- Vincent de Leijster, Field Officer
As a major food exporting country, the Netherlands faces various challenges in its agricultural sector, as well as due to related environmental impacts. The Wij.land organization works in the Randstad area to find solutions that enable sustainable production systems.
However, the early days of the community were hindered by unclear plans and limited access to reliable, up-to-date information. This resulted in frequent miscommunications between member businesses, academics, and government agencies - hindering collaboration and value creation.
Initially, the Wij.land innovation team was unable to find a solution that met a complex requirements to access, combine, and share various types of project-related data. This highlighted a need for robust and capable IT systems that can be relied-upon to provide capable and scalable information services while still being flexible enough to handle changing processes over time.
After adopting the Open Landscape Network, the Wij.land project has been able to more cohesively integrate, organize, and transform data from multiple sources and share these insights directly with partners. This has made the organization more efficient, effective, and transparent, and has enabled it to grow and scale-up new opportunities.
A selection of the features and benefits include:
Wij.land now has a 'continuous innovation' approach, incrementally adding features to their Landscape Network system. This has allowed it to respond to unexpected needs, from the coronavirus pandemic to land policy changes or surging farm input costs. Thanks to this flexibility, various challenges facing the community were turned into opportunities.
The impact of the Open Landscape Network on Wij.land is hard to measure, but the community agrees it has made a significant difference. It now takes-on more complex projects with larger budgets, enabling more farmers - and impact - in the shift toward nature-inclusive practices. The system has also enabled entrepreneurs to identify sustainable business opportunities - leading them to establish and develop/scale-up new "green" product lines.
By increasing Wij.land's capacity to collect, organize, and share information, the Open.Landscape.Network helps lower overhead costs while scaling new innovations. Its open-access design supports transparency and engagement, fostering collaborative innovation resulting in extra benefits to members. This ability to respond quickly to new developments has made Wij.land a respected and in-demand partner. Other projects and municipalities have noticed and requested similar functionality.
Nearly every week, upgrades are added to the Wij.land Landscape Network. However, some of the most innovative ideas are not yet implemented. We encourage donors or companies interested in supporting such innovation to get in touch. Join us in our mission to build a sustainable future.