European Policy Perspectives on Data-intensive Agriculture & Food

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How do European officials working on agriculture and food topics deal with the emerging data revolution in the sector? How can they be aware of the recent developments in a way that may inform their thinking? And how can they respond to the community needs by appropriately shaping the policy programs and support instruments?

This was the topic of a meeting that took place in Brussels on September 30th, 2016. The meeting was organised by the Big Data Europe project, in collaboration with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Agroknow, being the Big Data Europe partners responsible for the food and agriculture sector, worked together with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in order to invite to the meeting representatives from the European Commission (EC) DGs and a select group of community stakeholders.… Click to read the full post

Can Europe lead a data revolution in agriculture and food?

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Let’s take a step to the near future.

A shared global data space for agriculture and food will propel the industry forward. Information will become available to all actors producing innovation. Analytical and decision making tools can incorporate a greater abundance of data sources. A digital economy may arise with online services and applications that use machine readable, interoperable and often publicly shared data. The necessary infrastructure components, including the technology, people, policy and business ones, may seamlessly integrate and work together.

 We believe that Europe is strategically positioned to lead such a transformation of the agriculture and food industry.Click to read the full post

What you need to know about the GODAN Summit 2016

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This year, the largest-ever event for open data in agriculture and nutrition, GODAN Summit will bring together the world leaders, researchers, farmers, students and others in New York. The two-day event (15-16 September, 2016) will include various lighting presentations and exhibits that illustrate the opening, sharing, use and importance of the agri-food information.

Encouraging the openness of data in agriculture and nutrition to end world hunger” is the key message to be addressed at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit.

During the event, a number of interesting speeches will be made from high-level profile world leaders and innovators who will share their thoughts on how open data can zero the world hunger and the malnutrition in every corner of the globe.… Click to read the full post

A Common Data Ecosystem for Agriculture and Food? #GODANsummit2016

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We believe that for a data revolution to happen, agriculture and food need a fabric of interoperable and interplaying infrastructure layers. Having such an infrastructure in place, will make data sharing and exchange as natural to us, as it is to use the road or rail infrastructure to move from one country to another. This may become possible by the creation of a common data ecosystem, where diverse stakeholders (from smallholders to multinational conglomerates) will both build and use the infrastructures that will propel the industry forward.

Some months ago, Syngenta (with GODAN’s assistance) commissioned Dean Allemang to write a discussion paper that would try to catalyse consensus around what form a global data ecosystem might take, how it could bring value to key players, what cultural changes might be needed to make it a reality, and finally what technology might be needed to support it.… Click to read the full post

Crete, London, Sofia: from data-powered ideas to a data ecosystem revolution

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From Crete, to London, to Sofia. I feel that during the past 30 days, some tectonic movements took place in our area of work. Our Open Harvest came first, assembling and connecting 30 handpicked experts from around the world. Offering them an oportunity and an environment to talk about enhancing collaboration, identifying elements of a common agenda, and sending a message to the rest of the world that the people that work on topics related to agriculture and food data management and sharing want to collaborate more. The experience was fulfilling, the outcome has been amazing: the Chania Declaration calls for stronger connections, more sharing, better alignment of the public and private sector.
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Working with legal interoperability in the fishery and marine sciences

(ALL INTERNAL RIGHTS) Schooling jacks (Carangidae sp.) near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The Solomon Islands nation is ranked among the top 10 most biologicallly diverse and imperiled nations in the world. The Conservancy's conservation work in Melanesia, part of the Global Islands Parntership, has provided models for conservation that are being leveraged roadly and deeply throughout the Pacific region.  The Global Island Partnership between organizations and governments engages in high-level commitments and action for island conservation and sustainable use. Photo credit: © Daniel & Robbie Wisdom

One of the most interesting things that we have been working on during the last weeks is related to an analysis of data sources and stakeholders in the fishery and marine sciences in terms of legal interoperability – a work taking place in the context of a collaboration with the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO). What we are actually contributing to a detailed deliverable for the EGI-Engage project is an analysis of key data stakeholders in the marine and fishery context, along with the major data sources and licensing schemes available (the latter being the most important part of our contribution to the deliverable).… Click to read the full post

Global Agricultural Concept Scheme: One KOS to rule them all?

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Anyone working with research these days could confirm that scarcity of research outcomes is not an issue anymore; thematic repositories and aggregators provide access to a wealth of research publications and data, as well as related information such as projects working in a specific thematic area, profiles of researchers and organizations activated in a specific research context, funding opportunities, tools and services etc. However, one of the major issues identified is the difficulty in retrieving such information from various heterogeneous content sources that are scattered worldwide, isolated and incompatible with each other. This is, to a high degree, due to the lack of interoperability between the different systems hosting such information.… Click to read the full post

Seven months of a re-vamped FAO AGRIS service: what’s next?

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One of the major things that happened in Agroknow last year, was the introduction of a brand new service for supporting the data processing workflows of FAO’s AGRIS. Following a strategic partnership that was introduced in September 2014 by the teams of FAO, Agroknow and CAAS working together on the first version of AGINFRA, our team took over the AGRIS Data Processing workflow: this practically means being responsible for all tasks related to the communication with the institutions that wish to make their information discoverable through AGRIS.

In May 2015, we announced the launch of a new online platform that would replace the way that communication and request handling took place by that time: the so-called AKstem service.… Click to read the full post

Open Data in a Day for Business

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On November 5th 2015, I had the opportunity -not to mention the pleasure- to follow my very first open data related seminar entitled “Open Data in a Day for Business”, organized by the ODI Athens node, at the premises of Epinoo.  ODI Athens logo

Working for over a year now at Agroknow, I have had an overall idea of what Open Data is all about, but this seminar seemed like the perfect opportunity to go deeper in this emerging topic. Although the audience consisted of totally different disciplines (including banking sector, public sector, freelancers and many more), there was a common ground: our need to know the “whats”, the “whys” and the “hows” of Open Data.… Click to read the full post

Reporting on the Workshop on EU’s Open Science Cloud: the agri-food use case

AGINFRA as a global atlas of agri-food research

On November 13th, 2015, a community workshop on the Open Science Cloud titled “Shaping the Open Science Cloud of the Future” took place in Bari, Italy, as a part of the EGI Community Forum 2015. Agro-Know was invited as a data-powered SME in order to contribute its experience on the data- and e-infra-related needs of the agri-food research community – other communities were represented as well, including bioinformatics, cancer research and the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory (EMSO), among others.

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This provided us with excellent opportunity to present how three different user types could benefit from the envisaged Ope Science Cloud – based on our actual experience in all three cases:

Back to the 90’s and the available data storage solutions

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