The countdown is on to IGAD’s first pre-meeting of 2016

Attendees are gearing up for the 7th RDA plenary meeting in Tokyo (RDA P7) at the beginning of March, and preparations are also underway for IGAD’s pre-meeting, set to take place before the plenary.


Comprising a day and a half of intensive discussion (28-29th February at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Agriculture) Research Data Alliance (RDA) Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) will be running discussion groups around themes of data management in agriculture and the challenges posed by what RDA dubs, “a highly fragmented global data research landscape.”

This year’s pre-meeting will have a particular focus on rice research data and advocacy for open research data.   See Agenda

What is the RDA and how is IGAD part of it?

Alongside 42 other interest groups the Interest Group in Agricultural Data (IGAD) is a domain-oriented group under the RDA umbrella – a global data sharing initiative aimed at breaking barriers to data access. The RDA is cross-disciplinary, meaning that activities as diverse as oceanography and health come together under one roof with the common aim of improving access to data. 

The RDA holds its plenary meetings every six months at different locations around the world (this is the first plenary to be held in Asia). Built around the RDA Working and Interest Group meetings, the meetings are designed to consolidate the RDA’s work and that of its interest groups in building social and technological bridges towards open data sharing. 

What does IGAD do?

IGAD looks at data management issues in the development of global agriculture.

It aims to take stock of existing problems and to enable working groups to fine-tune solutions to challenges in specific areas.  One of IGAD’s main draws is that it provides a platform for connecting solution-specific working groups and gives visibility to research in Agricultural data.  In its work under the RDA it forges links with other Interest Groups (IGs) and WGs (Working Groups) to achieve data interoperability.

What can we expect from the up coming pre-meeting?

On the back of the success of the last IGAD pre-meeting (Paris, September 2015), the next meeting will be a chance to take a look at IGAD’s evolution over the past months, as well as to focus more closely on research data management in Asia. 

What was covered at the last IGAD pre-meeting?

Around 50 people from agricultural related sectors – academia, private business, the European Commission, to name a few – attended the previous IGAD pre-meeting in Paris and a number of methodologies have since successfully been put in place.

In particular, in-roads were made towards openness and sound data management; increasing data access; interoperability, and enhancing soil data and information. The results of the 6th IGAD pre-meeting were discussed during RDA P6, and, similarly, the chairs of each discussion group will discuss their findings at the RDA P7.

You can read more about the highlights of the RDA P6 and the IGAD pre-meeting, here.

What are the discussion themes on this pre-meeting’s agenda?

  • Increasing data access and availability (policies, users, internet )
  • Agricultural data interoperability (web service, API, taxonomies, ontology, standards)Advocacy for open research data 
  • Adoption of RDA outputs by the agricultural community (e.g presenting existing RDA deliverables relevant to the Agricultural Research Community, and discussing how to facilitate their uptake.
  • Rice and other crop research data interoperability
  • Soil Data Interoperability

Find out more about the IGAD Pre-meeting here and the RDA P7


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