5 cool things we learned in October

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October was a busy month, not only for Agro-Know, but also for our colleagues – this was depicted in the number of blog posts that we shared with you; a total of thirteen (13!) posts on what Agro-Know and our friends are doing!

So what were the five coolest things we learned in October?

  1. There are 5 Vs in Big Data, but what matters in agri-food Big Data is the variety.
  2. Food Safety is one of the hottest topics nowadays – and we are keeping our eyes on it. Same goes for IBM and Mars.
  3. The Open Access Week led to a huge number of related activities globally; we had our (small) share in that.
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Open Source Agriculture? Meet the OpenAg Initiative!

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It must have been more than ten years since I did my MSc and PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology; both of them focused on the study of effects of artificial and controlled sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus deprivation on corn plants grown hydroponically. I was also using a controlled plant growth chamber that allowed me to control environmental aspects like temperature, light and humidity – big enough to fit hundreds of plants and 4-5 people. Since my work involved the use of antibodies and the analysis of proteins, RNA & DNA, I was constantly wearing my clean, white lab coat, like the one that the guys and girls in the following picture wear.… Click to read the full post

Building innovation using open data and source

OpenDataSource_Workshop

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.… Click to read the full post

Commons Festival 2015

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According to its founders, the Commons Festival is “an initiative for the promotion of free knowledge and equal cooperation for the development and management of the commons. A philosophy that has been widely spread through the open source software communities and extends to various aspects of everyday lives, such as arts, government, the development of machinery, tools and other goods/products“. The ultimate aim of the Commonsfest annual festival is to promote the outcomes of this philosophy to a wide audience through exhibitions, speeches, workshops etc,and to provide the means for its further adoption.

Commonsfest_logoThe Commonsfest 2015 program has been completed and includes a high number of speakers both from Greece and abroad, covering a wide spectrum of thematics related to the collective management of common, natural, artificial & digital resources. … Click to read the full post

Open Source Seed Initiative: Sharing Seeds Without Borders

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I have to admit that I feel really happy about this specific interview; I was informed about the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) several months ago, when a colleague of mine pointed me to the website of this really special initiative. I personally considered the concept of open source seeds as an obvious need for people who do not want to feel depended on patented seeds and on top of that I made a connection with the open access and open data in agriculture that I have been working on for the last years. However, it seems that openness to me focused on the secondary products of agricultural research activities and I never thought of the possibility of restricted access to plant germplasm and the options of keeping plant genetic material open – I guess I took this for granted (which unfortunately is not always the case, as you will see later on in this post).… Click to read the full post