Highlights from Open Harvest 2016 Workshop, Chania, 18-21 May

Open Harvest 2016 took place between 18 and 21 May in Chania. The aim of the workshop was to define the process, and start specifying the components of a 10-year roadmap for an open, shared, distributed data infrastructure for agriculture and food. The roadmap is to cover current status, future roles and expectations, short and long term goals, collaborative opportunities, sustainability plan and actions to be taken in the agri-ecosystem. The intention is also to link the roadmap to the agendas of stakeholders and donors in order to present a common and harmonized view as a community.

The workshop brought together around thirty five participants from FAO, Agroknow, CABI, GODAN, IRIT, INRA, eXtension and many other stakeholders in the agricultural research environment. Three days meeting in Chania was divided into two parts; one as roadmap days and the other part is the open workshop day. Roadmap days started with lightning talks on AGRIS, CAB Abstracts and practices, projects on agri-semantics to strength the roadmap discussions later in the working groups. Three working groups were formed on discovery, backbone services and semantic to focus on different part of the roadmap. Each group delivered the outcomes at the end of the days to the participants to receive their feedback, revised and linked the discussions. The highlights from group discussions included future of metadata, paradigm shifts in scientific publishing, technological enhancements, enrichment of services, engagement strategies and new business models in agri-data, agri-tech ecosystem. The roadmap is planned to be complete by September 2016.

During the workshop, exciting projects and practices were explored such as eROSA in open science applied to agriculture from INRA, Crop Ontology Curation Tool from CGIAR, Big Data Europe initiative from GFAR/FAO, AgroLD and AgroPortal. CAB Abstracts outlined their business models and talked about their future plans including data visualization. GODAN Summit 2016 in September was announced at the meeting and possible link to the roadmap within the event has been discussed.

On the last day of the Open Harvest 2016, main topics were open networks, open science and open communities. With the opening of Nikos Manouselis from Agroknow and Frans Van Assche from ARIADNE Foundation, the day continued with number of powerful, informative talks from many contrubitors such as eXtension Foundation, FAO, CAAS, Embrapa, University of Toulouse, Alterra, CABI and Athena Research and Innovation Center.

Open Harvest 2016 Workshop has been an eye-opening, productive and fruitful event for its participants in a beautiful, historical city of Chania. The way forward is now to design the roadmap for open, shared, and distributed data in agriculture with the outcomes of the event.

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