|Point(s) of Contact||Christy Kuesel|
As the European Union aimed to become an attractive, secure, and dynamic data economy, the Government of Flanders was eager to become a central player in this new data infrastructure and a leader in secure data sharing, bolstering the Flemish economy and leading to new innovations.
In order to achieve this goal, Digital Flanders had to develop the strategy, architecture, and implementation for a new data ecosystem to support the data of Flanders’ 6.5 million residents. The vision for this ecosystem is that it would stimulate opportunities for citizens and businesses alike while also building citizens’ trust in sharing data in a secure and private manner. For such a new, innovative, and challenging project, Digital Flanders needed a partner savvy enough to build the software infrastructure paired with the expertise to guide them in building this new data ecosystem.
"Letting data flow is the key to giving our society and our economy a huge boost in the 2020s. But that requires trust." –Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon
Key challenges to helping data in Flanders flow smoothly included a lack of standardization, fear from citizens and companies around losing control of their data, and a lack of trust between citizens, companies, and governments regarding data.
Flanders has long been a pioneer in digital transformation, including discovering new ways to use data. 3.6% of Flanders’ GDP was channeled into research and development in 2020, making Flanders the European leader concerning research and development expenditure relative to GDP. With this strong history of innovation, Flanders was perfectly positioned to create a new data infrastructure for its citizens.