Friends of Agro-Know: Meet Melanie Gardner


Melanie_GardnerIt has been quite a long time since we last had the pleasure to interview any of our special friends for the Agro-Know blog, following up on the “Friends of Agro-Know” series which includes interviews of people with whom we have discussed and usually collaborated. This time, we were delighted to receive the responses to our questions from Melanie Gardner, one of the most active persons behind the National Agricultural Library of the US Department of Agriculture. Melanie was kind enough to accept our invitation and to provide us with her feedback on our questions, which you may find below.… Click to read the full post

Open Ag Data Alliance: Bringing interoperability, security and privacy to agricultural data


OADAOne of the most interesting initiatives that we came across recently was the Open Ag Data Alliance, an open project designed to bring interoperability, security, and privacy to agricultural data. OADA aims to define the context of the use of agricultural data produced by farmers and support the interoperability of each data source involved through the development of APIs and use of open source software, while making use of cloud services. Of course we could not but making the connection with the agINFRA project that we are actively involved in, which is also follows a similar approach. In our effort to identify some common ground for collaboration between the two projects as well as our curiosity to learn more about OADA, we contacted the team behind OADA and invited them to provide us with their feedback to our questions.… Click to read the full post

Friends of Agro-Know: Meet Dr. Xian Guojian


Following up on the previous post with the mini interview of Dr. Sun Wei, this time we will have the opportunity to get to know more about Dr. Xian Guojian. Having spent about three months in the Agro-Know office during his research visit, he has some interesting things to share about his work, research interests and opinion about Greece and AK. You can find the responses of Dr. Xian right below:


V: So, could you please share with us some information about educational background?
G: My name is Guojian Xian, come from China. I received the B.Sc. degree in computer sciences at the China Agricultural University (2006).… Click to read the full post

Friends of Agro-Know: Meet Dr. Sun Wei

(L-R): Guojian Xian (CAAS), Fabrizio Celli (FAO), Wei Sun (CAAS), Nikos Manolis (AK)


During the last three months, we had the pleasure to host Dr. Sun Wei & Dr. Xian Guojian, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), at the Agro-Know office, during their research visit in the context of the agINFRA project. As members of the CAAS team, a partner of the agINFRA project, the two researchers had the opportunity to work close to the team supporting the AGRIS network which consists (among others) of Agro-Know colleagues Elena & Nikos Manolis, as well as Fabrizio Celli from UN FAO. Due the fact that I have spent most of this time away from office, in project meetings and Conferences around Europe (as well as a week-long sick leave), I was interested to learn more about Wei and Guojian, so I invited them to share some information about themselves and their current work and interests. … Click to read the full post

Friends of Agro-Know: Dr. Wietske van Osch

Dr. Wietske van Osch with Nikos (left) and Giota (right)

Dr. Wietske van Osch, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University, Department of Media & Information, visited the Agro-Know offices on Wednesday 16/4/2014. She had the opportunity to get to know the AK team and discuss with Nikos, Giota and other team members about various topics.

Dr. van Osch was kind enough to provide us with her feedback on our questions, in the form of a mini interview for the Agro-Know blog; you can find them right below:


V: Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? What is your (educational/academic) background?

W: My name is Wietske van Osch.… Click to read the full post

Short interview with Kerry Albright


Some months ago, I was closely following all activities related to the G8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture; in fact most of the AK team was excited to see the Conference’s activities and outcomes real-time – not only because two of our EU projects (agINFRA and SemaGrow) were mentioned as some of the most important ones and related to the scope of the Conference but because these were at the heart of what the AK team is actually doing. It was some time after that, when  I was introduced to Kerry Albright after my colleague Nikos Manouselis involved me in a GODAN-related series of emails.… Click to read the full post

Ifarma by Agrostis – a mobile app for agricultural farm management


We were informed about a Greek application called iFarma back in January 2014, while browsing the news from (an amazing news aggregator for the agricultural sector). We saw a news item titled “Mobile applications for Agriculture can now speak Greek” and this title immediately caught our attention; not only it was not common news but also we thought that we should find out more about the app and the people behind it! The news item was about iFarma, an Android/iOS app for managing agriculture and dairy activities, developed in Greek by a Greek company.

The app is developed by Agrostis, a new Greek company activated in the field of agricultural informatics.… Click to read the full post

Friends of Agro-Know: Paulo Alonso Gaona Garcia

Paulo presenting the outcomes of his research in AK

Paulo Gaona is a researcher from Bogota, Colombia, who is currently working on his PhD thesis which is is in progress at University of Alcalá, Spain. In the context of an interesting (and fruitful, in my opinion) collaboration, Paulo spent the last three months in Greece (most of them in the AK office) and soon became a part of the AK team! He was always kind and ready to share some interesting stories with us; it was nice for us to have Paulo in the office and there have already been plans for potential next meetings. To me, it was an amazing fact that a researcher from Colombia managed to get to Greece in order to complete a part of his work; this would have never happened if there were not strong links between the IERU (Information Engineering Research Unit) team and Agro-Know.… Click to read the full post

Friends of Agro-Know: Johannes Keizer


We have long planned to include some interviews with interesting, influential people that we are in contact with and collaborate; however, this was a challenging task due to the limited availability of these people. I could not imagine a better start than an interview with Johannes Keizer, a key person in FAO, vision-setter and influential decision maker. Among his various contributions, I would highlight his role in the development of the FAO AGRIS network during the last years. Despite our long time communication, I only had the pleasure to meet Johannes in the 2nd plenary meeting of RDA in Washington D.C.… Click to read the full post