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Society/business Target Field Lab - Mining Big Data Corporate Story

Corporate Story


The Target project started in 2009

As a big public-private partnership, from 2009 to 2015 Target has provided an expertise center at the University of Groningen (UG) that has gained extensive experience in:

  • managing and dealing with Big Data
  • making this technology accessible by companies

This resulted in the Euclid space travel data center in Groningen (€ 10 ++ M, 15 fte): the DOTliveplanetarium.


In 2009 Target Holding BV was founded

The founder Prof. Edwin Valentijn, together with the UG and Stichting Triade, founded Target Holding BV, a fully-fledged independent company (50 fte), with a waterfall of new companies:

Prof. Dr. Edwin Valentijn
Prof. Dr. Edwin Valentijn

  • Songa,
  • Dataprovider Links
  • e-Vitality
  • Remembr

As of 2016, Target delivered 14 spin-off companies and triggered more than 30 M euro successful investments.

Target's technology has been exported also as international data federations

They include projects like:

  • ESOs OmegaCAM Kids project - mapping dark matter in space
  • Lifelines - a cohort of phenological and genetic data of 170.000 people
  • The Lofar Long Term Archive
  • The GLIMPS pet scans analysis of the brains
  • Monk's handwritten text recognition using artificial intelligence
  • The MUSE imaging spectrometer at the ESO VLT telescope, and many more

We are currently building the archive data handling for the Euclid satellite and the Micado instrument, which will be first light instrument of ESOs future Extremely Large Telescope

VST telescope
VST telescope

In Target we gained a lot of experience in helping companies to understand their specific needs

E.g. Elkoog BV (Heeii) has developed a new IT business approach (design/implementation | qualification) with the support of the expertise center, which led to their completely new product Crowdynews.
Target Holding now has also an extensive-range customers in a large number of domains.

Although companies can now access commercial cloud services, there is still a great need of support in developing intelligent systems.

These would make Big Data accessible in:

  • solving questions
  • making predictions
  • finding and connecting sources of data

This intelligent layer on top of the Big Data is called the Big Data layer -the core expertise of Target.

In 2017 in a recent six annual review, initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Target was defined as 'exemplary and world leading' in the 'valorization' category.

The backwards chaining and linking of data are a unique Target concept, now successfully applied in various data federations.

It is culminating in the Euclid Science Ground Segment data center in Groningen in which, together with ESA 9 data centers in Europe, two hundred institutes, more than 1500 researchers are connected to each other through the Euclid Archive System and various access layers for the handling and analysis of more than 20 PByte satellite data.

Last modified:12 April 2019 12.58 p.m.