AGINFRA+: food and agriculture research

Gergely Sipos describes how EGI will support the new initiative

AGINFRA+ is a three-year project set up to support the community working on agriculture and food research. AGINFRA+ will further develop the resources and services of the AGINFRA project’s research data e-infrastructure.

The AGINFRA+ project builds on the experience and work of its partners:  Agroknow, the Alterra Institute of the Wageningen University & Research Center (ALTERRA), the National Agronomic Research Institute of France (INRA), the National Institute for Risk Assessment of Germany (BfR), the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UOA), Pensoft Publishers (PENSOFT) and EGI.

AGINFRA+ will evolve the AGINFRA data e-infrastructure by using core e-infrastructures such as EGI to provide a sustainable channel addressing user communities around agriculture and food. The project will demonstrate how these scientific communities may carry out rapid development and deployment of innovative applications and workflows, powered by e-infrastructures. This will illustrate the value of AGINFRA as a virtual research environment for the domain of agriculture and food.

The kick-off meeting of the AGINFRA+ project was held from 16 to 17 January at the INRA headquarters in Paris.

EGI’s role

EGI will support the uptake of the e-infrastructures in the agriculture domain and will do that via three use cases:

Food security

Goal: investigate what makes strategically important crops such as wheat, maze and rice resistant to extreme weather conditions.

How: integrate high-throughput plant phenotyping data with e-infrastructures, deploy the PHIS webservice and new software to extract information from data in order to find the most resistant types.

Agro-climatic & Economic modelling

Goal: generate a crop yield forecasting model

How: scale up the computing capabilities to improve forecasts of crop and soil types.

Food safety risk assessment

Goal: support risk assessment using mathematical models

How: improve the current software and existing tools to allow for repeatability. This will be used to predict the growth of microbes, for instance.

EGI will also participate in the collection and analysis of e-infra requirements coming out of the use cases, offering services from the EGI catalogue and bringing in relevant technologies from the EGI network. EGI will work strongly with CNR, member of the project and provider of the d4Science system, on supporting the use cases.

EGI will also contribute to the sustainability activities in the project. One of the goals of this task is to facilitate business engagement and establish an AGINFRA association that would ensure continuity for the results.

More information

AGINFRA website

Gergely Sipos leads the EGI Foundation Technical Outreach team.