Wednesday April 16, 2014

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.


consultationThe renewed worldwide interest in agriculture and in issues relating to food crises in different parts of the world has highlighted the need for providing quality information to actors in rural development.  Much attention has been focused internationally on how digital information and communication technologies (ICT) can improve access to technical data and knowledge in all sectors including agriculture.  This drive has been reflected in the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a “data revolution” for sustainable development, with a new international initiative to improve the quality of statistics and information available to citizens.

Many initiates are currently working toward the promotion of Open Data in Agriculture, not least the agINFRA-Powered CIARD Movement which has developed a set of practical tools including a “Checklist” of good practices, a set of “Pathways”, and a global registry of open data sources “CIARD-RING”, and the AIMS global community of practice.  The founding partners undertook a review of the Movement in early 2013, and leveraging the computational power and capability of agINFRA, the vision was widened to encompass contributions to agricultural development in general with a focus on small producers.  CIARD is currently being rebranded to address this new mandate.

Apart from CIARD, agINFRA has also been working closely with other leading lights in the world of Agricultural Open data including the Research Data Alliance’s ‘Agriculture Interest Group”, which has strong links to CIARD. Leading on from the G8 conference, the GODAN (Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition) initiative was launched in October 2013 with agINFRA as a founding partner to build high-level policy and institutional support for open data across the public and private sector. The GODAN partners include many of the same actors that already support CIARD so the two will be highly complementary to each other.

From the 22nd-24th April, CIARD and GODAN will hold a joint consultation in Rome at which agINFRA will be represented. The meeting will accomplish the following objectives:

·         review progress, achievements and future prospects of all international initiatives related to open data and knowledge in agriculture, including especially CIARD and GODAN;

·         consider experiences of selected national systems and international/regional agencies in development of effective policies and practices in opening agricultural knowledge and data;

·         discuss and agree structure and governance for CIARD and GODAN;

·         define a programme of action for the next 2 years in relation to strengthening advocacy, policy frameworks and mandates, and institutional/human capacities.

agINFRA Looks forward to contributing to this vital consultation as part of our ongoing efforts to advance the cause of Open Data in Agriculture.


imagesagINFRA was recently represented at the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) which took place between 26-28th March 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. The event brought together more than 450 Scientists, Repository Managers and Data Scientists from across the world to discuss the cutting-edge of Research Data management.


agINFRA was present in force at the event through the  Agricultural Data Interoperability IG, chaired by agINFRA colleagues Johannes Keizer (FAO) and Devika Madalli (Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore). The group afforded an excellent forum for the continued discussion of agINFRA’s pioneering work to integrate Germplasm Data into our infrastructure. During the group, agINFRA Partner Vassilis Protonatarios gave a presentation entitled "Global RDF Descriptors for Germplasm Data", describing the work done in the context of the agINFRA project and the RDA WG towards the exposure and publication of germplasm data as linked data (always based on the work already done by other experts in this field). This presentation can be viewed below:




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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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