Open Research Data in Belgium

According to Open Definition Open Data is:

“Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.”

Opening up data can have many benefits:

  • Transparency and democratic access to knowledge
  • It can foster innovation
  • Improved efficiency and effectiveness of research and government services
  • Impact measurement of policies
  • New knowledge from combined data sources and patterns in large data volumes
  • Citizen participation

The Open Data Handbook provides a guide to legal, social and technical aspects of open data.

Open Research Data Repositories

The Registry of Research Data Repositories, lists data repositories where Belgian institutions are involved. The complete list can be found on

Apart from the data repositories, there are various other projects and initiatives supporting, implementing and researching Open Data and its possibilities.

  • Belgian Biodiversity Platform provides free access to biodiversity data pertaining to Belgium
  • INBO: manages or supports multiple databases and interactive applications concerning nature and ecosystems
  • Vliz: provides assistance, technologies and tools to scientists and policymakers to support marine data management.
  • There is also an AI and Data Science community

Open Research data funder mandates


The BELSPO Open Research Data policy complies with FAIR principles and its conception is to be considered fully within the EOSC framework. BELSPO expects a provisional DMP upon submission of the grant application, and a completed DMP no later than 6 months after the start date of the project. After the end of the proejct data should be deposited in a certified and trusted data repository. The BELSPO follows the FAIR research data management principles in the template of their DMP. Furthermore it encourage re-use of research data where possible.


FWO demands that researchers ensure that all data relating to their research are stored securely and sustainably, taking into account the specific characteristics of the discipline and the nature of the research. To stimulate exchange of good practices and expertise a working group on research data management has been established within the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR).

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