What a busy period that was. Over the past days we submitted new project proposals, we started working on new projects and we got great news from evaluation results from our past proposals! But let’s take it one by one.
Over the past period we were quite busy working on some new H2020 proposals. Actually, the PM (Project Management) team, under Nikos Manouselis lead, moved to the secondary offices, our Proposal War Room, where we worked all together preparing two very different proposals.
Firstly, we were invited to join a MARIE Skłodowska-Curie Action, in an Innovative Training Network for the call of 2015 under the coordination of Aston University and our close friend Christopher Brewster (@cbrewster). Obviously Agro-Know is not a university (!) but the ITN proposals call for a partnership of academia and industry to train world leading new researchers. Our proposal, the ALPHEUS project, specifically targets the advance of use of data science in the agrifood sector. If successful ALPHEUS will aim to transform the food and agriculture sector by educating a new generation of data scientists capable of using data streams for the benefit of society and business, creating innovations and transforming business.
At the same time (and almost half of the team) was working on submitting another proposal, this time targeting the H2020 e-Infrastructures for virtual research environments. As you may guess, our proposal aimed at continuing the work we are doing in the agINFRA project. Under the name ACTIVATE, (ACTIVATing research infrastructures and communities for evidence based decision making in food security) we aim at not only continue our previous work, but creating a global e-infrastructure to serve the needs of researchers from different disciplines around the vision of a food secure future. ACTIVATE includes main international organisations (FAO/GFAR, CGIAR, CABI, Bioversity) and prestige universities (Wageningen University, Aarhus University) around food security allowing access to a broad number of researchers. We spent a lot of hours working in these proposals and there was a lot of pressure to catch the deadlines (check @Agroknow and @andr_drakos) but what a better gift than the one we got 10 minutes after the end of submission: the results of some proposals submitted back in September where 2 from the 3 proposals we were involved were selected for funding. What splendid news those were!
The first project was OpenMinTeD, a project that will focus on creating infrastructure services for text and data mining and where Agro-Know will drive the Agricultural Use Case together, aiming to enhance its agricultural data platform and end products with the project services. Secondly the EGI-ENGAGE project, the flagship project of EGI.eu, where Agro-Know was invited (and honored) to be invited as an SME that takes advantage of the EGI services to create new innovative products. You will definitely hear more about both projects in the near future.
And this was not the end! Only on Saturday the results of the ICT-AGRI SmartAgriFood call were published and our proposal, Organic-AgriWare, was one of the selected for funding. Under a more product based scheme and with the help of ICROFS and DAAS the project will create an innovative application for the organic agriculture community.
What great news, what an exciting period this will be!