Building innovation using open data and source


Back in 1995, at the time that I was studying in the high school in Lamia, it was a dream of all the locals to have an University Department on sciences such as Computer and Informatics. 20 years later,  the Department of Computer science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly is there, with great professors and bright students that are doing great work moving this dream even further.

One month ago, the IEEE University of Thessaly student branch invited our team to give a talk about the open data and source in agrifood sector at the 6th Open Data and Source Workshop that was organised in Lamia. I would like to congratulate once again the student branch and Assistant Professor Ioannis Anagnostopoulos for the excellent organisation and warm hospitality. Unfortunately due to a bad flu I did not manage to enjoy all the nice activities that they organised.

During the workshop very interesting presentations on how open data and source can be used to build innovative services for several applications and sectors.  Open data and source can be used to build innovative services that a) improve security in our computers, b) enable the transparency and improve the operation of the Public Sector, c) improve the evaluation process of the research work in the academic sector and d) enable searching inside the images.

In my talk I presented highlights of our work which is mainly based on open data and source. I focused on specific services like the AGRIS of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations that is built using open source tools and that provides all the metadata as linked open data.  I tried to answer the following questions in my talk:

1. Is there a sufficient amount of data sources including open data for the agrifood sector?

2. Are there any innovative services built using open data related to the agrifood sector?

3. Which are the challenges and what is needed to move further and build more innovative services?

You can find my view on these questions in the following presentation.

Hope that all these ideas will spur the students of the Department to become the facilitators of the innovation during the next years. As mentioned in my talk, the right values are above all and open source and data should not be just a hacking exercise but should create real social, environmental and economical impact.

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