Open Harvest workshop in Chania

Presentation on Big Data Europe

The aim of this international meeting, organized by AgroKnow and INRA and sponsored by FAO, was to identify the components of a >10-year roadmap for an open, shared, distributed data infrastructure for agriculture and food, and define a process for designing and implementing it.
Discussions were also planned around existing opportunities from donors to fund the design of the infrastructure (and eventually, its implementation).
In particular, this meeting is linked to two specific opportunities:

  • AgroKnow, INRA and Alterra have been invited to present a proposal to the EC for a study around an “e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture (e-ROSA)”.
  • In the Big Data Europe H2020 project, FAO/GFAR and AgroKnow have been invited by the EC Project Officer to present the initial roadmap at a policy group meeting on 27 September in Brussels, to a selected audience of DG representatives and other policy makers; this meeting will be held back-to-back with the DG AGRI Workplan consultation on 28-29 September.

The workshop brought together around 35 participants from FAO, Agroknow, CABI, GODAN, GFAR, EMBRAPA, INRA, eXtension US, CAAS and other stakeholders in the agricultural research environment.
The meeting was planned as a small number of short lightening talks and longer breakout sessions into three working groups that worked each on a different piece of the roadmap. Each working group produced a set of slides to present a particular aspect of the roadmap specification.

The lightening talks introduced initiatives and projects like the eROSA proposal to the EC from INRA and Wageningen Alterra, the Crop Ontology Curation Tool from CGIAR, the Big Data Europe initiative from GFAR/FAO, GACS from FAO/CABI/NAL, AgroLD from CIRAD and AgroPortal from Stanford University / INRA.
The working groups were around:
1) Search and discovery services and applications (coordinators: Fabrizio Celli FAO, Michael Devlin)
2) Data aggregation and related backbone services (coordinators: Valeria Pesce GFAR, Christopher Brewster TNO)
3) Ontologies and semantics services (coordinators: Caterina Caracciolo FAO, Sophie Aubin INRA). 
The main outcomes of the meeting were:

  • The decision to create a new Working Group under the GODAN umbrella.
    This decision came out of the discussions in Working Group 2 (“Data aggregation and related backbone services”): the GODAN WG will be on the “Agri Data Ecosystem”.
    The group will: a) produce a series of documents/papers on agri-data and agri-tech; and b) describe a vision of an agri-data ecosystem (what exists, what is possible, what is exciting, what works).
    GFAR will be one of the members of the Working Group.
  • The “Chania Declaration”.
    In order to express the commitment of the participants to work together to bring forward the various elements of the infrastructure, a smaller group of participants drafted a common declaration, which was then discussed in plenary, adjusted and signed by all participants.
    Key points of the declaration:
    “We seek to catalyze the creation of a powerful ecosystem of linked data repositories, data management services and virtual collaboration environments to increase the pace of knowledge production for agricultural innovation.”
    “We agree to strengthen our collaboration through building a common roadmap for the infrastructure elements our sector so desperately needs. As we define infrastructure we consider every element that is needed to achieve our goals: physical structures; software; standards; and procedures. First of all we need to support collaboration. This means nurturing relationships that represent truly international perspectives and include both the public and private sector in partnerships.”
    “We sign this declaration in our personal capacity, but we commit to continue to engage through our own organizations to get support for the development of these projects and others conducted in common.”

    Full version of the Declaration at:

© 2007 - 2020 Valeria Pesce
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