Research project DataHub for Agrofood

In progress Acronym: DATAHUB4AGROFOOD
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Van Weyenberg Stephanie

Stephanie Van Weyenberg

Data integration and cattle farming technology expert

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Main research question

DATAHUB4AGROFOOD ambitiously aims to develop a central data sharing platform for the sector. For this project, ILVO is cooperating with the Smart Digital Farming (SDF) Innovative Business Network and six companies and agricultural organizations (AVEVE, Boerenbond, CRV, DGZ, Innovatiesteunpunt, Milcobel). The data-sharing platform should make it possible to exchange data professionally, smoothly and fairly. The platform bears the name "DjustConnect". The partners are paying the utmost attention to security, respect for data privacy and the preservation of data ownership. ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) is providing almost half a million € support.

Research approach

The effectiveness of DjustConnect lies, among other things, in its one-to-many data sharing system. On the one hand, data providers share their data with many (potential) customers via a one-time connect action. On the other hand, the one-time connect action gives data customers (potential) access to data from different data providers. In this way, data sharing becomes technically easier, with respect for everyone's ownership, and innovation in the agri-food sector can be further supported.
The basic requirement for full data sharing is trust between the different parties. The structure of DjustConnect contains a strong guarantee for this, which is based on an international code. In early 2018, on the initiative of COPA and CEMA, among others, a code of conduct was drawn up with guidelines for the use of agricultural data: the EU Code of Conduct on agricultutal data sharing. In it, the farmer is unequivocally recognized as the owner of the raw data. In concrete terms: The farmer receives requests (for data sharing) in which data users explain in understandable language what they want to do with the data. In each case, he decides with a simple click whether he will share his data in that specific case, or not. Only the 'ticked' data can be put on the motorway. The farmer retains an overview via his dashboard. His property rights are centrally, permanently and technologically secured.

Relevance/Valorization

Sharing data can have major benefits, for the farmer, the farms and the entire sector. These include administrative relief for livestock farmers, optimization of inputs and greater insight into farm operations. Data sharing is very much a story of field to fork. The partners expect that DjustConnect will be able to promote innovation across the agri-food sector, in a way that the data-sharing companies can book their added value through a reliable, locally-built platform with clear governance.

In this way, data sharing will become technically easier, with respect for everyone's ownership, and innovation in the agri-food sector can be further supported.