Sunday February 1, 2015

agINFRA is pioneering the connection of Agricultural Data through an Open and Participatory Data Infrastructure.

Our website is here to provide you with everything you need to know to discover exciting new developments in the field and get yourself or your organization involved. Our 4 Frequently Asked Questions will help you get started on your AgInfra journey. Click here to connect with us directly.


faobhlAgINFRA has been bringing together two key digital resources to realize the project’s goal of promoting data sharing in agricultural sciences. The first resource is AGRIS, a collection of more than 7 million bibliographic references on agricultural research and technology. The second is the Biodiversity Heritage Library(BHL), which currently contains over 45 million pages of digitized biodiversity content.


“BHL is a unique resource for agricultural researchers,” explains Dr Jane Bromley, a research fellow at The Open University and member of the agINFRA project. “Its long-term view can prove invaluable in locating wild relatives of crops and understanding their relationship to local habitats and ecosystems. It is the only way to access this breadth of biodiversity literature electronically.”


Dr Bromley and her colleagues, Drs David King and David Morse, developed a process to enhance AGRIS with BHL content by first identifying material relevant to agricultural researchers using a combination of subject classifications and keyword searching. These references were then extracted, cleaned and uploaded to the AGRIS database.


The experiments with filtering BHL are described in a blog post on the BHL website Finding Agriculture among Biodiversity: Metadata in Practice and have been presented as a conference paper at the 8th Metadata and Semantics Research Conference in Karlsruhe. You can download a copy of the paper here:


open agrigate logoagINFRA is doing our part to assist in the global movement for Open Agricultural Data by launching a new kind of competition for anyone with agricultural data.The Open AGRIgate competition has a simple objective: Use agINFRA’s tools to open as much data as possible via the FAO’s CIARD RING. The competition will be officially launched on 22nd September at the Research Data Alliance's 4th Plenary Meeting in Amsterdam.

How to participate

To participate, all you need to do is register your datasets through our website when we launch on September 22nd. The competition will run until February 2015 at which point the individual or organization that has registered the best data, judged both in terms of quantity and usability, will win a unique prize. This competition is looking to encourage those who would not usually open their data. For this reason, we accept entries from small institutions (defined as those with less than 1000 employees) from all over the world and ALL institutions from developing countries.

the Prize

In addition to agINFRA featuring your work at the next meeting of the Agricultural Data Interoperability Interest Group at RDA, you will get the chance to work together with our data scientists to build a new service based entirely on your data. To discover more about the competition and how to become involved, just visit our website.

agINFRA and Open Data

agINFRA understands that Open Data has the power to make massive advances in agriculture. When researchers, educators or scientists set out to improve agriculture, one of the most important things they need is reliable access to good quality information. This means not having to ask 50 different institutions for permission to use their data. To get the most out of research we need data that is available today in a really easy-to-use form. Opening data not only makes it easier for new research and ideas to emerge, it makes life better for everyone by improving the way agriculture is done. In fact, opening your data is such an important thing that most of the world’s governments are now backing an initiative called Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition to do just this.


The eI4Africa and iMENTORS EU-funded projects are very pleased to invite you to their joint conference on the theme “e-Infrastructures for Africa: Gateways to the Future. Organised under the aegis of the European Commission (DG CONNECT) and the African Union Commission, the conference will be held on October 29, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium at the Hotel Bloom.

The conference will aim at discussing major developments and perspectives in the field of Africa-EU e-Infrastructure cooperation and at presenting the two projects’ main outcomes:


  • The first ever Africa Grid Science Gateway;
  • Several African e-Infrastructure flagship demonstrators;
  • The results of the two surveys launched to examine the state-of-the-art of e-Infrastructure applications in Africa, as well as to assess their economic societal and environmental impacts;
  • The main outcomes of the four thematic workshops held in Africa over 2013-2014;
  • The launched program to deploy Certification Authorities across Africa;
  • The launch of the most comprehensive crowdsourcing data map providing insights into international cooperation and ICT investments in Africa for scientists, universities, research and education networks, and international donors;
  • The development of a decision-support system based on multiple stakeholders’ evaluations and impact assessments for on-going international aid projects and e-infrastructures;
  • A set of contextual factors which enable the assessment of ICT4D proposals ahead of their implementation by estimating their potential impact;
  • The role of open aid data in enhancing the coherence of international aid;
  • African progress towards establishing national and regional Research and Educational Networks (RENs).

    Over 100 delegates are expected to attend this major event: policy-makers, senior representatives from Governments, ICT project managers, heads of research labs, IT engineers, lecturers and researchers from universities and the higher education sector, managers of NGOs and centres of excellence, industry stakeholders.

