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The Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) is an independent research institution financed by the Government of Flanders. Its mission is to perform and coordinate policy-supportive scientific research and related services with an eye toward economically, ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture and fisheries. This mission has been translated into an organization-wide initative, “ILVO2020”. This thinking process resulted in 9 interdepartmental research programmes that have bundled all of the policy-supportive and fundamental research into the ILVO research programme for 2011-2013. ILVO2020 ensures that all the research points in the same direction, harmonizes the various projects, and helps to valorize and communicate the research results.
The synergy between the sustaining financing from the Government of Flanders and income from service provision and contract research have led ILVO to become a leading partner for the entire agriculture and fisheries industries. Building on more than 75 years of fundamental and applied research experience, ILVO can call on the expertise and knowledge of about 570 employees and a large infrastructure: 200 hectares of experimental fields, 15,000 m2 of glasshouses and more than 20,000 m2 of experimental animal housing, and more. In addition, ILVO has test benches, a pilot milk installation and a pilot food processing plant, a seed reception and processing unit, and many analysis and detection labs, a diagnostic centre, and accredited laboratories for plants, animal feed, spray technology, food and GMOs.
ILVO is a loyal research partner with a strong belief in multidisciplinary research done in partnership with academic institutions as well as with industry. Sharing knowledge is an important aspect of our knowledge-based economy, therefore ILVO strives to be an innovative research partner that contributes to the realization of “open innovation”. In such a forum, universities, research centres, companies and governments can share innovative ideas. Of course, this must occur in a healthy balance with the IP policy which has led to an increased professionalism of ILVO as research partner during the past years.