Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Participation in the RDA Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary Meeting 11

The meeting of Research Data Alliance's Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) took place between 19-20 of March 2018 in Berlin. I was excited to be able to join the meeting - my first RDA meeting after quite a long time - and see how things are moving in the IGAD, a group that I have spent quite a long time working with; both the Interest Group and its Working Groups.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the theme “The FAIR principles to all elements of the research process in agricultural sciences and related disciplines”. I represented NEUROPUBLIC and presented the way in which our H2020 Big Data Lighthouse project DataBio project takes into consideration the FAIR Principles in its data management workflows and more specifically, in the case of the smart farming pilots that NEUROPUBLIC is coordinating. Apart from that, I had the opportunity to see the approach of other organizations in adopting the FAIR Principle in their cases, which was extremely interesting.

(the slides are also available through the GODAN Gateway of F1000 Research)

During the second day of the meeting, parallel sessions took place, focusing on different aspects of the IGAD main themes - most of them being the ongoing work of its Working Groups. I started by attending the first part of the AgriSemantics discussion but was curious to see the work of other groups so I also participated to the discussions of the Capacity Development for Agriculture (which blends my interest in Open Data with training activities) and the On-Farm Data Sharing (which I found really interesting and close to NEUROPUBLIC's work with smart farming) Working Groups.

Now, I guess that what I have to do is to align the work that I am doing with NEUROPUBLIC with all these advances taking places at a global level - and this might be a challenging task but it will worth the effort.

All in all, I felt like being home meeting all this long-time friends and collaborators from global organizations like UN FAO (Imma, Caterina and Karna), CGIAR and its research centers (Richard from CIMMYT), GFAR (Valeria), Wageningen UR (Hugo Besemer), INRA (Odile, Esther and Sophie), GODAN (Martin and Suchith), Johannes Keizer and Armando Stellato (I hope I am not forgetting anyone) and get to meet people passionate about their work in agricultural information and knowledge management like Ilkay (FAO - she did a wonderful job regarding the documentation of the meeting!), Chipo (CTA), Diane (GODAN) and Cynthia (USDA) - they were too many to name them all. It was great discussing with these passionate people about how access to open data in agriculture can be improved, how we can better organize all this wealth of information, knowledge and data and how we can build meaningful data-powered solutions for agriculture at a global level.