AGINFRA+ addresses the challenge of supporting user-driven design and prototyping of innovative e-infrastructure services and applications. It particularly tries to meet the needs of the scientific and technological communities that work on the multi-disciplinary and multi-domain problems related to agriculture and food. It will use, adapt and evolve existing open e-infrastructure resources and services, in order to demonstrate how fast prototyping and development of innovative data- and computing-intensive applications can take place.
This project builds upon the extensive experience and work of its partners, who are key stakeholders in the e-infrastructures ecosystem. It also implements part of a strategic vision shared between Agroknow, the National Agronomic Research Institute of France (INRA), the Alterra Institute of the Wageningen University & Research Center (ALTERRA), the National Institute for Risk Assessment of Germany (BfR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations - the latter one, not participating as a funded beneficiary, but supporting the project and its activities. These stakeholders are part of a core group of internationally recognised players (including the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) aiming to put in place a free global data infrastructure for research and innovation in agriculture, food and environmental science. This data infrastructure will become an incubator of the large infrastructure investments that global donors (including the European Commission) make in the field of agricultural research around the world.
AGINFRA+ will evolve and develop further the resources and services of the AGINFRA data infrastructure, which has been developed in the context of the FP7 agINFRA project. The new project will build upon core components of AGINFRA, such as:
- the federated data and software registry of CIARD RING,
- the AGINFRA API gateway for indexing and hosting executable software components for advanced data processing & analysis,
- the open source software stack for data analysis, indexing, publication and querying developed by projects such as FP7 SemaGrow and H2020 Big Data Europe,
- the semantic backbone of the Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS1) that has been based upon the alignment of FAO’s AGROVOC with the USDA’s National Agricultural Library Thesaurus and CABI’s Thesaurus,
- the advanced research data set processing & indexing demonstrators developed within FP7 SemaGrow for specific scientific communities such as Trees4Futures and gMIP.
The envisaged pilots will focus on three societal challenges that are of primary importance for our planet and for humanity:
- Food safety risk assessment and risk monitoring, addressing H2020 SC1 Health, demographic change and well being.
- Plant phenotyping for food security, addressing H2020 SC2 Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy.
- Agro-climatic and Economic Modelling, addressing H2020 SC5 Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
In order to realize its vision, AGINFRA+ will achieve the following objectives:
- identify the requirements of the specific scientific and technical communities working in the targeted areas, abstracting (wherever possible) to new AGINFRA services that can serve all users;
- design and implement components that serve such requirements, by exploiting, adapting and extending existing open e-infrastructures (namely, OpenAIRE, EUDAT, EGI, and D4Science), where required;
- define or extend standards facilitating interoperability, reuse, and repurposing of components in the wider context of AGINFRA;
- establish mechanisms for documenting and sharing data, mathematical models, methods and components for the selected application areas, in ways that allow their discovery and reuse within and across AGINFRA and served software applications;
- increase the number of stakeholders, innovators and SMEs aware of AGINFRA services through domain specific demonstration and dissemination activities.
The development of fully defined demonstrator applications in each of the three application areas will allow to showcase and evaluate the AGINFRA components in the context of specific end-user requirements from different scientific areas.