tim berners lee invention

Committing to a digital innovation economy in Flanders, built on Solid

Inrupt and the Government of Flanders lay out a vision of a Flemish digital economy built on Solid.
John Bruce, Inrupt CEO and Co-founder
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inrupt CTO and Co-founder
May 27, 2021

Today, Inrupt and the Government of Flanders laid out a vision of a Flemish digital economy built on Solid*. In fact, we committed to a two-year strategy to help realize that vision alongside innovative businesses and government partners in the region.

(*English translation included below.)

We’re proud to undertake this work in partnership with Flanders Minister-President Jan Jambon, Administrator General Barbara Van Den Haute, and their team at Digital Flanders. When we founded Inrupt, it was with the intention of catalyzing opportunities like this one — to unlock the power and benefit of Solid at scale for the benefit of everyone.

MP Jambon understands how unlocking digital data will not only enhance the value of government services, but also create a new Flemish data ecosystem, stimulating innovation and opportunity for citizens and businesses alike.

Starting today, Flanders enters its next phase, providing an on-ramp to the ecosystem for its citizens and those organizations who want to service them; positioning the region as a leader in this next phase of the web.

Inrupt is delighted to be working with the Flanders government and other organizations in the region to develop the strategy, architecture, and implementation of this new data ecosystem.

There are many exciting opportunities in development with other countries and corporations around the world who also see the potential for profound societal and business impact using Solid. Projects are underway to significantly change how users are respected as citizens and consumers, and the associated rewards for businesses that understand that.

Flanders is the first public declaration of a region to the promise of a better web.

We’re proud they share our commitment.  

Handen uit de mouwen en aan de slag!


/// Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon and Sir

Tim Berners-Lee meet around the latest

opportunities for the data society.

Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon wants Flanders to take a pioneering role in the safe, responsible and privacy-friendly sharing of data for a resilient Flemish data society. This fits in with the ambition to conquer a place in the European top five in the field of data technology. It is essential that citizens and companies are given as much control as possible over what happens to their personal and professional data.

Minister-President Jan Jambon and Digital Flanders exchanged views with Sir Tim Berners-Lee on this subject this afternoon. He is generally considered the founder of the web and is also the architect behind the Solid technology, which aims to give citizens control over their data again. Jambon and Berners-Lee have reaffirmed their desire to work together.

"Allowing data to flow is the key to giving our society and our economy a huge boost in the 20s. But that requires trust. Flanders wants to strengthen that trust in the data society by giving citizens control over their data so they can share it more easily and securely. In this way, we are building a self-managed digital identity." (Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon)

Our collaboration in Flanders represents a major step for the future of the web,” said Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, CTO & Co-founder of Inrupt. “Inspired by Jan Jambon’s conviction to build a trusted data society, where citizens control their data, together we can show the true power of the web as it was meant to be.”

Solid, the technology project of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is gearing up as an important technology for the coming years when it comes to the development of secure data vaults.

What is unique is that we are letting Flanders go all out for smart data services: letting data work together, without losing control of your data. That is where the innovation lies: allowing data to flow while citizens and businesses retain control over their data. Smart data services that do not threaten privacy or intellectual property rights, that is the area in which Flanders wants to excel.

Through the establishment of the Data Utility Company, Digital Flanders will also explore the possibilities of providing the services around the offer of personal data vaults to organizations and governments outside Flanders. A wide range of data solutions will be developed to enable companies and organisations to share more data and thus increase the value of data.

As part of the Data Utility Company-in-formation, Digital Flanders will establish a partnership with Inrupt. The company is an established pioneer that will provide knowledge and know-how for an accelerated and successful start-up and growth of the Solid data ecosystem.

Furthermore, the expertise and academic knowledge network of Ghent University and more specifically of Professor Ruben Verborgh, world expert in the field of Solid, will also be drawn upon. In addition, there is a wide range of expertise available in Flanders to jointly extract added value from a Solid data ecosystem.

It is therefore crucial that a number of companies and start-ups in Flanders are ready to start building services on top of a Solid data ecosystem.


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