In 2012, agricultural research within the Government in Flanders celebrated its 80th birthday. Since the establishment of the federal research station for agricultural economy and the research station for plant breeding in 1931-1932, the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO) – albeit in different capacities and under various names – has been actively working to provide farmers and fishermen with innovative and useful knowledge.

Those 80-plus years tell an extensive story of metamorphoses, mergers and reorganizations. First there were the Federal Research Stations, which were then restructured in 1998 to the Centre for Agricultural Research (CLO-Gent) with 7 departments. In 1996, the Centre for Agricultural Economics (2 departments) was created. In 2002, the agricultural policy area became part of the Flemish jurisdiction. That resulted in 2006 in the birth of the present-day ILVO: The CLE joined the CLO and became an internal independent agency of the Flemish Government. Now ILVO has four research units and is a Flemish scientific institution under the Agriculture and Fisheries policy area.