Organization and Structure

The Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) is a multidisciplinary research institution with 4 research units. ILVO is a Flemish Research Institution, which gives it funding from the Government of Flanders, the Agricultural and Fisheries Policy Area, and ILVO’s Own Capital fund, which is made up of projects, contract research, and own income streams.

ILVO’s mission is to perform policy-supportive and fundamental research with an eye toward economically, ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture, horticulture and fisheries.

Our researchers strive to develop sustainable production methods and to safeguard the quality and safety of the end-products. Our goal is to achieve our mission while showing leadership in collaboration with Belgian and international universities, university colleges, research institutions, policymakers, governmental administration, and research stations.

Young and ambitious researchers and support workers are offered the possibility to develop a scientific career. The agriculture industry calls on our scientific knowledge via contract research and requesting specific analyses or technological tests.

Personnel and Infrastructure

ILVO employs more than 600 people. About half of these are statutory employees with the Government of Flanders and the other half are paid by ILVO’s Own Capital. More than a third of ILVO employees are researchers.

ILVO has about 200 ha of experimental fields, 15,000 m2 of glasshouses, and more than 20,000 m2 of experimental animal housing. ILVO has various labs for analysis and detection, a diagnostic cetre and accredited labs for plants, feed, spray technology, food, and GMOs. Further, there are test benches, an experimental milk installation and a pilot food processing plant, and a seed reception and processing unit.


ILVO receives an annual grant from the Flemish Government. These grant monies contain direct financial support in the form of basic funding for operations and the personnel costs for those employees who work for the Flemish Government (permanent and contractual employees).

In addition to this basic funding, ILVO has its own income streams from project research and the operations of ILVO’s Own Capital. The income and expenses of all research projects are managed by ILVO’s Own Capital.

Research Structure

The research activities are split into four units: Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, Technology and Food Science, and Social Sciences. Each unit is subdivided further into several research areas.