ILVO’s core business is to perform scientific research in the field of agriculture and fisheries. The research is split into four research units and is also embedded in the nine horizontal research programs of ILVO2020.


Since February 2008, approximately 60 researchers from all four ILVO research units have participated in discussion groups about the nine ILVO research programmes. They defined the “why” (the vision, in other words), of including each programme in the current ILVO framework. The programmes were then filled in with interdepartmental research themes related to conventional as well as organic agriculture and fisheries. The aim is to maximise the efficiency of the research efforts. In June 2008, several stakeholders gave their feedback on the first version of the ILVO2020 document. These were included in the final publication ILVO2020 (PDF, in Dutch).

ILVO’s contribution to the “Witboek Landbouwonderzoek” (White Book of Agricultural Research) published in March of 2009 focused on introducing ILVO2020. The two documents run mostly parallel to each other. Many researchers contributed to the White Book and many accents are alike. The main difference is the fisheries component in ILVO2020.

This document is not an end point. The ILVO2020 discussion groups are still active throughout the research units. Priorities are set, adjustments are made where needed, programmes are documented and also the inspired and necessary collaboration is organised for the policy-supportive and fundamental research projects.

Report of the ILVO2020 Starting Day, 16 March, 2008 – workshops per programme

General conclusion:
The various workshops mapped the challenges specific to each research area. This departure point then flowed into defining the most important attention points. All workshops underscored the importance of good communication and sharing the knowledge gained with the stakeholders.


  1. Sustainable Plant Production (Kurt Heungens)
  2. Innovative Agriculture, Fisheries, and Product Processing (Jan De Block)
  3. Quality Animal Husbandry (Sam Millet)
  4. Sustainable Exploitation of Marine Resources (Hans Polet)
  5. Agriculture and Fisheries in a Changing Climate (Peter Demeyer)
  6. Agriculture and the Natural Surroundings (Greet Ruysschaert)
  7. Agriculture and Fisheries for Safe and High-Quality Food (Isabel Taverniers)
  8. Dynamic Rural Areas (Elke Rogge)
  9. Competitive Agricultural Systems (Fleur Marchand)