As a lead initiator of the IJkdijk, TNO has gained experience in the past ten years of monitoring infrastructures and related Big Data challenges. This has resulted in a set of validated IT infrastructures and monitoring techniques that can be used to highlight the condition of dikes. As well as for dikes, the techniques are almost one-for-one usable applicable on other major infrastructures, such as roads, bridges, viaducts and other domains.

The IJkdijk initiative led to the establishment of the Stichting IJkdijk which, together with businesses, knowledge institutes, and government bodies, has recently (2007 – 2013) brought dike technology, sensor technology, and information and communication technology together for the first time in several projects. The design of the experiments, in terms of their scale and application, is unique in the world, and this has resulted in a set of validated monitoring techniques that can be used to highlight the condition of dikes. An integral part of this is a system - the Dike Data Service Centre (DDSC) - that stores the results from the monitoring activities uniformly and centrally, and makes them suitable for analysis and processing. The system can be applied to asset management, but also used as an Early Warning System for disasters. It is vital that the techniques be widely applied for the sake of the modern management, maintenance, and design of dikes in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Monitoring underground pipelines

Research is being carried out in the STOOP project into the monitoring of underground pipeline networks (gas distribution and drinking water networks) in order to be able to make an assessment of the integrity of the pipelines. There is no doubting the need: decaying pipelines endanger the security of supply and form a direct and significant threat to safety. In addition, it is vital for economic reasons for both the gas and drinking water industries to be able to more accurately determine when the pipelines need to be replaced. Large-scale replacement is currently carried out according to a risk model which may take account of soil type, age, material, location and other factors, but which does not make it possible to look at stresses in the pipeline because there are no ways of determining whether they exist. The research is examining a number of fundamental issues which, if there is are positive results, may be used in the IJknet.

The Information Value Provider

An Information Value Provider (IVP) is a new and innovative concept aimed at new cross-sectoral collaborations for getting greater value from data, and which is being offered to organisations (whether or not for payment). An IVP uses Big Data and/or Big Data solutions in order to be able to offer valuable services to certain groups of end-users. In the process, an IVP can use data that are freely accessible, or available from various participating parties, or which are generated. An IVP enriches these data into 'something' useful, which has added value. An IVP is explicitly not about the opportunities that an individual company sees in the data that it has sole access to, but about the combined opportunities with other companies that can thereby create added value, preferably in a cross-sectoral collaboration. The individual objectives of the different participating organisations may vary widely.


Evert van den Akker MBA