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European Knowledge repository for best agricultural practices

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Eureka (European Knowledge repository for best agricultural practices)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-03-31

Farmers, foresters and advisors all face issues in their industries. Some may be minor issues that pop up here and there, while others are more serious problems that could threaten their livelihood, but they all negatively impact businesses, productivity and well-being. In many cases, a solution is out there, but finding it can be a real challenge. While friends, advisors and professional magazines can be great sources of information, they will not always have an answer. Nowadays, most of us quickly turn to online sources, but knowing which ones to trust, and finding them in one's own language, can already be a big challenge.

EUREKA – ‘EuRopEan Knowledge repository for best Agricultural practices’, was a project that aimed to help to connect farmers, foresters, and others working in these sectors with innovative solutions to their everyday problems by building and testing an online knowledge-sharing platform called the EU FarmBook. The focus was on knowledge and innovations coming from Horizon 2020 ‘multi-actor projects’ run across the EU by farming and forestry practitioners in partnership with scientists and other experts to tackle real-life problems. The EU FarmBook will ensure the longevity and better sharing of the practical knowledge produced in these projects and in similar future initiatives.

EUREKA builds strongly on the work of its predecessor, the EURAKNOS project, which focused on the social interactions and knowledge produced in a specific and very successful type of multi-actor project called Thematic Networks ( and used this information to create a first design and protype of the EU FarmBook.

The main objectives of EUREKA were to co-create a stronger EU-wide agricultural knowledge base by:
1. Analysing the variety of different outputs, activities and knowledge-sharing strategies of all Horizon 2020 projects
2. Reinforcing an active and engaged “multi-actor project” (MAP) community
3. Selecting the most relevant and high-impact agricultural project knowledge for the rural and scientific community to be included in a high quality, easily searchable and open-source database.

The main outcome and deliverable of the project is a working pilot version of the EU FarmBook ( which will be continuously improved based on user feedback in a large follow-up project under Horizon Europe. The major conclusion of EUREKA is that the EU FarmBook can and should become a reality!
In the first year, EUREKA analysed more than 100 Horizon 2020 multi-actor projects (MAPs) to identify best practices, or ‘do’s and don’ts,’ when working as multi-actor teams to co-create and share knowledge. The implementation of the ‘multi-actor approach’ and communication and dissemination in these projects were specific areas of interest. A second major goal was to gain a better understanding of information needs, preferred communication and search channels, and common challenges of the main target users of an EU-level online knowledge platform for agriculture and forestry called the EU FarmBook. This was achieved through a series of workshops, interviews and online surveys to learn about their needs. From the information and personal stories gathered, 18 different ‘user personas’ and associated ‘journeys’ that represent real farmers, advisors, and other potential users of the platform were created.

In year two (and a little longer due to Covid-19), the results and insights from the analysis of and interviews with MAP participants and potential users of the FarmBook were used to update and improve the prototype EU FarmBook platform itself. A major part of this effort was “Feeding the FarmBook” with valuable content from other multi-actor projects. This required a huge effort by the ‘EUREKA Annotation Team’ to add the necessary ‘metadata’ (a description, keywords, language, date of creation,etc.) to these ‘knowledge objects’ to make them ‘FAIR’: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The team annotated almost 900 knowledge objects before the end of the project.

Another significant achievement that is hidden beneath the surface of the EU FarmBook was the finalization of the EUREKA subject model – a set of keywords related to agriculture and forestry that are essential pieces of metadata associated with each knowledge object. Why is this so important? Because it allows content in the FarmBook database to be categorized and organized in a meaningful way, and thereby enable users to find what they are looking searching for in the platform.

The pilot version of the EU FarmBook was released and underwent the first series of user tests, starting within the consortium and followed by more in-depth tests with farmers, foresters and advisors across the EU. Feedback about the pilot EU FarmBook was also collected in several forums, including more than 50 national-level webinars given by all EUREKA partners in their own countries plus in the final EUREKA outreach event.

Two guides or manuals related to the FarmBook were also produced. The first is a user manual for submitting knowledge objects to the EU FarmBook that includes explanations and practical examples of the FAIR data principles. The current version, along with a supporting how-to video, can be found on the EUREKA website ( The second is a comprehensive visual guide to all the features and functions of the FarmBook itself, and can be found on the EU FarmBook Help page via the following link:

Communication, dissemination and exploitation was ramped up significantly in the second year with the release of the pilot EU FarmBook and a series of high-quality videos. Five filmed videos that bring some of the user personas and journeys to life were produced, all creatively shot by our partners in Lithuania because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions. All videos are available on the EUREKA YouTube channel:
Developing an interactive digital platform for storing information that is key for farmers, foresters and advisors can be seen as a combination of two worlds. On the one hand there exists the scientific dissemination in the format of scientific articles published in journals, as well as audiovisuals, fact sheets, infographics, and presentations produced by EU projects. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of these knowledge objects are not stored for a long term or even spread across the EU, meaning that they are hardly used by the key actors who put knowledge into practice, namely the farmers and the foresters. On the other hand, there exist in society social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. In these platforms, information is posted and can be shared and commented on by followers.

The EU FarmBook aims to combine both worlds, which is a major step beyond the state of the art of project dissemination. By providing trustworthy knowledge and the possibility to interact in a social way around these knowledge objects, the FarmBook can help to realize a more sustainable and well-connected agricultural and forestry project community across Europe.
A still from our first EUREKA project video