SemaGrow and the business case of Agro-Know


SemaGrowSemaGrow is a European three-years FP7 project with the objective to discover possibilities to handle big data in agriculture. The SemaGrow consortium seeks to develop techniques for distributed Web queries, data and metadata mapping as well as methodologies for scaling up to extremely large data volumes and real time performances. The project outcomes will help innovative SMEs like Agro-Know and other organizations consuming (e.g. organizing, processing, visualizing) agricultural data to have better access to a very large volume of data and develop sustainable services and tools using this data to offer them to the community. This will improve decision making of agricultural researchers, information officers, researchers and educators by providing them access to timely and accurate information/data.… 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

Agro-Know in GODAN 2015 Workshop & Future Food Hack


GODANGODAN (The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) is an initiative which, as its name states pretty clearly, fosters global actions that create and share agricultural and nutritional open data. From its birth at the Open Government Partnership Summit, on October 2013, GODAN has undertaken the quest of formulating a “high- level” policy on open data. Being a mediator between current agriculture and open data activities, it has become a rally point for stake holders to gather and puzzle out long standing global problems. The realization that the absence of international policies and openness of data diminishes the effectiveness of research and innovation, prompted GODAN to generate a shared agenda with the intention to “increase the supply, quality and interoperability of data”.… Click to read the full post

A global alliance for food safety: reflections on the GFSP 2014 conference

Receiving a certificate (on the most smiling participant?) from Dr. Francois Le Gall of the World Bank who is responsible for the strategy and coordination of the GFSP

While writing this, I am on the plane for home and trying to adjust from the summer weather of Cape Town to the chilly weather of Athens. But most of all, I am trying to digest a wealth of ideas, images and impressions that I bring back with me from the annual conference of the Global Food Safety Partnership. I have to admit that I was not prepared for this. I was expecting a quite slow and boring conference, with some meetings of interest but with an emphasis on the process (how this huge partnership will function) rather than the substance (how impact will be achieved).… Click to read the full post

SemaGrow 2nd Review Meeting


SemaGrowThe 2nd review meeting of the SemaGrow project will take place between 11-12 of December 2014 in Luxemburg. All project partners will be represented in the meeting, each one presenting their own parts of this collaborative work. Nikos Marianos, our Project Manager Director and the person responsible for the coordination of the Agro-Know contributions in the project will represent Agro-Know in the meeting. As usual, the first day of the meeting will consist of the final revisions in the presentation to be made in front of the project’s reviewers, fine-tuning and allocation of roles during the presentation while the second day will be the actual review meeting.… Click to read the full post

SemaGrow 5th Project Meeting


NCSRThe 5th plenary meeting of the SemaGrow project took place on the 14th and the 15th of October 2014 at the premises of NCSR Demokritos, in Athens, Greece. It was hosted by the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), one of the consortium members of the project. The meeting provided the opportunity to the project partners to meet and present the progress of the project per Work Package and organize the preparations for the upcoming review meeting of the project.

Agro-Know was represented in the meeting by Nikos Marianos, Nikos Manolis, Andreas Drakos & Panagis Katsivelis, since the meeting took place in Athens, very close to the AK offices.… Click to read the full post

Takeaways from a meeting with a visionary


In July 2014, I visited Washington DC for a Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) meeting at the World Bank headquarters. I could spend a whole week at the United States so I took the opportunity in order to organise some further meetings in order to explore synergies and collaborations in the context of our SemaGrow project activities. I was trying to understand better the data problems and needs that organisations like the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have, when they are trying to put together large amounts of heterogeneous information in order to help their researchers do their job.… Click to read the full post

2nd SemaGrow Hackathon


SemaGrowThe 2nd SemaGrow Hackathon took place between 4-7/7/2014 at the premises of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications of NCSR Demokritos in Athens, Greece. It was organized by Agro-Know, as a partner of the SemaGrow project and collocated with the International Research-Centered Summer School in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Robotics, Data and Content Analysis (IRSS 2014), a fact that allowed the participation of a high number of people with technical background and skills. It was attended by about 40 people from various countries all over the world. You can find information about the 2nd SemaGrow Hackathon here.


The 1st day of the Hackathon (Friday, 4/7/2014) was an Introductory Course, which aimed to provide the necessary background to the Hackathon participants.… Click to read the full post