Publication Activity report ILVO 2022

Activity report 2022 ILVO
ILVO Annual Report 2021

2022 was, for many reasons, a memorable year for ILVO. We celebrated the 90th anniversary of our research activities at the sites in Merelbeke/Melle and we moved our marine research activities to the brand new InnovOcean building in Ostend, an architectural gem that even made the architectural pages in the newspaper.

In September we held a big bash for our 90th birthday: the “Festival of Knowledge and Food” or FESTILVO. A four-day event! We started with various scientific seminars for an expert audience and then opened our doors to more than 8000 members of the general public. One day was dedicated to agricultural schools and the culture lovers enjoyed several performances of an open-air play about farming and farmer well-being. Once again, I would like to sincerely thank all ILVO staff members who made this wonderful four-day event possible. Our Festival of Knowledge and Food was something to be proud of and will remain engraved in our memory for a long time to come.

There were other milestones as well. The Pig Information Center celebrated its 10th anniversary and our Minister of Agriculture Jo Brouns cut the ribbon for our new protein processing line at the Food Pilot. We also put the finishing touches to our 'Strategic Real Estate Plan' which will guide us through all of our infrastructure investments in the coming decades.

The sharp rise in energy costs gave us a serious budgetary challenge, but provided an equally significant incentive to reduce our energy use. Over the past year, agriculture has been the subject of discussion among policy makers and in the media. Difficult subjects such as the nitrogen dossier, the Manure Action Plan (MAP) and the Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy, were all on the table. In all these dossiers, ILVO takes part in the social debate in a thoughtful way, by supplying information and data and by shedding light on the subjects from various angles and
fields of expertise. We always point out that farming is unique, both economically and ecologically.

We remain fully committed to using research to make agriculture more sustainable by embracing both the new technological possibilities of precision agriculture, as well
as the fundamental insights generated by an agroecological view of agriculture, where soil quality takes center stage.

ILVO has an exemplary role. We therefore aim to demonstrate how agriculture can live in harmony with nature and the wider environment. For example, ILVO has drawn up a nature management plan, in which we will develop a number of hectares in order to realize the ambitions of the Rodeland project, which aims to inrease the biodiversity in the Gondbeek river valley.

Many new employees joined us in 2022: we now have more than 730 colleagues to carry out advanced research in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and food. The highlights of their research efforts follow in the coming pages.

Enjoy your reading!

> Activity report 2022


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