Cooperation of FAO on EGI-ENGAGE Project: working on legal interoperability in the fishery and marine sciences

In the frame of the EGI-Engage Project, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the  FAO has been working on analysis of data sources of stakeholders in the fishery and marine sciences in terms of legal interoperability. The ongoing work on this project was presented on 17 of March 2016 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome.

The EGI-Engage project (Engaging the Research Community towards an Open Science Commons) started in March 2015, co-funded by the European Commission for 30 months, as a collaborative effort involving more than 70 institutions in over 30 countries.

EGI-Engage aims to accelerate the implementation of the Open Science Commons by expanding the capabilities of a European backbone of federated services for compute, storage, data, communication, knowledge and expertise, complementing community-specific capabilities.

(Source: Project overview)

The objectives of the EGI-Engage project – supported by five Work packages (WP) -  are the following:

  • Objective 1: Ensure the continued coordination of the EGI Community in strategy and policy development, engagement, technical user support and operations of the federated infrastructure in Europe and worldwide.
  • Objective 2: Evolve the EGI Solutions, related business models and access policies for different target groups aiming at an increased sustainability of these outside of project funding. The solutions will be offered to large and medium size RIs, small research communities, the long-tail of science, education, industry and SMEs.
  • Objective 3: Offer and expand an e-Infrastructure Commons solution
  • Objective 4: Prototype an Open Data platform and contribute to the implementation of the European Big Data Value (be part of the EU map of Big Data in agriculture and food sector!: just add your institution (or team) and your Big Data related sources and activities).
  • Objective 5: Promote the adoption of the current EGI services and extend them with new capabilities through user co-development

FAO is one of the 17 partners of the project and is engaged in activities focused on the identification of data sharing policies and legal aspects for fishery and marine scientific.

These activities are represented by two subtasks under the main TASK NA2.3 SME/Industry Engagement and Big Data Value Chain (WP2: Strategy, Policy and Communications):

TASK NA 2.3.3: Data policies, legal aspects and market analysis (fishery and marine sciences)
TASK NA Data Sharing Policies and Legal Aspects (fishery and marine sciences datasets).

FAO is the Leader of the latter subtask and is responsible to:

  • Explore legal barriers in sharing fishery & marine sciences datasets (raw and processed data) with other institutions and communities, which would prevent research and business opportunities;
  • Deliver a framework of legally relevant instructions to data providers and consumers on how to describe their data, the access to this data, and the lifecycle of data and contents and / or of parts thereof in an infrastructure;
  • Validate a use case with a selected community of a regional database targeting fisheries’ productivity;
  • Devise a context where infrastructure support to processing a mix of public and non-public datasets results in improved data availability whilst respecting legal dissemination boundaries;
  • Advice on how the legal interoperability is best supported through infrastructure security, especially where storage and access arrangements are required (e.g. to support confidentiality needs of data owners).

To present the ongoing work on the project to various departments of FAO (e.g. legal, communications, geospatial etc.), the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the FAO  organized recently (17 March 2016)  a meeting  at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. 

The meeting was chaired by Marc Taconet (Chief of FAO’s Fishery Statistics and Information Branch, FIPS), Anton Ellenbroek from the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and Eise Van Maanen from the UN FAO team.

Between participants  of the meeting  there were also Johannes Keizer and Stephen Katz  -  persons with long experience in information and knowledge management in the agrifood sector.

The presented results were related to an analysis of data sources of stakeholders in the fishery and marine sciences along with licensing schemes available, in terms of legal interoperability.

Such an analysis has identified:

  • major obstacles in terms of legal interoperability between existing data sources in the specific sectors;
  • common patterns in licensing schemes  of that data sources;
  • main points for recommendations that will facilitate data exchange between data sources, thus enhancing data (re)use and sharing and allowing the development of data-powered services on top of them.

The  topics discussed during the meeting received valuable feedback from all participants.

The next steps/opportunities for taking collaborative working among project partners to new levels were outlined.

A number of FAO staff members like Johannes Keizer, Thembani Malapela and Fabrizio Celli from FAO AGRIS and AIMS were interviewed.

The results of the investigation of data about sharing policies and legal framework in fishery and marine sciences can be viewed in the “Report data sharing policies and legal framework in fishery and marine sciences” published by FAO on 30 March 2016.


See also:

EGI ENGAGE Fishery & Marine Legal Interoperability (slides)



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