We have been following Big Data Europe since its early stages, learning about the recent advances and trends in big data by prestigious partners like Fraunhofer (yes, the guys that invented MP3). We got more and more involved in this flagship big data initiative for Europe, sharing our understanding of data-related challenges in the agri-food sector, what kind of big data our communities work with, and how cutting edge solutions using big data analytics may be developed to serve their needs.
This is the time to take an important step forward: and beautiful Paris is the place where this will happen. As part of the next plenary meeting of the global Research Data Alliance (RDA), an impressive line up of more than 50 experts from around the world will meet for two full days (September 21st-22nd), in the context of the RDA’s Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD). It looked like an excellent opportunity to put big data in the agenda, and we took the lead in doing so. Together with our partners in Big Data Europe, we organise a dedicated workshop on the topic of “Big data for food, agriculture and forestry: opportunities and challenges”.
What exactly is going to happen there? Well, I want to make sure that we go beyond the big data trend and dive into the real, complex problems that the abundance of unstructured, streaming, voluminous or unreliable information create in our sector. I want us to showcase and discuss about some pioneer efforts like the Dutch big data in horticulture project and CGIAR’s Big Data Analytics Platform. I want to hear the perspective of very large research organisations like INRA and Wageningen UR. I want to understand what funding programs (like the European Horizon 2020) are going to support in terms of big data research and innovation. And most of all, I want us to establish a platform through which we can streamline the discussion and link together the various activities around big data in agriculture, food, forestry and relevant areas.
So, see you in Paris!