Research infrastructure

ILVO activities take place on 8 sites in Merelbeke, Melle en Ostend. They share an impressive infrastructure:

Specialized research infrastructure

  • > 200 ha trial fields, including +/- 6 ha for organic cultivation
  • 50 ha organic trial fields and an agro-ecological trial platform
  • > 15,000m² experimental greenhouses and climate chambers for research, including for quarantine organisms
  • > 20,000m² experimental animal housing available for co-creative research in dairy, poultry and rabbits, and pig production
  • Experimental spaces with seawater tanks and a netting room
  • Access to research vessels
  • The pilot food processing plant "Food Pilot" equipped with >50 pieces of semi-industrial equipment
  • Workshop for building prototypes for automation and robotization
  • Composting site and compost reactor

ILVO also has more than 40 accredited labs for specialized analyses

National Reference Laboratory (NRL)

And highly specific, sometimes unique equipment

  • Specialized devices for measuring odor, particulate matter and gases in and around animal housing (CO2, N2O, CH4, NH3)
  • HYDRAS- Rainout shelters, hydrology and drones for stuyding drought stress in plants
  • Plant-ecofysiological infrastructure, appropriate software and data-mining pipelines
  • Seed Pilot for seed processing and a seed lab
  • Sequence databases to identify various organisms
  • Gene database for plants
  • A horizontally-organized measuring platform for chromatography - mass spectrometry: Meet@all
  • A horizontally-organized Genomics Platform for studying genes and genomes
  • AIplatform4agrifood (coming soon)
  • The data-sharing platform DjustConnect
  • The latest drone-, robot- and sensor technology for precision agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries
  • Certified drone pilots

ILVO is also welcome at several working farms and commercial fishing vessels to preform research under real-life conditions. Last, ILVO is part of the Agrolink Flanders network and works in various Belgian and European projects together with other research institutions, farms and companies.