Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CAPSELLA Report Summary

Project ID: 688813
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CAPSELLA (Collective Awareness PlatformS for Environmentally-sound Land management based on data technoLogies and Agrobiodiversity)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The mainstream, industrialised food production and agricultural systems make an undue use of external inputs and fertilizers and are thereby posing a serious threat to the environment and to biodiversity. Moreover, they are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to unacceptable levels of food waste in industrialized countries, to shrinking farmers’ incomes, and to increased loss of crop diversity. Citing UN Sustainable Development Goals: “Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.” []. Alternative systems with reduced use of external inputs have to be promoted, based on i) an optimised use of agricultural biodiversity, ecological processes and natural resources and on ii) improved food systems based e.g. on short supply chain quality food, where consumers play an active role in driving produce demand and consequently offer.
CAPSELLA addresses this challenge in two ways: (a) raising awareness on these issues especially within and among local communities (smallholders agriculture, biodiversity, food quality) but also with the broader European public, and (b) offering innovative ICT solutions that will address needs and requirements coming from the communities. To achieve this, CAPSELLA uses a combination of participatory bottom up data collection and top down data integration to develop solutions for two domains: agro-biodiversity and local food knowledge. The project aims to (a) produce new datasets concerning regional agrobiodiversity, and (b) to build upon and enhance existing data sets on the agro-biodiversity and food domains. Based on these, the project runs a number of pilots and develops community-driven data powered ICT solutions, which are tested by the communities engaged in the project and will result in a number of demonstrators. Finally, our project will have a strong societal and business sustainability focus by also including incubation activities for selected demonstrators. The CAPSELLA overall objectives can be summarized as follows:
- raising awareness, supporting sustainability
- facilitating collaboration within and between communities
- triggering the policy dialogue for sustainable agri-food production
- developing a technical infrastructure
- supporting open data driven innovation
- developing community driven scenarios and pilots
- running incubation activities

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The CAPSELLA work plan has been divided in three main phases: a) conceptualization and requirements collection, b) actual development of demonstrators and applications, and c) incubation and take up of results.
Naturally, the first year was about phase 1. The activities mainly focused on defining the framework conditions and indicators associated with sustainable agrobiodiversity. All related work (desktop research, first CAPSELLA workshop, direct liaison with communities and experts) has been captured in a deliverable that gathers the core concepts around which CAPSELLA grounds its work with the engaged communities. These concepts represent the indicators of the agronomy theory on which CAPSELLA’s scenarios are based and of the theoretical background for the definition of sustainability on which the awareness-raising objective is pursued.
An additional line of activities has been related to the cartography of existing communities and networks and the collection of their needs and requirements. Although this will be a pretty much continuous activity for CAPSELLA, it was an effort consuming activity in the first year. CAPSELLA partners elaborated the methodology for the requirements collection, which included a set of well-defined steps: identification of communities, mapping of community members, mapping of personas in each community, mapping of data types, identification of information-related challenges and problems for the personas, validation of the challenges above. This work has been captured in a related deliverable, but was also used by the online service developed by CAPSELLA for allowing communities to provide and upload information on each stakeholder, key personas, technology tools in use, information types and sources, most important problems ( This activity will be maintained, monitored and updated throughout the project lifetime, as it can deliver important insights and also support the development work within the pilots.
In this first period a subset of software components and services have been developed, released and deployed as part of the CAPSELLA platform. The data catalogue portal, offering metadata management and search facilities, an OAI-PMH publisher service exposing the available datasets using the OAI-PMH specification and a number of social analytics services which support the pilots in terms of data and sentiment analysis are available. In this first phase the data catalogue portal supports the data management requirements and is planned to be replaced by the CAPSELLA data management system which is currently under development.
Finally, after defining the piloting plan and methodology, the initial phase of the pilot development has also started in the last two months of this reporting period. For some of the demonstrators a first release is already available and will be tested and evaluated by the communities in question in the upcoming months, so as to make the necessary adjustments and modifications.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Through the pilots, it can already be demonstrated how the CAPSELLA platform is able to ingest data from a variety of sources, and how the offered technological solutions can be flexibly tailored to target innovative applications in all piloting communities, based on real-world needs.
The CAPSELLA technical platform will be an “integrated” environment for innovation and invention that allows for access to data in general, open data, open software and tools facilitating the development and co-creation of new business ideas and opportunities in agri-food. By combining the participatory bottom up data collection and the top down data integration CAPSELLA actively encourages open and participatory innovation in the CAPSELLA pilots. This increases the potential impact of our activities, as the targeted communities are de-facto involved in the pilot developments through trials and feedback loops.
Each pilot has a different data and technological focus, ranging from Social Media Data and Sentiment Analysis to Digital Storytelling techniques and tools.
The wide range of technologies and solutions is an additional factor that increases the impact of the CAPSELLA activities, as it allows the interaction on the basis of various technologies.
What is, however, capturing in a precise way the societal impact of the CAPSELLA activities, is the feedback the project received, when presenting the Public School Pilot at the Epidemiology and Public Health Department, in the frame of the collaboration between CAPSELLA and the City of Cork. Our project has been recognized as ""opening an important and timely dialogue for Cork"". This is for CAPSELLA a huge challenge and all activities in the remaining months will focus on successfully mastering this and all other similar ones in all CAPSELLA pilots.

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