    To take a closer look at the Conference Agenda, it's right here.

    Registrations, free of charge, are now open! Click here!

Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information coming up soon via eI4Africa and iMENTORS websites!


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22 January 2015, 10.47
AgINFRA has been bringing together two key digital resources to realize the project’s goal of promoting...
17 September 2014, 11.13
agINFRA is doing our part to assist in the global movement for Open Agricultural Data by launching a new...
31 July 2014, 10.05
The eI4Africa and iMENTORS EU-funded projects are very pleased to invite you to their joint conference...

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Advisory Board

Kris Jack


Kris Jack is a senior data mining engineer at Mendeley. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and has worked on data systems in academia and industry for the past 10 years. He was invited to give keynote presentations on recommender systems for scientific articles at the I-KNOW 2011 and RecSysTEL 2010 conferences. He also presently sits on the Editorial AdvisoryBoard for the Journal of Open Research Software.

Alexander van Opstal

Alexander van Opstal

Alexander van Opstal has a Master of Science in Ecology, Soil science and Philosophy of Science. He is an experienced senior policy advisor, leading projects and programmes in the field of programming of research for policy. Alexander is also a member of the ERA-ARD-EIARD-SCAR-Taskforce on Agricultural Research for Development. He has been part of the Dutch delegation to the annual meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for four years. He is chair of the European branch of the Dutch Scientific Landscape Ecological Society. He has been councilor to the Municipality of Rhenen for two years.

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts is head of the division of Microbiology in London's Natural History Museum. He has a long-standing interest in biodiversity informatics, having introduced the Scratchpads in the EU project EDIT, where he was a work package leader, and is currently project manager for the EU project ViBRANT, seeking to make the Scratchpad mantra 'small pieces loosely joined' a reality.

Erik Duval

Erik Duval

Erik Duval chairs the research unit on human-computer interaction, at the computer science department of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

His research focuses on massive hyper-personalization (“The Snowflake Effect”), learning analytics, openness and abundance - topics on which I regularly keynote. In practical terms, we research information visualization, mobile information devices, multi-touch displays and personal informatics. We typically apply our results to technology enhanced learning, access to music and ‘research 2.0′.

Wouter Los

Wouter Los

Dr Wouter Los is currently Project Leader of LifeWatch, the proposed e-science and technology infrastructure for biodiversity research. By training a theoretical chemist, he has held positions at the Universities of Leiden and Amsterdam, as well as being Director of the Institute for Taxonomic Biology. He has also held positions as Chair and Vice-Chair within a number of committees, including the Science Committee of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data.

Peter Ballantyne

Peter Ballantyne

Peter began his career working with agricultural information - first at the World Bank, then at a Faculty of Agriculture in Thailand, then in the CGIAR at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR); he spent the past 15 years working in the international development sector, with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).

Dickson Lukose

Dickson Lukose

Dr. Dickson Lukose is the Head of the Knowledge Technology Cluster at MIMOS BHD. Dr Lukose is also the director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory as well as the Centre of Excellence in Semantic Technologies. Prior to MIMOS BHD, Dr Lukose worked extensively in Artificial Intelligence Technology, developing software applications in the areas of Risk Management and Knowledge Management. He has done over 10 years of academic research in Artificial Intelligence, supported by research grants from Graphic Directions, Leverhulme Foundation, CSIRO, and Australian Research Council.

Carole Goble

Carole Goble

Carole has worked closely with life scientists for many years and is the Director of the myGrid project, the largest UK e-Science pilot , which has produced the widely-used Taverna open source software. She is also the co-director of the e-Science North West. She has an international reputation in the Semantic Web, e-Science and Grid communities and has led the application of Semantic Web technologies to both the Grid and e-Science, a fusion dubbed the Semantic Grid.

Stefano Cozzini

Stefano Cozzini

Stephano Cozzini is a development scientist at INFM (Italian National Institute for Matter Physics) working at National Simulation Center DEMOCRITOS hosted at Sissa (Trieste, Italy). He is presently coordinating all the IT activities within the center and works an external consultant for cluster and grid computing at ICTP (International Center of Theoretical Physics). His main professional interests are in the fields of high-performance computing and grid computing appliced to computational physics.

Samy Gaiji

Samy Gaiji

Samy Gaiji is currently Senior Programme Officer for Science and Scientific Liaison at Global Biodiversity Information Facility. He has extensive experience in delivering agriculture infrastructures for major entities such as the IPGRI, the Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO.

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