A public data science infrastructure for food and agriculture

Scientific knowledge relies on vast amounts of data (Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash)

Which has been the goal of AGINFRA PLUS?

AGINFRA PLUS tried to meet the needs of the scientific and technological communities that work on the multi-disciplinary and multi-domain problems related to agriculture and food. It has prototyped a number of holistic data-intensive science workflows powered by a shared e-infrastructure called AGINFRA.

What are the benefits that this project could bring to the enterprises, academics, policy maker and potentially to the citizen?

All stakeholders working on the digital transformation of food and agriculture are facing important challenges. For the organizations, initiatives but also individuals in both the public and private sector, it is important to have access to scientific knowledge through openly accessible digital services and infrastructures. AGINFRA PLUS has actively contributed to this goal as a reference point for data infrastructure services and resources.

A joint action for the future of food and agriculture ( Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash)

What are the links between AGINFRA PLUS and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)? How are the two initiative benefiting from each other?

The open science stakeholders in food and agriculture have been among the early supporters of the EOSC vision. In 2015, the initial concepts were backed up through first digital infrastructure initiative for food and agriculture, the so called agINFRA project from the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). In 2016 & 2017, community representatives came together at the Open Harvest events in Crete. We declared our desire to align our collaborations more and align our infrastructure development work. This has continued as part of AGINFRA PLUS and has positioned AGINFRA as the data and services reference point within EOSC for food and agriculture communities.

  • Do we still believe that a shared global data space will propel the industry forward?
  • How important, relevant and possible is it to develop digital science infrastructures as collaborative and community-driven resources?
Excellence is the key research priority Europe (Photo by François Genon on Unsplash)

Is EU funding important for the European research? How has it contributed to AGINFRA PLUS success?

I would really like to emphasize the role of the European Commission in setting up an ecosystem. It is not the funding only, although it obviously facilitates projects that without it may have never been possible to undertake. It is the process of community building that makes the EU funding framework so precious. The concept behind AGINFRA PLUS started within the FP7, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the ICT Policy Support Programme (PSP), with projects like NEON, D4Science, CIP PSP VOA3R and agINFRA. Numerous people got involved, important ideas have been jointly developed, and a community has started flourishing.

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Agroknow

Agroknow

The food safety intelligence company that extracts tailor-made data insights for the global supply chain.