From open data to secure data sharing

Ever since the early 2000s, the Flemish Government has been actively promoting data sharing between public and private parties. Within Open Data, more than 7,000 government datasets are currently already shared with the private sector.

Yet there is still a very large untapped potential in the development of a truly thriving data economy. We are inundated with data, but information often still remains fragmented and insufficiently organized. It is necessary to break the “silo culture” around data and recognize the benefits of smartly connecting data to work better together.

We as a government want to encourage the market to build out data platforms and eco-systems, as we believe this is the future, and a good way to encourage innovation and maintain flexibility.

Relaunch of the Flemish economy

The Flemish Data Utility therefore builds bridges between public and private sector data platforms. By developing new data-driven ecosystems, data will flow more smoothly, creating economic and social added value. With this approach, Flanders has the potential to become a frontrunner in the European data economy.

The Flemish Data Utility aims to have a double impact

  • Stap 1

    Develop products, solutions and ecosystems.

    To increasing the confidence of the broad population in sharing data.
  • Stap 2

    Contribute to the relaunch of the Flemish economy.

    By giving new impetus to our data economy.

We like to compare the importance of the data utility to other utilities, such as water, electricity and gas. Flanders provides a guaranteed and uninterrupted supply of electricity, gas and water for all citizens. Similarly, the Flemish Data Utility aims to provide the opportunity for every citizen who wants it to have a secure, personal data vault.

We as a government can help to realize growth in sectors and applications where data sharing can create value.

Björn De Vidts

Head of Data Solutions - Digitaal Vlaanderen

The Flemish Data Utility Company as facilitator

However, ecosystems do not run on data alone - good agreements are crucial. Who shares what data and who is allowed to use what data for what purpose and at what cost? The partners agree to share investments and together ensure that agreements are made, legally, organizationally and financially.

The Flemish Data Utility Company plays a supporting and facilitating role in the development of data-driven ecosystems in the private sector. The mission of the Flemish Data Utility Company is therefore complementary to that of Digital Flanders, which is the digitization agency for the public sector in Flanders.