Press release Towards a true European data space and data-driven innovations in agri-food: ILVO participates in international project AgriDataSpace
In a number of sectors, data-driven innovations are changing society and the economy at lightning speed, and for the better. Developers of data-driven apps can also create useful value-added applications for the agri-food sector. But this digital transformation is not moving as fast as expected.For the first time, therefore, a scientific consortium has been tasked with taking steps toward a true AgriDataSpace, so that cross-sector data-driven innovations can break through faster.
To this end, they are engaging across member states with all stakeholders, defining clear governance structures and business models. Not only the technical obstacles are addressed, but also legal, systemic and ethical challenges. These include the (not desirable) dominance of large platforms, fragmentation and reluctance to share data.
ILVO is one of the 15 partners in this consortium and will map the current European data sharing landscape and systematically analyze all experiences in consultation with stakeholders.
Need for sustainable governance and business models
The goal of AgriDataSpace is to facilitate data exchange between the various sectors in a reliable, transparent and responsible manner. This can only succeed if all players have something to gain.
Jürgen Vangeyte (ILVO, scientific director of Agricultural Engineering): "So sustainable revenue models need to be worked out to connect platforms for data exchange from farmer to plate. Especially for farmers it is important to be able to fully exploit the possibilities of data exchange. This way he can inform his consumers not only about the quality of his products, but also about the efforts he is making to produce sustainably."
The revenue models are not necessarily based solely on the data itself, but can also consist of providing insights that e.g. lead to more customer- or quality-oriented production processes.
Building trust by gaining permission from farmers
To get farmers to share their data, trust is a key word. This trust is directly related to the question of whether a strong, clear enforcement of data sovereignty is built into the data-sharing platform, and this on the basis of a code of conduct respected by all.For this, the AgriDataSpace project will be able to rely in part on the procedures developed in Flanders in the data-sharing platform "Djustconnect." Now, it is at the European level that the agricultural actor in the data sharing story will be supported and convinced to share their data, under the clear condition of continued full control. Thereby, the farmer can close the "data sharing gate" again at any moment in time, by app or client.
ILVO manages the regional agricultural data space DjustConnect and has been active for several years in research and innovation for data sharing in the agri-food sector. From that experience and expertise, the Flemish knowledge institution will map and analyze the current European data sharing landscape and all data sharing initiatives and associated codes of conduct within AgriDataSpace.
Stephanie van Weyenberg, ILVO data sharing systems expert: "Our goal is to bring a strong and fair system to the European level that can cope with possible power imbalances and guarantee fair compensation for all actors involved and an environment of trust."
Strong international research group
The consortium brings together an excellent team of experts from 10 different European countries from research, data intermediaries and industrial organizations and has a duration of 18 months and started on Oct. 1, 2022.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.