Organising Committee

  • Bart Vandecasteele (Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food, Belgium), convenor
  • Jarinda Viaene (Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food, Belgium), secretary
  • Marie-Christine Van Labeke (Ghent University, Belgium), co-convenor
  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck (Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food, Belgium)
  • Jane Debode (Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food, Belgium)
  • Caroline De Tender (Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food / Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Els Pauwels (Ornamental Plant Research and Vegetable Research Centre, Belgium)
  • Tom Van Delm (Research Centre Hoogstraten, Belgium)
  • Monica Höfte (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Ann Cuypers (Hasselt University, Belgium)
  • Kristel Vandenbroek (Flemish Compost Organisation – Vlaco npo, Belgium)
  • Stefanie Siebert (European Compost Network)
  • Marko Pomerants (International Peatland Society)


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 centre and accredited labs for plants, feed, spray technology, food, and GMOs. Further, there are test benches, an experimental milk installation, a pilot food processing plant, and a seed reception and processing unit. 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.

ILVO has a long standing tradition in (a) chemical and physical characterization of growing media and composts, (b) in crop protection research including detection and developing alternative protection strategies and (c) in ornamental breeding. The focus is on developing sustainable and disease suppressive growing media, i.e., growing media blends based on sustainable and local materials allowing for reduction or complete replacement of non-renewable raw materials such as peat or mineral wool, and with an added value for plant growth and environment in terms of lower need for fertilizers due to the provision of recycled nutrients, and lower need for pesticides due to increased disease resistance of crops. To support the compost research, the ILVO experimental farm is equipped with a compost pilot (a full-scale open air compost site and dedicated equipment for on-farm composting) and with long-term field trials on the use of compost in combination with soil tillage practices and animal slurry application.

In collaboration with