Right before the August break…

sea-106

So here I am, Saturday noon all alone in the office, working on bits and pieces of things that I would like to put together before I leave for the August family holiday break… Still thinking about what Margarita asked me yesterday: “How can this handful of people do such an impressive amount of work during August?”

#LifeAtAK: Really, where is everybody? 😆

A photo posted by Agro-Know (@agroknow) on

So what keeps me busy these last working hours, before I depart for a few more days in the sunny Greek islands?

  • Taking a look at the new version of AKstem.com that Panagis is working on, so that I provide him with a description of the core services that we will offer (Open, Share, Use, Map), in order to be ready for the September launch.
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WE Are The Greeks

Let's have fun

In this company, we always aimed at having a multi-cultural and multi-national team, to embrace and understand and appreciate diversity. During the years, our team has included people from Romania, Latvia, Belgium, UK, USA and other countries. Many of us are also a little bit Polish, Canadian or Russian. Some dream of independent states within their countries – like Transylvania and Crete. But overall, regàrdless of whether we are physically located in Athens, Leuven or other parts of the world, today We Are The Greeks.

We are the Greeks that enjoy doing the dirty job and work hard until the job gets done.… Click to read the full post

Digital cultural heritage: a resource for research in the humanities – and beyond?

A sunny summer day and a magnificent view from the Edinburgh Castle

You may have heard about Europeana, one of the largest endeavours around the world (as is the Digital Public Library of America) to make the rich and diverse cultural heritage of European countries available online. Working for more than 6 years with this goal (from the times of the European Digital Library Network project), the Europeana Foundation (hosted by the National Library of the Netherlands at the Hague) has managed to work with a very large network of museums, libraries and archives around Europe to make almost 40 million digital cultural artifacts discoverable and accessible through the Europeana.eu portal.… Click to read the full post

Openness and e-infrastructures for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

IMG_3837

On May 13th 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Unit of the European Commission responsible for e-infrastructures, organised a workshop on the way European e-infrastructures may support the activities of EFSA. The meeting followed up a series of initial discussions and brainstorming between EFSA and various EC Units on how data-related activities and open policies may be aligned so that synergies may be found. It also came at an important turning point for EFSA that is working on becoming an open science organisation: the Open EFSA initiative has already made available a position paper for public consultation; it has organised a workshop with its key stakeholders; and it has a preliminary implementation plan in place.… Click to read the full post

agINFRA: the end is the beginning

Case closed.

There are some projects that have a special value and meaning for people, even if they look similar to others, even if they run similarly to others, even if they finish in a nice but quite inglorious manner – compared to the energy and passion that they needed to start. Organic.Edunet was one of them, agINFRA is also one of those special ones. And it has finished on Friday with an excellent review meeting, receiving excellent feedback, and leaving a sweet but also bitter taste in mouth. Because, from now, agINFRA will not be one of the flagship, strategic and essential for our survival EU projects.… Click to read the full post

Capacity building for agricultural innovation: the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP)

CIRAL headquarters, Montpellier

What would come to your mind if you first heard about a “TAPipedia”? Something similar to Wikipedia? An encyclopaedia on topics related to the TAP acronym? A toy children that makes a ” tap tap” noise?

What can a tag cloud tell us about TAPipedia?

What can a tag cloud tell us about TAPipedia?

Well, you may not worry about this, but the agricultural ministers of the G20 countries will soon worry about what TAPipedia means. The reason is that, a couple of years ago that they first met as part of the G20 assemblies, it was agreed that action will be taken to support, facilitate and spur agricultural innovation in the tropical countries (that is, countries from all sides of the world like Costa Rica, Panama, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zambia).… Click to read the full post

Big Data (all over) Europe: an opportunity ahead for food & agriculture

BDE launch event

Is this the time for big data technologies to be streamlined in Europe? Are we going to see a wave of big data powered tools and applications in different application domains and industry sectors? This is the ambitious goal of the recently launched initiative Big Data Europe and its is a major opportunity (but also challenge) for the agri-food sector as well.

 

 

The European Commission decided to bring together some of the best European minds researching and developing big data technologies, and ask them to work with representatives of the six key Societal Challenges that Europe is facing (and the European Commission is channeling its funding towards) so that we explore the capabilities and limitations of existing technologies.… Click to read the full post

Impressions from the Open Data Institute (ODI) 2014 Annual Summit

ODI Summit 2014

In Agro-Know, we are right in the middle of several interesting things that are happening in relation to open data and its impact for research institutions and businesses. We are trying to help research institutions understand better and implement open research policies, by deploying an online service that will have customised offerings to help initiatives and institutions comply. We are involved in national activities that try to open up public sector data for research and innovation. We are active in the global movements that try to open up data for agriculture and nutrition. And we are advocates of the change and impact that openness will bring.… Click to read the full post

Hire The Boss (to do your dirty blog analytics job)

That's the story, morning glory.

It was almost a year ago when I challenged Agro-Know’ers to do something that was considered unthinkable and unspeakable: to Hire The Boss to do their dirty jobs. Despite my mythical blog post on this, people still look at me in a strange way and laugh when I knock on their doors to get hired. Although about 10 people have already hired me for about half a day to do something for them that completely tires or bores them, it still seems that there are team members that are not really convinced that I can deliver some serious work if they hire me. … Click to read the full post

A global alliance for food safety: reflections on the GFSP 2014 conference

Receiving a certificate (on the most smiling participant?) from Dr. Francois Le Gall of the World Bank who is responsible for the strategy and coordination of the GFSP

While writing this, I am on the plane for home and trying to adjust from the summer weather of Cape Town to the chilly weather of Athens. But most of all, I am trying to digest a wealth of ideas, images and impressions that I bring back with me from the annual conference of the Global Food Safety Partnership. I have to admit that I was not prepared for this. I was expecting a quite slow and boring conference, with some meetings of interest but with an emphasis on the process (how this huge partnership will function) rather than the substance (how impact will be achieved).… Click to read the full post