Demostrating the value of data sharing to boost the agri-data economy
Building a “Common European Agricultural Data Space” lies among the priorities of the EC for the agriculture sector following the directives of the recent European Strategy for Data that aims to create a single market for data, where data can flow within the EU and across sectors, for the benefit of all. Several authorities and approaches exist to attempt to monitor public and/or private agri-data and address the challenges of managing large-scale data infrastructures (e.g., GAIA-X, IDSA). However, what is missing are sufficient tools, models, and policies that would allow the seamless, transparent, and secure interoperation of existing agri-data infrastructures and platforms. These unfortunately remain in silos.
While some attempts have been made to encourage interoperability, there are still major challenges to be addressed. These occur at technological and operational/business levels. On the technology side, the issue relates to the wide and heterogeneous landscape currently in place and the lack of any dominant standardised solutions. On the business side, a lack of precedent or cost-benefit analysis for sharing data means private data sources in particular are hesitant to engage with other stakeholders, be they other private companies (that is, potential competitors), regulatory bodies, or even academic researchers. DIVINE aims to provide the necessary mechanisms in support of three interoperability levels: semantic (WP3), technical (WP2) and organisational (WP6) levels. These will build on existing solutions (e.g. see section on ‘Related R&I activities) to establish an ecosystem of underlying Agricultural Data Spaces, making available both public and private data to the interested data consumers via a single gateway.
Farm data generation and business aspects:
- The rapid growth of the Internet-of-Things and cloud computing are propelling the phenomenon of data economy, and the agri-food domain is not immune to this growth. The increase of devices connected within daily operations has led farmers to become more digitised and more aware of the potential benefit of digital technologies for their business and the related scenarios of sharing their data for monetary or value gains. However, mind-set obstacles and security concerns remain in place, and these stem exploitation and data sharing, which in turn narrows the effective value that data can play for EU agriculture competitiveness. Towards this direction the EU data strategy defines the framework for single market for data in each strategic domain, including agriculture, while also promoting the Regulation on European Data Governance. In parallel, COPA-COGEGA has defined a first code of conduct for data sharing in agriculture . These are some of the EU strategic steps towards a more reliable data sharing environment and more powerful data-driven applications and business models for the future.
DIVINE will go beyond these efforts and will build a federation of data-spaces in agriculture. It will define facilities that ensure data trust and increased transparency in data sharing, and promote existing best practices in data-driven applications both in the private and public environment. DIVINE will support its ecosystem through a framework for cost-benefit analysis of agri data-sharing, and this will facilitate the spreading of data-sharing awareness, knowledge, adoption, and usage. The ambition is to convey synergies coming from data-space ecosystems towards increased data sharing (that is, more available big data) and the creation of newly innovative business models. In this vein, DIVINE’s multi-actor approach will engage multiple stakeholders to ensure collaboration at technical and business levels are at the core of the data ecosystem.
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