The Living Lab Agrifood Technology is an initiative of ILVO, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. An extensive network of stakeholders supports the work and collaborates closely to provide practice-relevant innovations. The concept 'Living Lab' arose in Europe as an instrument to promote practical innovation in different sectors by letting several actors work together. Within the Living Lab Agrifood Technology, the focus is on the use of innovative technology to optimize the efficiency of agri-food processes in Flanders with the aim of increased sustainability.
ILVO's Living Lab Agrifood Technology wants to stimulate technological innovation and make solutions accessible to all players in the agri-food sector. Not only farmers, contractors and food processing companies, but also producers of technology can develop and optimize their ideas together with other stakeholders through knowledge exchange and pilot projects.
The core tasks of the living lab are to:
Facilitate cooperation and interaction between actors in the agri-food sector through co-creation, in order to develop innovative solutions together
Interact with, and thus capture the needs and challenges from practice, in order to optimize processes in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and the food industry through the use of technology
Disseminate knowledge and experience about innovative and sustainable technology, raise awareness and provide advice tailored to the end use
This Living Lab is embedded within ILVO, which means that it can rely on the extensive and multidisciplinary expertise of more than 700 employees with specific knowledge about agriculture and food as well as ILVO's extensive infrastructure. More than 200 ha of experimental fields, 15,000 m² of experimental greenhouses, 20,000 m² of experimental stables and a prototype construction workshop are available, in addition to more than 40 accredited labs and the Food Pilot (a pilot food processing plant). The whole of this infrastructure is used to design, develop, evaluate and demonstrate new, data-driven technology in practice.
Agrifood Technology can rely on an extensive network of stakeholders. This network includes farmers, food companies, practice and research centers, knowledge institutions, innovation hubs, policy makers, technology companies and supply industries. Through a strong collaboration with FlandersFOOD (the innovation platform for innovation and sustainability in the agri-food sector) and the Food Pilot of ILVO-FlandersFOOD , we have connections within an extensive network of food processing companies. Moreover, the living lab is firmly embedded in the Flemish and European network for digital innovation. An important partner here is the Smart Digital Farming platform that stimulates digital innovation in the Flemish agricultural sector.
This expertise and infrastructure combined with the extensive network of stakeholders from the agri-food sector enables a qualitative, highly multidisciplinary approach. In this way, the Living Lab Agrifood Technology helps innovation in the Flemish agrifood sector to achieve progress together with you!
Did you know that within ILVO there are living labs in four other areas, with whom we collaborate intensively? Click here for more information.