europe & 1001 Lakes)

For the first time, data-sharing platforms active in the agri-food sector are building a digital bridge to facilitate international data flows. This is a solution to problems that have arisen for farmers and businesses across Europe. It involves 3 data sharing platforms: DjustConnect from Belgium (Flanders), Tritom from Finland, and Agdatahub from France.

On June 18, 2024, the three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Melle, Belgium. In this document, they commit to using the first successful interregional data flows as a foundation to support more cases, sectors, and data-driven companies across borders. They aim to develop a European Agricultural Data Space with efficient and fairly regulated connections between the platforms. ILVO is involved in Flanders.

Applications with real added value require robust data-sharing platforms.

A data-sharing platform is a digital highway that, through powerful software, ensures that large amounts of data collected by and for farmers, among others, are transported easily, quickly, automatically, and correctly to certain companies that can use this data. These companies can only use and combine the shared data in their digital apps once the farmer has given electronic permission for each use.

A first case in the potato sector led to the construction of a digital bridge between the three data-sharing platforms. Other cases or applications can now quickly follow.

In recent years, around 80 data-sharing platforms in the agri-food sector have emerged across Europe. These platforms facilitate data traffic between local players and serve as regional data spaces. Crossing borders has been challenging so far. It requires individual companies to have the right contacts and multiple (expensive) connections with several platforms, each with different technical specifications, contracts, and ways of working. Farmers also prefer to be supported by the platform in their own region to avoid having to learn yet more systems and to maintain an overview and establish trust.

Stephanie van Weyenberg, Manager of DjustConnect, said, "The more logical solution is that a company (machine firm, app developer, farmer...) only needs to use one data-sharing platform, and that the necessary bridges are built at the platform level. Such a bridge ensures that the different technologies of each platform become interoperable, enabling communication between the platforms."

Finland: Potato data from Flanders encountered borders

The Belgian potato machine manufacturer AVR has long been engaged in smart technology for its harvesters. During harvesting, a lot of data is collected, such as information about the fields being worked on, the potato variety, the yield, soil conditions, dates of field operations, etc. Specialized apps can combine this data into useful, up-to-date agricultural advice on fertilization, harvest times, storage conditions, and more.

However, these machines are sold worldwide, including in places where farmers and contractors use different software packages than those used in Flanders for their daily management. A Finnish farmer using an AVR harvester on his fields wants to easily consult the data from this harvester in his local farm management system. Thanks to the digital bridge between Tritom and DjustConnect, this farmer can now easily and securely arrange his permission through the Finnish data-sharing platform he uses. Tritom and DjustConnect handle the rest.

Koen Uyttenhove from the Belgian company AVR states: “Until recently, we had to contact other data-sharing platforms ourselves and constantly make additional technical developments, even though we already had an API connection available. Or even crazier, we had to ask Finnish farmers to register on the Flemish DjustConnect platform to get this arranged. We were therefore very eager to work together to find a solution for this. From now on, the data-sharing platforms in Flanders and Finland communicate with each other. As for the security and control of the data, everything remains the same.”

France: App developer could not access data from Flanders despite farmers' approval

Many French farmers use the French farm management platform MyEasyFarm. However, without a digital bridge between DjustConnect and Agdatahub, some farmers were missing important data from their AVR harvesters.

A similar bottleneck, for which our transnational approach brought a similar logical solution by connecting at the level of data sharing platforms. These are two concrete examples of how we are working on our top priority: "Easing the burden on farmers is our number one priority."

One bridge for all data is our goal

Whether the initial bridges between the three data-sharing platforms will be broad enough to allow all data flows in all directions remains to be seen.

Stephanie van Weyenberg, “With these first bridges, we can also receive data from other companies via DjustConnect in Finland or France. Scalability is built in because it is crucial for a data-sharing platform. But, of course, we also want to receive data from these other platforms and offer it to our DjustConnect users, such as Flemish app developers. Some roadworks are still needed here. And we certainly don't want to limit ourselves to these three regions. Our companies operate internationally, and data traffic needs to follow just as smoothly.”

There are certainly many expansion possibilities, and there seems to be a high demand for connections between the data-sharing platforms. Europe fully supports this approach: with its Data Strategy, it aims to accelerate the data economy. This is primarily achieved by making much more data accessible within so-called data spaces. Within thematically clustered data spaces, companies and individuals can share data, access data, and process it, fully in line with EU rules and regulations. For the agricultural and food sector, we refer to this as the AgriDataSpace.

Sébastien Picardat, Agdatahub, “That is why, as Agdatahub, we are so pleased with these first collaborations. This way, we can show together that it can be done and how it can be done. Our goal is to work even more closely with ILVO and DataSpace Europe. From there, we aim to scale up the collaboration to other data-sharing platforms within the entire AgriDataSpace. That is why we, along with more than 30 other partners in Europe, have committed to a new European initiative to roll out this European common agricultural data space.”

The challenge of securely connecting data-sharing platforms

DjustConnect, Tritom, and Agdatahub are not the only data-sharing platforms in Europe. Although their goal is the same, these platforms often have different architectures and underlying technologies to, for instance, request the farmer's consent, identify users, make data products known, and share data. Therefore, some customisation is required to seamlessly integrate these platforms. In the new collaboration, we aim to make this initial customisation scalable.

Jaana Sinipuro, DataSpace Europe, "As the first recognised Data Space intermediary, we are delighted to be able to play a very active role. In the new collaboration, we aim to make this initial customisation scalable. We are also certainly looking for solutions within the Gaia-X trust framework."

Marko Turpeinen, 1001 Lakes, “Making these platforms technically interoperable is the first step. However, from a business perspective and especially legally, everything must be correctly arranged. A great deal of work goes into creating legally sound yet fair contracts that are clear to all users. A standardised legal framework can assist in this regard. The 'rulebook for a fair data economy' supports initiatives to make good agreements around data sharing step by step and to incorporate these into a contract.”


Many agri-food companies, which increasingly use connected devices and apps, are going international, and the data flows must follow. It looks like there will soon be even more data flows between the three platforms, and other European data-sharing platforms will also join the network. This way, we are building a European AgriDataSpace from the ground up.

If you want to know more about this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Stephanie Van Weyenberg


Eva Maes


Greet Riebbels