Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Overview of my 2017

(I realized that I keep discovering new points to add every now and then so I consider this to be sort of a "living document")

2017 has been another busy year, with important contributions and participation to events, co-authoring documents (reports and articles) with impact and many-many minor tasks (which build up and contributed to the bigger picture). I tried to compile a list of the most important ones:


1. AIOTI Working Group 06 Meeting (Brussels, 30/1/2017): This was the first face to face meeting of AIOTI's WG06 "Smart Farming and Food Security". The meeting was organized by Gradiant (Spain) and was attended by several members of the WG. My participation allowed me to have a better view of the ecosystem and more importantly the people active in this area.

2. Presentation in the KATANA Roadshow Athens (Athens, 2/2/2017): This was one of a series of meetings organized by the KATANA H2020 project which acts as an innovative business accelerator in the agrifood sector. I was invited to present an overview of the smart farming ecosystem in Greece; something that proved to be more challenging than I thought, mostly due to lack of sufficient information. 

3. si-Cluster meeting with Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media (Athens, 7/2/2017): I had the opportunity to actively participate in this important meeting of si-Cluster with the Minister and other officials of the Ministry, which provided the opportunity to companies to present the way in which they use satellite and earth observation technologies and data for building added value services. We presented our gaiasense smart farming system and the presentation drew the attention of the participants thanks to its simplicity, low cost and effectiveness.

4. Joining the list of revieewers of the Knowledge and Performance Management Journal (May 2017): I was invited to join the list of reviewers of the aforementioned open access journal and it was something that I found interesting, so I gladly accepted the invitation. It seems like a promising journal with great potential (thanks to the constantly increased importance of knowledge management).

5. Presentation in the Money Show 2017 Conference (Thessaloniki, 30/5/2017): It was an interesting event, as the session that I participated in aimed to show how an early harvest extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be used for medical purposes, contributing to the treatment of Altzheimer disease patients as a part of a healthy diet. My presentation focused on how the adoption of smart farming in a selected olive grove - Yanni's Olive Grove, one of the first adopters of NEUROPUBLIC's gaiasense smart farming system - can contribute to the production of olive oil with high levels of antioxidants (polyphenols). Other presentations showed how this olive oil is used experimentally for clinical trials (the aforementioned medical purposes).

6. Participation in the EIP-AGRI Seminar "Digital Innovation Hubs: mainstreaming digital agriculture"  (Kilkenny, 1-2/6/2017): This was quite an experience...I had the opportunity to collaborate with experts from different fields from all over Europe and contribute to the shaping of the design and implementation of Digital Innovation Hubs in Agriculture - I believe that this will be one of the hot topics in the near future. Excellent organization by EIP-AGRI, inspiring participants, interesting outcomes. Reports and other material from the meeting are available online.

7. AIOTI 2nd General Assembly & 2017-2021 Strategy (Brussels, 30/6/2017): I had the privilege to represent NEUROPUBLIC in the 2nd General Assembly of AIOTI, which consisted of two parts: an open and a restricted to AIOTI members. It was a unique experience for me to be a part of such a heterogeneous group of people which focus on the adoption of IoT technologies in many different aspects of our lives. During the public part, there were so many interesting discussions on how things are moving on in terms of Internet of Things and how major companies (along with smaller ones) are leading the way towards new developments and implementation in the sector.

. Contribution to the e-Forum on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (June 2017): I was invited to participate as one of the subject matter experts to this online e-Forum and it was a great experience - thanks to the scope of the discussions but mostly thanks to the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders (focusing on the end users, who highlighted the role of open data in improving their agricultural activities).

9. Presentation in the 4th Panhellenic Congress for the Development of Greek Agriculture (Thessaloniki, 9-10/11/2017): I was invited to talk about the role of open data in improving agricultural production. My presentation consisted of an introductory part with the basics of open data in agriculture and presented the use case of NEUROPUBLIC as an SME building services and applications on open data (like the Copernicus ones). It was a great Congress with high participation and discussions had impact among the participants.

During a coffee break at the EIP-AGRI Seminar for Digital Innovation Hubs in Agriculture. Kilkenny, Ireland.


1. Digital Innovation Hubs: Democratising digital technologies in agriculture (October 2017): I was one of the three authors of this report, for which I am really proud. It was a great collaborative work, which took place remotely (with frequent Skype calls), making use of all existing information about Digital Innovation Hubs in Agriculture and how they could be materialized for the benefit of various stakeholders of the ecosystem. The report was well-accepted by EC officials and you can find more information here.

2. Developing data interoperability using standards: A wheat community use case (October 2017). I was happy to be involved as one of the authors in this publication, which is one of the outcomes of the Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group of the Research Data Alliance. It was a long time since I last worked on a research publication so this one gave me the opportunity to contribute to the extent possible to the description of the work that the WG has made over the last years in terms of improving the use of standards in the case of wheat research. The article is included in the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) gateway of F1000 Research.

3. Encyclopedia of olive (November 2017): The Encyclopedia of Olive includes different chapters that focus on different aspects of olive trees' cultivation, olive oil production etc. NEUROPUBLIC was invited to contribute with a chapter on the role of modern approaches like smart farming in the improvement of olive (and consequently olive oil) production. It was a challenging task, as we had to squeeze lots of information into a few pages but it seems that  the outcome was pretty good. 

4. Special issue article: A use case of smart farming application in Greek vineyards (September 2017): I contributed to an article (Greek only) on how smart farming can improve the production of table grapes, presenting our experience with the Pegasus/7Grapes cooperative. The article was included in the special issue on wine & viticulture of the Ypaithros Chora newspaper.

5.  Article on smart irrigation in EPI GIS (November 2017): We were invited to contribute with an article on smart irrigation in this awarded publication Piraeus Bank, the major financial organization activated in the Greek agricultural sector. For once more I was involved in the authoring of the article, which was well-received by those who read it (and thanks for the numerous comments on this one!) :-)

That's me at the AIOTI WG06 booth during the AIOTI General Assembly in Brussels.


1. Contribution to the content of the gaiasense website (Autumn 2017): This was another challenging task, as we needed to shape the content for the website of gaiasense, NEUROPUBLIC's smart farming system, in a pretty short time. We had various pieces of text ready here and there but we had to collect them, evaluate their value for the website and then repurpose them from generic text to eye-catching content. Various pieces of text were build from scratch, ideas for the structure of the website and related visuals were discussed and everything was ready on time.

2. Participation in Technical Meetings about the "Collaboration" action of the Greek Rural Development Programme (Autumn 2017): I had the opportunity to participate in two of the Technical Meetings organized for briefing various beneficiaries of the specific action - one in Heraclion, Crete in September and another in Lamia (Central Greece) in December. Officials presented the current status of the framework for the call and participants were invited to contribute their ideas, concerns and experiences. It is a really interesting call based on the concept of Operational Groups concept highlighted by EIP-AGRI, including the role of innovation brokers but focusing on the collaboration between farmers and agricultural cooperatives with companies aiming at improving agricultural production in an environmentally friendly way. The call is expected in the near future and we are already working on that.

Well, these seem to be the highlights of my 2017; I also have some stuff about the work on social media but I guess they'll take up another post. I can only wish for an equally interesting (and successful) 2018 :-)