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


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

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.

OpenScienceCloud Workshop_1

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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Call to Action: be part of the EU map of big data in agriculture and food sector


Are you working with Big Data in the agri-food sector? Share the information of your research project & institution and be a part of the European map of big data in agriculture and food.

agINFRA_logo_new2agINFRA, the community-specific research hub for agriculture and food, the BigDataEurope coordination action, and a number of supporting networks and initiatives, are creating a European map of big data in agricultural and food research.

In order to identify and document the key stakeholders and their relevant initiatives, UN FAO, Agro-Know, GODAN , Alterra WUR and other partners have joined forces in order to map the current status and future challenges on big data sources and technologies in the domains of Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine and Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bioeconomy.… Click to read the full post

Digital cultural heritage: a resource for research in the humanities – and beyond?

A sunny summer day and a magnificent view from the Edinburgh Castle

You may have heard about Europeana, one of the largest endeavours around the world (as is the Digital Public Library of America) to make the rich and diverse cultural heritage of European countries available online. Working for more than 6 years with this goal (from the times of the European Digital Library Network project), the Europeana Foundation (hosted by the National Library of the Netherlands at the Hague) has managed to work with a very large network of museums, libraries and archives around Europe to make almost 40 million digital cultural artifacts discoverable and accessible through the portal.… Click to read the full post

EGI Conference 2015: An opportunity for facilitating infrastructure in the agri-food research context


EGI_Conference_2015_posterThe 2015 EGI (European Grid Infrastructure) Conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal, between May 18-22, 2015. The Conference a business track covering a variety of topics, including agriculture. In this context, during the last two days of the Conference, dedicated sessions (including both presentations and interactive sessions/discussions) on supporting SMEs and the full innovation chain between business and academia through the EGI outcomes and infrastructure. The aim of these sessions were to present use cases from various sectors, highlighting how open data and technical services can be used for creating opportunities for a wide variety of stakeholders (including SMEs like Agro-Know).… Click to read the full post

Openness and e-infrastructures for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)


On May 13th 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Unit of the European Commission responsible for e-infrastructures, organised a workshop on the way European e-infrastructures may support the activities of EFSA. The meeting followed up a series of initial discussions and brainstorming between EFSA and various EC Units on how data-related activities and open policies may be aligned so that synergies may be found. It also came at an important turning point for EFSA that is working on becoming an open science organisation: the Open EFSA initiative has already made available a position paper for public consultation; it has organised a workshop with its key stakeholders; and it has a preliminary implementation plan in place.… Click to read the full post

agINFRA: the successful end of a project & the vision for an EU agri-food research hub


agINFRA_logoFollowing the successful path of our previous ICT-PSP projects Natural Europe and Organic.Lingua, our flagship agINFRA project received excellent remarks during its final review meeting for its overall outcomes and is now successfully over with a green card – that’s three-in-a-row! The consolidated report, sent by the Project Officer Darko Karacic and circulated among the consortium by the project’s coordinator Prof. Miguel-Angel Sicilia was received a couple of days ago and put a smile to our faces 🙂

Indeed, by February 2015, the agINFRA project came to its end. The project, which started in October 2011, was a 3-year research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7 Programme).… Click to read the full post

agINFRA: the end is the beginning

Case closed.

There are some projects that have a special value and meaning for people, even if they look similar to others, even if they run similarly to others, even if they finish in a nice but quite inglorious manner – compared to the energy and passion that they needed to start. Organic.Edunet was one of them, agINFRA is also one of those special ones. And it has finished on Friday with an excellent review meeting, receiving excellent feedback, and leaving a sweet but also bitter taste in mouth. Because, from now, agINFRA will not be one of the flagship, strategic and essential for our survival EU projects.… Click to read the full post

Getting ready for the 3rd (and final) agINFRA review meeting!


agINFRA_logoThe 3rd and final review meeting of our agINFRA FP7 project is taking place today (in about 30 minutes, to be precise), at one of the European Commission buildings, in Brussels, Belgium. The project partners had the opportunity to meet yesterday at the lovely premises of the Innovation & Incubation Center of the University of Leuven (I&I Leuven), just outside Brussels, and work collaboratively on the presentation & technical demo to be presented today before the Project Officer and the Reviewers. As usually, the presentation will include the progress of all Work Packages throughout the lifetime of the project, the major achievements as well as a demo which will show the use of the agINFRA services and solutions by end users.… Click to read the full post

Agro-Know & Future Food Hack 2015


GODAN_logoThere has been a lot of discussion around a hackathon to be collocated with the 2015 GODAN Workshop during the preparations and organization of the workshop itself. I was happy to be personally involved in the planning/organization of the workshop with a great team of people from USDA, DFID (UK), CABI, FAO and CGIAR, among others and the discussion on related hackathons and other satellite events on open agri-food data was on the table. What I had in my hands was the potential contribution from our two FP7 projects activated in this field; agINFRA and SemaGrow (Agro-Know being an active partner in both), as well as the support from the rest of the team.… Click to read the full post