The G8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture took place in Washington, DC on the 29-30thApril 2013. The event gathered countries from the G-8 and New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to discuss the potential of open data for agriculture. agINFRA and openAgris - an agINFRA integrated service - were presented to great interest at the event by Johannes Keizer from the AIMS community.
In order to guarantee further advancement of open data, the European Commission and several countries have materialized plans of action to make agricultural data streams globally available. agINFRA was included in the European Commission Action Plan as part of its commitment to deliver open access to publicly funded agriculturally relevant data for users in Africa and around the world. The implementation of the action plan represents an important step in stimulating the creation of innovative applications in the agricultural sector and ultimately supporting a sustainable increase in food security world-wide.
For more information on the G8 event and its outcomes, please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/g8opendataconference/home.
A G8 side event, ‘DE Open Data for Agriculture,’ is to be held after the 1st of May will commence in Washington DC at The International Food Policy Research Institute headquarters. The summit will focus on the recent G8 leader’s pledge to commit to world food security. This promise stipulates that developed nations should communicate, converge and share their intellectual property, and open up their publicly funded agriculturally relevant data across borders and with developing nations exposed to climate risk. The title of the conference stands for data and the eight minutes permitted for presentations designed to stimulate and galvanise awareness and interest on open data. The all encompassing cause of this event is to establish options for a global platform that makes information reliable and relatable to African farmers; in the hope of reaching sustainable farming to combat the crisis in food security and climate. Noted speakers will include; Neil Fantom from World Bank, Soonho Kim from Food Security Portal and Melanie Bacov from Harvestchoice.
For more information, please check: http://bit.ly/15908m6
The AIMS Metadata Group of Interest has introduced a webinar entitled ‘How to select apporporiate encoding strategies for producing Linked Open Data (LOD)- enabled bibliographic data that will go live on the 30th April 2013. The Webminar will be held but Professor Marcia Zeng from Kent State University, and Imma Subirats, knowledge and information management officer at the Food and Agricuture Organization of the UN.
This webminar is part of a series of webinars that were launched by Linked Open Data @ AIMS in December 2012. The main objectives are to introduce information management specialists into the initiatives related to the Semantic Web that is currently taking place within the AIMS Community of Practice.
The Webinar will be based on Linked Open Data (LOD)- enabled biographical data which aims at providing bibliographical data providers of open repositories with a set of recommendations that will support the selection of appropriate encoding strategies for producing meaningful LODE-BD. For more information about the webminar, please follow the link to their website: click here.
The G8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture will be taking place in Washington, D,C from the 29-30th April 2013. The main aim of the conference is to urge developed countries into demonstrating a sense of commitment into investing in projects that open access to publicly funded global agriculturally relevant data streams. It is hoped that such projects will allow for greater access for African, as well as worldwide users, so that a more sustainable means of fighting food insecurities can be developed and adopted on a worldwide scale.
Mr Johannes Keizer, the Information Systems Officer at FAO of the United Nations shared his views on the importance of Open Data for agriculture, and what the aim of the conference was in an interview conducted by AIMS. During the interview, Mr Keizer stated that he believed that open data is crucial for researchers and decision makers as the data that would be readily available would allow for better agricultural models that were climate friendly to be developed. It would also allow for policy makers to construct policies that better target agricultural producers. Mr Keizer expressed that the main challenges that this task faces are transforming the data in order to make it more practical for those who would gain from using it.
The Reasearch Data Alliance launch meeting that was held from the 18th-20th March 2012, saw the emergence of the ‘Agricultural Data Interest group’ , which was founded by members from India, Greece and FAO of the United Nations.
The Agricultural Data Interest group will manage all topics related to management and interoperability of data sets which are important for agricultural development and innovation.mThe interest group will ensure that the interests of all stakeholders that work do produce, manage, aggregate, share or consume data from or for agricultural research and innovation purposes are looked after. The interest group will work to bring to the surface any existing problems and experiences; pave the way for a number of domain specific working groups within Research Data Alliance, and also serve other working groups as a domain case.
The interest group is considering to set up a ‘working group on interoperability of Wheat related information systems’ , which will adhere to the wheat initiative. The aim of this group is the create a “cookbook on exposing and linking wheat related databases/repositories”.
LACRO 2013, the Workshop on Learning Objects Analytics for Collections, Repositories and Federations, will take place in Leuven, Belgium, on April 9, 2013. The workshop is organised jointly with International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2013, taking place in Leuven, between April 8 and April 12, 2013 (LAK 2013 – for more details please visit http://lakconference2013.wordpress.com/).
LACRO 2013 is now launching the first call for papers, with the submissions deadline on February 15, 2013. The Workshop aims to bring studies and demonstrations for any kind of analysis done on learning resource collections, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Digital collections are considered not as merely IT deployments but as social systems with contributors, owners, evaluators and users forming patterns of interactions on top of portals or through search systems embedded in other learning technology components. Among the topics addressed, LACRO 2013 will include: innovative services and systems for learners and curators based on LO analytics, requirements for the collection of analytics in Learning Repositories and Federations, approaches to address big data problems in collecting analytics in Learning Repositories and Federations and much more.
For further details, please click here
Building Blocks for a Data Infrastructure and Services to Empower Agricultural Research Communities, is the title of a recent paper on the agINFRA project. agINFRA is a European Union project (funded under the 7th Framework Programme) and aims to provide agricultural research communities with e-infrastructure and services for open data access, sharing and re-use. This paper presents the projects objectives and data principles while it also summarises the data resources that are covered by the project. agINFRA facilitates the sharing of broad range of data types which includes; bibliographic data on scientific and grey literature; digital learning and training resources; Geospatial information systems; Plant germplasm and genomics information and Agricultural statistics. The paper provides a step by step approach as to how agricultural research institutions and other stakeholders can participate in, and benefit from, the project.
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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