The partners that created the Fair and Smart Data (FSD) Spearhead represents a cross section of society from academia, innovation hubs, NGOs and business (see list below).

The partnership invites others as well to participate in the societal challenge in which sustainable development, digitalisation and globalisation are interconnected.

FSD Logos

Brightlands Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (BISCI)

The BISCI expertise and innovation centre started its operations in 2019. It is a part of the 'ecosystem' of Brightlands Greenport Campus Venlo, in which the business community, academics, students and representatives from various governments work together through open innovation and co-creation.

In this way, BISCI contributes directly to the innovation and competitiveness of individual companies and organisations in various sectors and helps strengthen the region’s economic infrastructure. BISCI was set up by Maastricht University and Limburg province to help boost the regional economy.

BISCI is closely linked to the department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. The department offers an established team of scholars and an existing infrastructure that facilitates high-quality research relevant to industry. BISCI also hold strong links to people and the expertise of several units at UM such as MSI, DAD, DKE, BISS etc.

Department of Data Analytics and Digitalisation (UM-SBE)

The department of Data Analytics and Digitalisation (DAD) connects data science (mathematics, statistics, computer science, artificial intelligence) with business and economics research (finance, accounting, marketing, information management, operations, micro- and macroeconomics, policy design). We are responsible for conducting top-level research in data science for business and economics ranging from fundamental theoretical studies to applied industrial projects.

Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (UM-SBE)

The Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management (MSCM) is a vibrant international group of junior and senior scholars dedicated to high-quality research and education with a strong drive for societal relevance.

Junior and senior faculty members are inspired by new societally-relevant thematic areas and innovative methodological approaches, contributing to emerging—often interdisciplinary—research themes like individual wellbeing, services, relationship management & value co-creation, innovation, and digitalization & data analytics.

Maastricht School of Management (MSM)

Maastricht School of Management (MSM) grew out of the Research Institute for Management that was established in Delft in 1952. Today, located in the city of Maastricht, it is an international higher education institution focusing on postgraduate management and incorporated as an independent non-profit foundation.

In the current global context, it is vital to have a good understanding of the role of the private sector and of partnerships in sustainable development, the conditions for private sector development, its inclusiveness the impact of globalisation, and the way in which governments – both from the Global South and industrialised countries – can enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of local business to achieve higher levels of development and employability. Knowledge of these aspects in the eco-system is often scattered, and lacks expertise on both the strategies, policies, structures and skills of the key actors involved: the firms, and on how these strategies affect the firms’ interactions with governments, universities and vocational training organizations, international organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders, both locally and internationally. It is precisely in these fields, on these cross roads that MSM is focusing its research.

Maastricht Sustainability Institute (UM-SBE)

With the integration of the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (formerly known as ICIS), within the School of Business and Economics (SBE), not only a new name has been chosen, but also an active contribution to SBE’s 'Vision 2025' is foreseen in which Sustainable Development, Digitisation, and Globalisation are focal areas.

As sustainability scientists, we aim to support sustainable development at the local and regional levels, thus contributing to global sustainability too. Because sustainability challenges are complex and normative, we opt for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches in which we collaborate with different disciplines and stakeholders. We master a diversity of theories and methods to work at the interface of science, policy and society. Knowledge brokering, boundary work and action-research are concepts that suit us well. Our research is scientifically sound and societally relevant.


Rabobank’s Acorn offers access to the voluntary carbon market for smallholder famers who want to transition to regenerative agroforestry. The barriers to the market are taken away through remote sensing for data-driven carbon quantification, innovative certification partnerships and market development for these high quality, ex post carbon credits. Carbon credits give farmers additional income for the CO2 they sequester in agroforestry systems, while the agroforestry offers resilience and regeneration that can protect their land from future climate impact.

Solidaridad Network

Solidaridad is an international civil society organization with over fifty years of experience in developing solutions to make communities more resilient — from our early roots supporting repressed communities in Latin America to our current work fostering more sustainable supply chains. Over the years, Solidaridad has been fighting poverty and advocating for sustainable production. Solidaridad helped to found the Fair Trade movement, and for decades have been developing innovative solutions to the problems within global supply chains. And with that experience we are now working at scale: over the last 4 years we have improved practices with 1.4 million producers, and 3 million more hectares of land are now being sustainably managed. Around 1.000 expert staff currently works in over 40 countries, on five continents, through eight independently supervised regional offices.