A Platform for Reliable Business Data

COMBUST (Combining Multi-trUst BusinesS daTa) will create a new knowledge framework based on both existing and new data sources. To achieve this, new, hi-tech tools for efficient data management will be developed, focusing on data integration and data veracity. Additionally, COMBUST will map the potential of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), exploring the various business models and opportunities that are the foundation of successful DaaS revenue models.

From Big Data to Data-as-a-Service

The rising popularity of big data is severely impacting the way data is processed. It also affects how companies approach innovation, productivity and competitiveness. Even though new business opportunities, including the introduction of Data-as-a-Service, are created, the integration of heterogeneous data sources – social media, news feeds, Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (Kruispuntbank van Ondernemingen (KBO)), etc. – often proves cumbersome and slows down the development of new, data-driven products and services.

Automated Knowledge Discovery, Improved Data Veracity

In a first stage, COMBUST plans to accelerate and simplify the integration and processing of data. It is developing new methods for automated knowledge discovery to achieve this goal. This tool set will allow more efficient data structuring, management and fusion.

Secondly, COMBUST will develop trust assessment strategies for data veracity – an underestimated problem in current big data applications. Information is everywhere, but not always reliable. If DaaS wants to survive as a sustainable business model, it has to be able to guarantee the reliability of its main product.

Finally, COMBUST will identify all business requirements and the validity of the business ecosystem to be built around the COMBUST platform. Exploring various business opportunities and models, the project team will be designing a blueprint for successful DaaS.


The tools developed by COMBUST will be tested and validated over the course of two years in the City of Things, a living lab set up in the framework of the European Commission’s FIWARE programme. This should allow COMBUST to offer added value to players along the entire value chain, from application developers to marketers and governmental institutions, as well as B2B service providers and SMEs.


“COMBUST can build on the support of several major industrial data providers. They not only agreed to lend their data sets, but also offer their knowledge and expertise in data management for the benefit of the project.”


A Platform for Reliable Business Data.


COMBUST is an imec.icon research project funded by imec, IWT and Innoviris.

It ran from 01.01.2015 until 31.03.2017.

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Project information


  • GIM NV
  • Truvo Belgium
  • Thanksys
  • Mobile Vikings
  • Roularta Business Information


  • imec - MMLAB - UGent
  • Living Lab
  • imec - MICT - UGent
  • imec - SMIT - VUB


  • Project Lead: Pieter Vandekerckhove
  • Research Lead: Erik Mannens
  • Innovation Manager: Stefan Van Baelen

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