Benefits of Data Spaces in Agriculture: How Digi4Live Boosts Livestock Management

Data Spaces in Agriculture

In the modern age, data spaces have become a cornerstone in managing various industries, and agriculture is no exception. Livestock management, in particular, stands to benefit immensely from the integration of data-driven solutions. However, the journey towards efficient data utilization in this sector is riddled with challenges ranging from technical hurdles to legal and ethical considerations.

Read on to find out the current state of data spaces in livestock management and how the Digi4Live project is poised to reshape the scene.

What are Data Spaces?

Before we dig into the benefits of data spaces in agriculture (and livestock management in particular), here is a quick refresher on the term itself.

A data space is essentially a data ecosystem structured around universally accepted foundational elements. Its purpose is to facilitate the seamless and reliable exchange of data among stakeholders, thereby fostering value creation.

Data spaces in agriculture refer to digital platforms or ecosystems where various stakeholders in the agricultural sector can access, share, and analyze data related to farming practices, crop management, market trends, weather patterns, and other relevant information. These data spaces are designed to facilitate collaboration, innovation, and decision-making within the agricultural industry.

Benefits of Data Spaces in Agriculture

Data Harmonization and Standardization

The effectiveness of livestock tracking solutions heavily relies on the harmonization and standardization of data. However, achieving this feat is far from straightforward. Bottlenecks emerge from various fronts, including technical complexities, legal constraints, and ethical dilemmas. Additionally, cultural norms surrounding data sharing further compound the challenge. In many cultures, attitudes towards data privacy, ownership, and sharing vary significantly, impacting how individuals and organizations perceive and handle agricultural data related to livestock management. For instance, some societies prioritize individual privacy and control over data, while others may have more communal or collective approaches to data sharing. These cultural norms can influence the willingness of stakeholders to share data, the extent to which they share it, and the conditions under which they are willing to do so.

Across industries, the standardization of technologies and data has proven pivotal in enabling accurate and scalable implementations. As we witness in sectors outside agriculture, standardized approaches facilitate interoperability and streamline processes. Yet, in livestock management, achieving such uniformity remains a formidable task.

Policy Response and Governance

The burgeoning importance of data governance cannot be overstated. In the livestock sector, as in other domains, policymakers are grappling with issues surrounding personal and non-personal data, cybersecurity, and ethical considerations such as trustworthy AI. While there’s a growing array of policy instruments addressing these concerns, their effectiveness in catering to sector-specific needs remains questionable. Complex regulations, terminology discrepancies, and challenges in liability allocation underscore the need for comprehensive research and proactive policymaking. Achieving a balance between data accessibility and protection is imperative for fostering innovation while safeguarding privacy and ethical principles.

An intriguing perspective on the complexities and opportunities in the agrifood data space is presented in thisa EURACTIV article.

Additionally, a deeper understanding of data spaces in agricultural contexts can be found in this academic paper by Ralf Kalmar, Bernd Rauch, Jörg Dörr & Peter Liggesmeyer „Designing Data Spaces“.

Introducing EU Project Digi4Live

Amidst these challenges, initiatives like Digi4Live emerge as beacons of hope for the livestock industry. Digi4Live is set to deliver groundbreaking advancements in data sharing tailored specifically for this sector. With a focus on addressing trust issues among stakeholders, cost structures, value creation, and legal requirements, Digi4Live aims to revolutionize livestock management through data-driven strategies.Drawing insights from organizations like ICAR (International Committee for Animal Recording), Digi4Live is poised to streamline data harmonization efforts. By leveraging best practices and engaging relevant stakeholders, the initiative aims to bridge the gap between theoretical frameworks and practical implementation.

One notable effort in collaborative data sharing is the Common European data spaces for agriculture and mobility, offering insights into innovative platforms.

EU’s big focus is providing an open EU data space for all, and per its website, the core concepts in this field are:

  • All organizations and individuals are welcome to participate.
  • Ensure a secure and privacy-conscious infrastructure for data pooling, access, sharing, processing, and utilization.
  • Provide a clear and practical framework for data access and utilization through the Common European Data Space, with fair, transparent, proportionate, and non-discriminatory access rules governed by trustworthy mechanisms.
  • EU regulations and principles, particularly regarding personal data protection, consumer rights, and competition law.
  • Allow data holders the capability to grant access to or share specific personal or non-personal data.
  • Empower data holders to offer their data for reuse either freely or with compensation

Towards Practical Implementation:

Central to Digi4Live’s objectives is the exploration of various data storage and sharing solutions, ranging from centralized repositories to federated models and even distributed technologies like blockchain. By showcasing the benefits of each approach, Digi4Live seeks to empower stakeholders with the tools necessary to build more transparent and efficient food systems.

Through engaging case studies and collaborative partnerships, Digi4Live endeavours to push beyond the state-of-the-art in livestock management. By addressing legal aspects and fostering trustworthy data-sharing practices, the initiative paves the way for a more resilient and sustainable agricultural ecosystem.

At the end of the final year of the project, over 500+stakeholders could adopt technologies, with 50+ data-driven digital solutions developed.


In the era of data-driven agriculture, the livestock industry stands at the precipice of transformation. Data spaces offer a glimpse into a future where information flows seamlessly, enabling more informed decision-making and resource optimization. With initiatives like Digi4Live leading the charge, the vision of a technologically empowered livestock sector is within reach. As we navigate the complexities of data harmonization and governance, collaboration and innovation will undoubtedly be the driving forces propelling us towards a more prosperous future for livestock management.

For more insights into data management in livestock management, follow our Digi4Live Newsroom.