The EURAKNOS project (www.euraknos.eu) is a H2020-funded thematic network project which aims to strengthen the EU agricultural knowledge base by co-creating “the network to connect all thematic networks” and exploring the feasibility of creating a modular database of useful findings from various thematic network projects. They believe that the future of innovation in European agriculture and forestry is based on the improved (digital) exchange of best practices between farmers, researchers and advisors from different sectors and member states.
EURAKNOS recently published a vision paper: Developing High Impact: The Future EU-wide Open Source Knowledge Reservoir for Agriculture and Forestry. In it, they present an aspirational 5-year vision for a common digital data platform for agriculture and forestry actors to access information based on outputs of H2020 thematic networks. They discuss achieving high impact, the needs of target users in terms of both interactivity and content, and ways to secure the longevity of such a system. The vision was developed together with the project’s Strategic Innovation Board which includes members from FAO, NAIK, EUFRAS, ENRD, GODAN, CEJA, EC DG AGRI, and COPA COGECA
The proposed system functions as a living structure, constantly being updated and enhanced. Target users and thematic networks are involved in co-creation throughout the development process, and experiences of the system are personalised according to analytics and feedback systems. The information content is classified by sector and organised around a decision support framework which targets the knowledge needs of farmers, foresters, educators and advisors as key end-users. Networking facilities are also key: a searchable and comprehensive list of events offered by various institutions and projects so that users can find and attend those which are most local and relevant to them, and the ability to access contact details of registered users to facilitate peer-to peer and farmer-to-advisor communications as part of an interactive community experience.
These features culminate in a user-friendly interface with useful, practice-oriented content tailored to agriculture and forestry practitioners to become a ‘one stop shop’ for their knowledge needs. Furthermore, the facilitation of networking activities both online and in person will provide opportunities for improved learning, cross-exchanges and collaborations. Ultimately, such a system would help to foster an interactive EU-wide agriculture and forestry community, providing substantial added-value by initiating and supporting knowledge flows across Europe and beyond.