Project news Management of Flemish scientific collections goes digital.


ILVO, together with Plantentuin Meise and several Flemish universities and research institutes, will align the physical and digital management of its biological and molecular collections with an overarching European policy for management and access.

aquatic organisms preserved in formaldehyde

DiSSCo is a relatively new world-class research infrastructure for the physical and digital management of European natural science collections. To make the collections more visible and usable, the associated data and media must become more discoverable, accessible, exchangeable and reusable. DiSSCo Flanders focuses on biological, anthropological and geological collections consisting of preserved, living, molecular and tissue collections. To ensure proper conservation and reusability, smaller laboratory and orphaned collections are also included.

Within ILVO, an up-to-date inventory of the many collections, ranging from the marine macrobenthos, otoliths and soil samples to the various plant collections (breeding seeds, azalea cultivars), microorganisms (plant pathogens, agrifood cultures), and molecular collections (DNA, eDNA), is initially made. The entire workflow, from field sampling to digitization and online publication (for reuse of digital organization) is reviewed for sound collection management. It also links to bio-banking, pathogen monitoring and follow-up activities.

DiSSCo represents the largest ever formal agreement between natural history museums, botanical gardens, zoos, universities and other institutions with collections. The initiative enables the transformation of a fragmented landscape into an integrated knowledge base. DiSSCo Flanders contributes at the Flemish level to the larger DiSSCo Europe, which has been active since 2017.


Contact us

Kris Hostens

ILVO researcher

See also