European Policy Perspectives on Data-intensive Agriculture & Food

europeancommission

How do European officials working on agriculture and food topics deal with the emerging data revolution in the sector? How can they be aware of the recent developments in a way that may inform their thinking? And how can they respond to the community needs by appropriately shaping the policy programs and support instruments?

This was the topic of a meeting that took place in Brussels on September 30th, 2016. The meeting was organised by the Big Data Europe project, in collaboration with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Agroknow, being the Big Data Europe partners responsible for the food and agriculture sector, worked together with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in order to invite to the meeting representatives from the European Commission (EC) DGs and a select group of community stakeholders.… Click to read the full post

Agroknow visits Canada to talk about big data in farms

canadafarm

One of the fun things we did during our visit to Ontario this September was our meeting with Canada’s first NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges: Dr. Mike Duncan. With a specialization in Precision Agriculture and Environmental Technologies, the five-year mission of Mike as a NSERC Chair was to develop data-powered solutions for provincial and national farming communities.

Mike, Gregor MacLean and the Agriculture & Environment Innovation Center team at the Niagara College are focused on developing new ways to gather, process and disseminate the massive amounts of data gathered each day from Ontario farms, including the use of an experimental unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and field sensors.

Click to read the full post

Press Release: “Big Data Europe” addresses societal challenges with data technologies

Source: http://www.open-evidence.com/farmers-meet-big-data-how-data-driven-technologies-can-serve-a-traditional-sector-like-agriculture-27th-april-at-1500-cest/

European project makes big data technologies easy to use.

Big Data Europe project logoAcross society, from health to agriculture and transport, from energy to climate change and security, practitioners in every discipline recognize the potential of the enormous amounts of data being created every day. The challenge is to capture, manage and process that information to derive meaningful results and make a difference to people’s lives. The Big Data Europe project has just released the first public version of its open source platform designed to do just that. In 7 pilot studies, it is helping to solve societal challenges by putting cutting edge technology in the hands of experts in fields other than IT.Click to read the full post

“V” for Visualizing Vineyards and Varieties data

vitis vineyard

In an earlier post, we explained how Variety, one of the four Vs of Big Data, applies in a specific domain as is the one of Viticulture and how all this connects with Agroknow’s work (a.k.a. our use case pilot) in the context of the BigDataEurope Horizon 2020 project.

Viticulture is one of those domains of Agriculture, and obviously not the only one, where data are present throughout the entire process, from the vineyard where various activities take place to the laboratory where analyses are being done. Different vineyards to set the experiment, different grapevine varieties or even different samples of the same variety but from different locations to study, different equipment to use, different methods and protocols to follow, all these contain more than one type of data and all these constitute variables that can differentiate the research outcomes.… Click to read the full post

EURAGRI: The EURopean AGricultural Research Initiative

Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/02/monsantos_big_data_taxpayer_ripoff/

euragri_logoThe European Agricultural Research Initiative (EURAGRI) is a European platform for the political and executive organizations in the fields of Food and Agricultural Policy and Research. By providing a forum for informal exchange on opinions and views on developments in science, society and industry, thus facilitating the design, implementation and planning of agri-food research, EURAGRI plays a key role in agricultural research at an EU level. From an organizational point of view, EURAGRI consists of representatives of Ministries of Agriculture and Research in various EU countries, a fact that allows EURAGRI to be in the position to advocate and work at a high level, involving EU countries as members and have an impact on the directions of agri-food research at national and EU level.… Click to read the full post

Using Big Data – in the food safety sector

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-kennell/why-food-safety-matters_b_7544340.html

Trying to emphasize on the importance of food safety information and data is probably meaningless; we are discussing about data that can be used for saving millions of lives each year so its management and sharing is of highest importance at a global level. And when we are talking about related information aggregated through various sources, we are talking about big data at the service of the food safety sector.

In this context, Agroknow CEO Nikos Manouselis made a trip to Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK in order to participate to an event simply titled “Using Big Data“, organised by the Cranfield University. … Click to read the full post

“V” for Vitis (and for Variety)

vitis nature

One aspect of Agroknow’s work in the context of the BigDataEurope Horizon 2020 project (and as the project is moving forward entering its second year) is to develop a pilot addressing a specific Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge and from a domain specific perspective (in our case that of Societal Challenge 2: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy). Our pilot is specific to agriculture and more specifically to viticulture and the diversity of grapevine varieties. What we want to do is to explore how we can “support advanced crop data discovery, processing, combining and visualization from distributed and heterogeneous data repositories”.… Click to read the full post

Here is a BigDataEurope Webinar- Ready to join?

webinar

One of the components of Agroknow’s work in the context of the BigDataEurope Horizon 2020 project is to identify and promote big data initiatives and existing work in the agri-food sector and at a global level and see how these could be mapped to the technical work that the project will design and deploy at a later stage. At the same time, existing efforts, work and outcomes are studied and good practices are identified, in order to be adapted and adopted in different cases. In this context, we were happy to see some month ago CGIAR, a global network of fifteen (15) agricultural research centers all over the world, show activity towards the exploitation of big data for addressing food security.… Click to read the full post

An Open Science Cloud for Europe’s agri-food research skies

cloud1

During these strange, troubling times, Europe seems to be trying to make some steps towards closer collaboration and integration. The strategy for creating a Digital Single Market is one of these desired steps that will try to bring together the 28 member states at the online space. And as far European research is concerned, a major decision has been taken during the past few weeks by some of the key stakeholders that drive the digital science (or eScience) agenda: to join forces and create a so-called European Open Science Cloud for Research.

Five leading Europan initiatives (EUDATLIBEROpenAIREEGI and GEANT) that are working on different parts of e-infrastructures to facilitate research, have published a position paper that describes their joint vision on empowering research data sharing, data stewardship and data reuse in Europe for the benefit of innovation and growth.… Click to read the full post

“I do big data for the food & beverage industry” – OK, but for which problem?

milk

I was reading through the 2013 report on “Formula for growth: Innovation, big data and analytics” that the US Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Deloitte Consulting L.L.P. produced. This is a very interesting report, since it outlines the opportunities big data offers to food and beverage manufacturers, bringing the industry perspective to the big data discussion. The report also discusses how data mining technologies are starting to transform the consumer packaged goods marketplace, and outlines what companies may do to use the technologies to improve performance.

A GMA video summarizing the report findings (find it here: http://www.gmaonline.org/issues-policy/collaborating-with-retailers/big-data-analytics/welcome)

A very interesting Deloitte video with Prof. Tom Davenport summarises the report findings

There are a couple of recommendations in the report that rang a bell:

  • Business context is required to operationalize big data, analytics, and innovation
  • The majority of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is lagging in data and analytical capabilities
  • Rapid-fire pace of innovation requires data & analytics competency

Yes, I agree that context is king.… Click to read the full post