Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Counting on cloud services - sometimes it fails...

Depending on a cloud service for getting the latest version of a presentation I made during the Herbal.Mednet kick-off meeting and realizing that the file has not been uploaded correctly from my netbook to the cloud... epic fail!

I suppose that it was due to the fact that the files were not properly synced before I switched off my netbook and let it rest until my next trip. I always like to find excuses for others when the job is not done but when it comes to presenting your outcomes and finding a working solution you either have to:

i) make sure that everything is properly synced before switching off your laptop or
ii) use a traditional USB stick: cheap, portable and loyal!

I might have to go for the second option next time...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Herbal.Mednet kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of a new Leonardo da Vinci project took place on November 22-23, 2012 at the premises of University of Alcala, Alcala de Henares, Spain. The consortium consists of good friends and colleagues from other EU-funded projects, like UAH (Dr. Salvador Sanchez), USAMVB (Prof. Roman and Dr. Maria Toader, long-time friends from the Organic.Edunet and Organic.Balkanet projects) and EUMMENA (Dr. Jad Najjar). The coordinating institution is Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica (SEAE / Victor Gonzalvez) and the consortium also includes Apivita, University of Thessaly, Greece and SERIFO from Italy.
Group photo of the Herbal.Mednet consortium members
I participated in the meeting as an external expert on behalf of the Organic.Lingua project, presenting an overview of the agriMoodle course management platform and how it could be applied in the case of the Herbal.Mednet project. The platform seems ideal for the purposes of the project, as each one of the user partners will have to develop a part of the training curriculum in the form of courses, which may be uploaded in agriMoodle, described with Organic.Edunet IEEE LOM metadata, enriched with additional supporting material (also described with metadata) and made available through a wide variety of portals, websites etc. A short overview of the project can be found in the IEUAH blog entry.
The Organic.Edunet Web portal will have a core role in this project as well, since it is going to provide resources for the enrichment of the courses and at a later stage provide access to the courses organized in the agriMoodle instances used by the user partners of the consortium (Apivita, Serifo and SEAE).

It was my first time in Spain and more specifically in Alcala de Henares, which is a lovely town, well-preserved to keep its medieval character. Despite the limited free time, we managed to walk around the town and see some of the beautiful monuments. The Rectorate building of the university alone was one of the best sites around! I am already looking forward for my next time in Spain - it will also help me practice my poor Spanish. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BioVeL Newsletter No. 2

The BioVeL project has just published their 2nd newsletter. It was sent to me via email, as I was registered through the BioVeL website; however, you may grab a digital copy from here. I had a really good time going through it, despite the fact that I am not involved in the biodiversity field, as it provides a wide variety of topics, including information on workflows.

For example, I found the Workflow for Data Refinement especially interesting for my work - we are working with related workflows in the agINFRA project after all). I also enjoyed the presentation of consortium members, some of which I had already met during the MS6 workshop, in which I also participated. I like this idea, which we are already using in our ISLE newsletters, but in a smaller scale.

However, what I enjoyed most was the photo available in p.12 of the newsletter, as it was a group photo taken during the MS6 workshop at Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a surreal photo, and setting up all these people did not seem to work since there were two cameras shooting at the same time but from different angles! I happened to look at the correct camera, since I started to develop an instinct about that after my participation in all these meetings! :-P

This brought all these nice memories from my participation to the 2nd BioVeL workshop; I would love to find an opportunity to work with the people involved there, as they are so passionate about what they are doing!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

VOA3R featured in the Focus Europe Journal

Thanks to a tweet from ARI_RD I was informed that the VOA3R project has been featured in the latest issue (October 2012) of the European Journal Focus Europe. The journal is produced by C-E.N.T.E.R. Network (Competence, cooperation and communication in the dissemination and exploitation of EU projects) and aims to highlight European developments and projects, mainly focusing on EU-funded projects. It is an interesting project, that provides a number of dissemination opportunities and tools for EU-funded projects that would like to expose their work and outcomes to a wider audience.

VOA3R partners @ Izmir, Turkey during 4th project meeting
The article about VOA3R is titled "Community-based research, knowledge sharing and publication facilitated by VOA3R" and can be found at page 17. It is a short presentation of the VOA3R project, written by Christian M. Stracke (eLC / University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany), Diane Le Hénaff (INRA, France) and Miguel-Angel Sicilia (University of Alcalá, Spain), all partners of the project (the latter being the coordinator of the project). The article also features a family photo of the project's partners, taken during the 4th project meeting in Izmir, Turkey, collocated with MTSR 2011.

You may find the online version of the journal here.