Research project An open access knowledge and data repository to safeguard soils

In progress SOILWISE
Hand in mulch between plants

General introduction

As of 2023, 60-70% of soils in Europe are rated as (rather) unhealthy. In its mission 'A soil deal for Europe', Europe aims to improve the condition of three-quarters of all soils by 2030. This requires better access to data and knowledge collected at local, national and EU level. The European project SoilWise contributes to this by developing an open access, integrated, modular and scalable platform for the dispersed and heterogeneous soil data and knowledge in Europe. The guiding principle is FAIR data, which stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable - for a wide range of stakeholders. Developing this platform in a process of co-creation and validation with land managers, policy makers, researchers and industry will ensure the long-term usability and survival of the SoilWise platform. The platform should facilitate informed, widely supported soil and related spatial policies by member states and by the European Commission.

Research approach

SoilWise is developing the platform in accordance with the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) in three predetermined cycles, focusing on co-creation and co-validation with different stakeholders. In doing so, SoilWise aims to improve the findability, accessibility and connection between existing workflows and databases for specific users and their needs. Existing and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are applied, while respecting data ownership, accessibility and privacy. In 5 user cases the researchers demonstrate the potential of the platform: indicators of soil health for land users; a network for soil research and innovation; policy making and monitoring of soil health, FAIR data from governments; opportunities for new business models from farmers, landowners and technology companies.


At the start of this project, soil data from different countries and parties are fragmented, of varying quality and rarely FAIR. We expect that SoilWise will unlock much of this data and integrate it. This provides opportunities for the development of effective, enabling policies, better monitoring, future research and soil management by farmers and other land users. The platform may also provide opportunities for new revenue models based on soil data, for farmers, landowners and technology companies alike.


EU Horizon Europe