Dirk Van Speybroeck is strategic advisor international relations for VITO. He started his career in the early eighties as lecturer ecology and biostatistics at the Free University of Brussels and later in Kenya at Nairobi University. In Kenya he joined the UNEP Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre (OCA/PAC - UNEP) to supervise its Eastern Africa Atlas of Coastal Resources. In the late nineties he returned to Belgium to coordinate the SPOT VEGETATION production entity for VITO and its partners BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy Office), CNES (Centre national d'études spatiales), SSC (Swedish Space Corporation) and the European Commission, and to become VITO’s Remote Sensing Business Unit Manager in 2004. It was here that he discovered the power of free and open geospatial data for environmental resource management. From 2015 to 2017 he was the Deputy Chief in the Cabinet of the State Secretary for Belgian Science Policy. Dirk believes that technological innovation and global strategic partnerships are key to a sustainable economic growth. Dirk has a PhD degree in vegetation ecology and is a Vlerick Business School alumnus.