As part of WP2 – Capacity Building we finally were able to organize a Site Visit in Brussels to meet actors and organizations playing a key role all stages of the open data life cycle.

After the many online knowledge exchanges held in 2021, we were able to meet in person.

On 23 February, we were warmly welcomed in the Royal Military Academy for a meeting with Sallie Payne of Eurogeographics, Georg Hittmair of the PSI Alliance, and staff of the National Geographic Institute of Belgium. During these sessions, we were able to have a free and frank discussion about the barriers faced in opening geographical data and company data.

The 24th, we attended two meetings in the Flemish Government Building. In the morning we met with staff of Informatie Vlaanderen, the government institute responsible for open data and the digital transformation in Flanders. In the afternoon, Open Knowledge Belgium provided a thorough overview of the projects they are involved with. Both Informatie Vlaanderen and Open Knowledge Belgium showed that a ‘can-do’ attitude can overcome barriers to publishing open data by focussing on the opportunities and to involve stakeholders from the private sector and the higher education sector.