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Open Standards for Linking Organisations - OSLO standards

The Flemish Data Utility Company is stepping up its commitment to interoperability. The OSLO methodology provides a scalable process and a method for developing and adopting data standards. An OSLO trajectory delivers a human- and machine-readable conceptual framework that allows cross-sector (re)use of data. Data following these standards flow more smoothly and accelerate innovation.

The crucial role of data standards in the data economy

OSLO standards allow data to flow smoothly between information systems and warrant data exchange and data ecosystems. In a data-driven economy, using data standards is crucial for success. With data standards, this data economy would function efficiently.

The benefits of using standards are: 

  • increased data quality  
  • more fluid data integration 
  • lower development costs 

These standards are also important in data spaces organised by sector: energy, health, mobility, ... For each of these sectors, a fundamental requirement has turned out to be: finding a standardised language that makes it possible to exchange and interlink structured data. So all eyes are on Flanders to see how we approach the problem of how to enable plugins for data with OSLO...

An inspiration to Europe for more than ten years

The observation that standardisation is needed to exchange and interlink structured data led to the development of the first conceptual frameworks in Flanders in 2012. Today, we can no longer imagine a world without OSLO. It is the backbone of initiatives, such as shared mobility, hoppin points, diploma, ...

"Flanders is a real frontrunner in the field of interoperability and thus helps realise the 'single market for data'."
Seth Van Hooland

Seth Van Hooland

Interoperable Europe

Ensuring the reusability of existing international standards (such as W3C, EU ISA Core Vocabularies, INSPIRE, ...) and increasing the involvement of a large number of diverse stakeholders, such as companies, public administrations and academia, are key to OSLO. At present, projects in more than 130 business domains have been completed, containing a total of more than 9,000 definitions.

Quick start guide for OSLO

OSLO standards make data easier to (re)use. Machine-readable concepts allow information systems to talk to each other and create consistency between information and data. A methodology for registering, developing, modifying or phasing out a data standard, based on international best practices, has been developed.

We operate as follows:

  • Start from actual 'use cases' that have shown a need for data sharing.
  • Set up co-creation working groups and ensure a level playing field between the various stakeholders and consensus about a conceptual framework.
  • Support the process by using a framework defined in 'Process & Method', in which openness and transparency lead to high stakeholder participation.
  • Achieve stable, high-quality, highly usable human- and machine-readable standards.

This methodology provides sufficient flexibility for controlled changes and maintenance of the conceptual frameworks and standards. All this ensures that OSLO data standards are easily deployable in an ever-changing environment.

Flanders' international ambition for your business

With the OSLO standards, Flanders is playing an international pioneering role in Europe. This technological innovation allows secure and efficient data cooperation and creates opportunities and possibilities for companies and organisations.

Much of OSLO's scope concerns technical and semantic interoperability, but it continues beyond there. Over the past year, we have supported more efforts to increase legal and organisational interoperability. This way of working makes OSLO a vital prerequisite for becoming more digital and making that digital transformation happen.

Do you want to be at the forefront of the data economy? Want to know more about OSLO and what it can do for your business? Discover the possibilities.

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Frequently asked questions about OSLO

What is OSLO the abbreviation for?

OSLO stands for Open Standards for Linking Organisations. The Flemish government's initiative makes data work together in a structured way in international data spaces.

What can companies use OSLO for?

OSLO is a human- and machine-readable conceptual framework that helps companies engage in data collaborations with companies or public administrations. This conceptual framework outlines your data's requirements to engage in data exchange. OSLO has developed a test platform for companies to check whether their data align with the requirements.

How to get started with the OSLO standard?

We have guided many organisations toward a smooth OSLO start-up. Do you want to get started with OSLO on your own? Then be sure to check out the following step-by-step plan first:

  • Start by defining your project and identifying the data you want to exchange.
  • Familiarise yourself with the OSLO standards.
  • Make your data human-readable by mapping or modelling it via OSLO.
  • Make your data machine-readable, e.g. with JSON(-LD).
  • Share your acquired knowledge with the OSLO community.

By taking these steps, you can get started with OSLO standards and benefit fully from their potential.

Are you looking for a data collaboration partner?

Count on trust in data collaboration. We are happy to help you with your data project.


We always realise products and solutions in data spaces by working together. Together with our partners, we put Flanders on the map as a world player in datatech.

pwc mono
cipal schaubroeck
europese commissie
centrum informatica brussels gewest