The GODAN Discussion Paper is (almost) ready to go public!

GODAN_logo_new

It has been more than one month since I started working as an external consultant/researcher for the GODAN White Paper, after my tender for the corresponding GODAN/Open Data Institute call was accepted – this work is now (almost?) over. Since then, there has been a lot of work (and I mean a lot!) in the context of this report:

  • identified more than 30 use cases making use of open agri-food and nutrition data (less than half of them made it in the final version of the paper – I admit that some of them were weaker than the others),
  • drafted additional parts of the paper,
  • collected more than 40 related references (including publications, articles, blog posts, reports, presentations etc.),
  • interviewed several people looking for substantial feedback in terms of insights and quotes for the potential and current issues of open agricultural data,
  • compiled lists of open agri-food datasets, data sources and other types of resources (like repository software, data management software and other tools),
  • collected quotes and other bits from the preliminary GODAN survey results

This was a time-consuming analysis that was reported in about 35 pages, including text, lists and tables (also some images and screenshots at some point).… Click to read the full post

Demographics of Agro-Know – May 2015 version

Faces

Topic of this blog post was requested by some members of the Agro-Know team. Indeed, working  and assembling all the data together we could see what are those human resources that we so often refer to. The Admin team collects basic information about the team members in order to extract useful analytics.

Agro-Know’s population sums up to 25 people at the moment; a number that is changing mostly due to the acquisition of new team members. You can see some statistical data on who we are and what we look like in the graphs right below.

Education

As one can see, the Agro-Know team consists of members with different educational background and expertise.… Click to read the full post

Agro-Know Admin Department at a Glance

The Admin (Admin) is one of the four Agro-Know Departments. Since 2009 Admin team in Agro-Know is evolving and growing inside and together with Agro-Know itself. Our fours teams are supporting Agro-Know in all its businesses:

1) Office management. For the last 1.5 years we are having two offices with 25 people working in them full-time or part-time. Office management team is supporting all the logistics, secretary works, provisions of consumables etc. In two words – keeping the everyday work environment and work process smooth and flawless. Athina Makri undertakes all these tasks and many more.

2) Project Management Office. Probably the oldest admin team with its rules, workflows, etc. … 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

Practical considerations on the Open Access & Data Management Policy of CGIAR

CGIAR

CGIARCGIAR (ex- Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) is a large network of 15 agricultural research centers located all over the world, which generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies, and policies for agricultural development through the CGIAR Research Programs. The amount of research outcomes produced by the researchers of these centers is huge; still, there was no concrete plan for facilitating access to these outcomes nor any hint of opening up access to them until 2012 when the CGIAR Consortium approved the CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets. It was obvious that the CGIAR Consortium had the intention to make all of its data and research outputs open and harvestable and in this context, these principles were approved and adopted in March 2012.… Click to read the full post

The Agro-Know blog celebrates its first year: Achievements & Challenges

The Agro-Know blog is now one year old! It started as an idea more than one year ago, by the end of November 2013, after a relaxed discussion between Nikos Manouselis (Agro-Know CEO) and me over a cup of coffee in a cafe near the Agro-Know offices. We discussed about how useful it would be for us to find a way to expose all these nice things that we are working on in Agro-Know and since I had some experience in blogging (I have been blogging since 2007 for personal purposes and 2011 for professional ones) I was the perfect candidate for this exercise.… Click to read the full post

The VOA3R experience as seen through the eyes of an agriculturist

During the 7th (and last) VOA3R Project meeting in Rome, Italy.

I am a certified agriculturist, and more specifically I would like to consider myself an expert on Viticulture, since by now, I am a proud holder of a PhD in Viticulture from the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA).

In all my years as a student, I was studying plants, biology, physiology, ecology, genetics and generally, anything that has to do with the biological and environmental sciences as taught in the vast area of expertise in the Agricultural University of Athens. So I quickly started seeing things from the point of view of the researcher. And it was not until I went to my very first congress with an oral presentation in Budapest, in 2007 that I realized what it means to be a part of the researcher world and the scientific community.… Click to read the full post

Visiting the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)

The GFSP discovery service demonstrator that we customised for JIFSAN. It looks and feels like the JIFSAN web site and could be integrated into it, while being powered by the GFSP backbone. Only a sample of data has been populated but you can get a feeling yourself: greenlearningnetwork.com/jifsan/
As part of my Washington visit meeting in July’14, I also had the opportunity to meet with one of the great people that we have the pleasure to work with in the context of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP).On July 8th, I arranged a visit to the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), to meet in person the Lab Manager Janie Dubois. Janie is one of the people that volunteered to serve as a case study for the analysis that the Knowledge and Learning Systems WG of the GFSP is doing on food safety information related data.
Click to read the full post

CGIAR Open Access mandate: Work in progress in the case of ICARDA

icarda

icardaAgro-Know has a long time involvement in Open Access through its participation in related EU-funded projects (such as VOA3R and agINFRA), its participation and contribution in related initiatives and events and more lately through our active involvement in the FAO AGRIS Network (Agro-Know is hosting & responsible for the Data Processing Unit of the traditional AGRIS service) but also through the expertise and experience of each team members (such as agricultural domain experts, information scientists and librarians, software engineers and web developers etc.). In this context, almost five months after the CGIAR presentation, Agro-Know made a contact with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), one of the 15 CGIAR Centers and it was agreed that Agro-Know would be responsible for the following:

  • Provide an overview of the current situation of ICARDA and the Dryland Systems program regarding information available, repositories and related processes and workflows;
  • Recommend the optimal approach for ICARDA and Dryland Systems, in terms of technology, skills, processes and responsibilities in the organizations;
  • Taking responsibility to prepare the ICARDA and Dryland Systems Open Access Plan, following the Guidelines set out by the CGIAR Consortium.
Click to read the full post

A warm farewell, or a “see you later”?

Image taken from: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/thank-you-and-see-you-later/

Well, nothing stays the same, that’s a given! We all evolve, we progress and we move, either forward or backwards (that’s true also!). But either for better or for worse, one thing is certain, that everybody is changing!

In the same sense, time has come for me to move forward. Completing a life-long professional relationship of 9,5 years with Nikos Manouselis and the wider team, in three different institutions, the Agricultural University of Athens (2005-2007), the Greek Research & Technology Network (2008-2010) and Agro-Know (2011-2014).

Through these years I have worked in research, earning “my stripes” there, I have taken it up a notch going into an MSc and PhD after that.… Click to read the full post