The Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) is a Dutch public university in Wageningen, Netherlands, which consists of the Wageningen University and the former agricultural research institutes (Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek – DLO). WUR is one of the top institutes at a global level in the field of agri-food and environmental research. As expected, such a large and active group of research institutes produces huge amounts of data – and WUR has developed the expertise throughout the years to make good use of big data in the agri-food research context. It has been almost one century (98 years, to be more precise) since WUR started collecting research data of various types, using various means and managing all this information and data so that it can be easily reused. How has this data been collected through these years, for which purpose and how can it benefit future research? A beautiful timeline produced by WUR provides the answers to these questions.
(This post was first published on the Agroknow blog)
The 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.
On March 9th, 2016, EURAGRI organizes a Workshop titled “Big Data in Agriculture: Consequences for research and research organizations” – an event hosted by INRA, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. The aim of the workshop is to discuss on how big data can transform (or improve, to be more precise) agriculture through the adoption of big agri-food data (such as through big data analytics) in the agricultural research. Existing efforts are expected to be presented and potential collaborations will be explored in order to facilitate the integration of big data in the agricultural research.
Agroknow, one of the BigDataEurope project partners, is closely following this activity; through the contributions of projects like the Horizon 2020 BigDataEurope, AGINFRA evolves into a big data analytics capable e-infrastructure for agriculture to respond to the need that the European Commission identifies through networks like EURAGRI. Such a big data e-infrastructure would become then a core component of the envisaged European Open Science Cloud and serve a wide variety of stakeholders in the agri-food sector. In this context, AGINFRA is expected to play a key role in this process by facilitating the management and processing of big data in the agri-food research section and its integration in various research applications.
(This post was initially published on the Agroknow blog)
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 on February 17th, 2016 in order to participate to an event simply titled “Using Big Data“, organised by the Cranfield University. Nikos was invited to talk to a food academia-industry network called Food@Cranfield about Agroknow’s work on scaling up food transparency and safety data sharing.
Since Big Data is the main theme of the meeting, Nikos Manouselis provided the potential contributions of the BigDataEurope Horizon 2020 project (Agroknow being one of the consortium members), focusing on how the expected outcomes of the project could be applied in specific use cases, serving actual needs of the corresponding stakeholders. The AGINFRA e-infrastructure, which evolves into a big data analytics capable e-infrastructure for agriculture, was the core point of the presentation showing how it can combine different components for aggregating, managing and delivering information related to food safety.