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agINFRA is proud to present to you the “International e-Conference on Germplasm Data Interoperability” will take place between December 6th and December 20th, 2013. The e-Conference will bring together stakeholders in the area of plant germplasm and traits to discuss the current status of the interoperability between the different data sources and resources, such as the metadata schemas and classification systems. The conference itself will focus on the linked data approach to be followed in order to enable the linking of data from heterogeneous data sources and in various data formats.
The event is jointly organized by Bioversity International, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Agro-Know Technologies and supported by the agINFRA EU project. Major players in the biodiversity area, including the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), EURISCO and GENESYS will be invited and involved, along with the Agricultural Data Interoperability Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). The participants will also present sessions on germplasm data providers as well as the technical infrastructure need for linking the various germplasm data sources.
Four major plenary sessions are planned for the eConference:
The vision of Linked Germplasm Data (6/12/2013)
Status of data and metadata for germplasm (11/12/2013)
Setting up an infrastructure for the Germplasm Data (11-19/12/2013)
Semantic standards and metadata needed for bridging the germplasm data to the breeding/in situ/on farm data (20/12/2013)
The sessions will consist of real-time presentations and discussions between the participants while in the case of the asynchronous session, it will consist of a number of presentations available offline, which can be commented and discussed between the participants. The expected audience of this e-Conference is bioinformatics and biodiversity researchers, linked data experts and stakeholders working with linked data.
Last week saw the launch of the brand new initiative GODAN initative, coordinated by the UK and US governments. The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. The initiative focuses on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data. The initiative encourages collaboration and cooperation among existing agriculture and open data activities, without duplication, and brings together all stakeholders to solve long-standing global problems. agINFRA is already working toward the promotion of Open Data in Agriculture and as such we are delighted to be one of the launch supporters of the GODAN movement.
Open access to research, and open publication of data, are vital resources for food security and nutrition, driven by farmers, farmer organizations, researchers, extension experts, policy makers, governments, and other private sector and civil society stakeholders participating in ‘innovation systems’ and along value chains. Lack of institutional, national, and international policies and openness of data limit the effectiveness of agricultural and nutritional data from research and innovation. Making open data work for agriculture and nutrition requires a shared agenda to increase the supply, quality, and interoperability of data, alongside action to build capacity for the use of data by all stakeholders.
The GODAN initiative is a voluntary association brought together around a shared purpose. Launched in October 2013, the initiative welcomes all those who share this purpose to join as members and to participate in shaping coordinated activities that can deliver on the potential of open data for agriculture and nutrition. Together, initiative partners seek to support this initiative through the following guidelines and principles.
In line with global movements for open data and open access, the initiative seeks to:
advocate for open data and open access policies by default, in both public and private sectors, whilst respecting and working to balance openness with legitimate concerns in relation to privacy, security, community rights and commercial interests;
advocate for the release and re-usability of data in support of Innovation and Economic Growth, Improved Service Delivery and Effective Governance, and Improved Environmental and Social Outcomes;
With a focus on open data for agriculture and nutrition, the initiative seeks to:
advocate for new and existing open data initiatives to set a core focus on agriculture and nutrition data;
encourage the agreement on and release of a common set of agricultural and nutrition data;
by increasing widespread awareness of ongoing activities, innovations, and good practices;
advocate for collaborative efforts on future agriculture and nutrition open data endeavors; and,
advocate programs, good practices, and lessons learned that enable the use of open data particularly by and for the rural and urban poor.
Over the comings months, agINFRA will work closely with GODAN to promote our flexible agricultural data infrastructure to an even wider audience. To find out more about GODAN and the growing international movement that supports Open Data in Agriculture, visit their website here.
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 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 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 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′.
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 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).
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 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.
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 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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