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H2020

e-ROSA Report Summary

Project ID: 730988

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - e-ROSA (Towards an e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The “coordination and support action” e-ROSA “e-infrastructure Roadmap for Open Science in Agriculture” was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 730988.
The strategic goal of e-ROSA was to provide guidance to European Commission’s policies (specifically FOOD2030 and the European Open Science Cloud) by designing and laying the groundwork for a long-term programme to build an e-infrastructure for open science in agriculture and food sciences. That would position Europe as a major global player at the forefront of research and innovation in agriculture and food sciences, and furthermore, support the researchers in their efforts to find solutions to societal challenges related to food and environment, using cutting-edge digital services and resources. As a final product, the e-ROSA Roadmap (http://erosa.aginfra.eu/sites/default/files/deliverables/Foresight%20Roadmap%20Paper_Draft_08.06.2018.pdf), released in June 2018, provides a vision, relevant societal challenges and associated digital needs, an overview of already available community digital & e-infrastructure assets and recommendations to improve the current situation to achieve the vision. The roadmap was build through a collaborative process involving 3 international workshops with in total 120 participants, open consultations, expert opinions and joint writing sessions. Through this foresight approach, the research and education communities in agri-food sciences with a focus or need for e-infrastructures were strengthened. The project has improved the knowledge of the landscape especially on the digital assets, has proposed a shared vision of a future e-infrastructure for open science in agri-food sciences and has elaborated recommendations to achieve it in a roadmap. Ultimately theses insights have been shared with relevant policy makers in Brussel through a series of 3 policy meetings throughout the project.

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 consortium, gathering two research performing organizations INRA (FR) and WUR (NL) and Agroknow (GR) a private company, involved more than 100 stakeholders in the elaboration of the roadmap through workshops and the project methodology to build a common knowledge, foresight and recommendations to achieve this vision. The work was organized in 3 main work packages (+1 for project management)

WP1: Ecosystem & Community. This wp provided the basis for the other work packages and helped to understand the actual landscape using i) a bibliometric study to identify the academic actors working on “Data AND Agriculture” ii) a bibliographic analysis of e-infrastructure roadmaps as reference for our future work iii) the identification and mapping of different entities (organization, initiatives, facilities, data points etc.) to describe the data ecosystem. The main outputs of this wp are :
- A bibliometric study and a web site to interact with the data and visualize the results
- 3 reports describing different input for the roadmap (bibliographic review, meetings report, mapping …) every 5-6 months
- A mapping exercise and a web site to explore the data (organization, facilities, data points, initiatives)

WP2: Challenges & Ambitions. We Analysed the scientific challenges and researchers needs, working on use cases in different domains: smart farming, omics/phenotyping, food and nutrition, with interviews and workshop. A “Vision paper” was commented on line by 17 professionals from 3 continents (USA, India, China, Europe) and important organizations (CGIAR, CAAS, ICAR, Bayer, INRA, CABI)
The main outputs of this wp are :
- A methodology “The impact chain approach” to study and described the researchers needs associated to societal and scientific challenges.
- 6 use cases applying this methodology
- A vision paper emphasizing the benefits of open science in the food system and the role of an e-infrastructure to support these new way of doing research.

WP3: Roadmap co-Design & Uptake : The process to elaborate the roadmap was supported by 3 workshops every 5 months. We involved more than 100 stakeholders in the elaboration of the roadmap through these workshops and the project methodology to build a common knowledge, foresight and recommendations to achieve this vision.
The main outputs of this wp are :
- 3 workshops reports i) community building and fine mapping (public) ii) challenges and solutions envisioning (public) iii) roadmap validation (private)
- The roadmap gathering in 60 pages document, all the material collected during the project

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)

In terms of Progress-beyond-the-state-of-the-art, the project lead to the first comprehensive overview of e-infrastructure needs for agricultural and food sciences, thereby putting the needs of researchers first, while clarifying also the role of research and e-infrastructures in the achievement of societal challenges. Previous efforts have been ad-hoc and not activating the community broadly for inputs, and generally based on the needs of a sub-community (for example, plant diseases, genetic resources, food safety). The project thus lead to new methodology that allows to map the avialable resouces, map these to research e-infrastructure needs in terms of contribution to societal challenges, and finally do a gap-analysis, leading to recommendations for improving the e-infrastructure provisioning.
The process all along the project was “as open as possible” with workshops, open consultations to discuss, enrich and assess the proposals. The methodology allowed to:
- Understand the actual landscape;
- Analyse the scientific challenges and researchers needs;
- Describe a vision for open science in Agri-food and explain how an e-infrastructure could support this vision;
- Elaborate recommendations in a roadmap to achieve the vision.

This project contributes to the goals of the european research and innovation policy on open science and to the “european open science cloud” vision to build a cloud for research data and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders. It’s a first step to build a cloud for the “agri-food sciences” and to support the researchers in their efforts to find solutions to societal challenges related to food and environment, using cutting-edge digital services and resources. Also it feeds into the development of the FOOD 2030 agenda as being developed by DG-RTD. The results were also inputted in national planning processes, in Netherlands, France and Greece.
A clear impact of the project is that the European (and global) community has become more connected and organised, so that collaborations for e-infrastructure will more easily occur, which leads to stronger consortia and better research proposals with a stronger grounding in available e-infrastructures. The CGIAR Big Data program saw the e-ROSA project as a good example of European lead agenda setting, and as such invited several contributions to its meeting and digital outlets. Similarly, the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition network used the e-ROSA results and progress widely in its communication to its 700+ partners, as a good example of agenda setting and highlight the possibilities for alignment and collaboration.

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