IST-Africa 2023 – Call for Full Papers

Hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Science and Innovation and Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa 2023 (May) is the eighteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research and Innovation Conferences.

The IST-Africa Conference Series provides a world-class strategic platform rotating around Africa to strengthen technology-enabled Innovation, Science and Technology and Entrepreneurship related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, Global Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research cooperation under Horizon Europe and other international funding programs. IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from public, private, education and research, societal, funding and international donor sectors with end user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation and Technology-enabled Entrepreneurship.

IST-Africa 2023 Call for Papers invites full papers (8 pages in length) using the paper guidelines and IST-Africa template (which will be available online) for blind peer review by 31 October.

Thematic areas addressing achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include:

  • Technology-enabled Healthcare (mHealth /eHealth)
  • Technology-enhanced Learning and eSkills
  • Technology-enabled Agriculture (mAgriculture /eAgriculture) & Environmental Sustainability
  • Energy – ICT for Power Delivery, Micro-grids
  • eInfrastructures and NRENs (National Research and Education Networks)
  • Next Generation Computing: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Future Internet, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT)
  • eGovernment and Public Service Delivery
  • Content Technologies: Languages; Digital Preservation
  • Cyber Security, Privacy and Trust
  • Collaborative Open Innovation and Technology-enabled Entrepreneurship (including Social Entrepreneurship)
  • Content Technologies: Languages; Digital Preservation
  • Cyber Security, Privacy and Trust
  • Global Development (including ICT4D)
  • Societal and Ethical Implications of Technology

Papers must present analysis of policy, initial or final research results or a case study. It is important to highlight actual or expected impact as well as the level of innovation. General project descriptions or descriptions of proposed research will not be reviewed.

It is necessary for the paper submitted to include a unique element that has not previously been published and any previous published materials to be clearly referenced (including material previously published by the authors).

Each presenter can present ONE paper in the Programme. It is necessary for papers to be presented by an author / co-author and answer questions based on the presentation during the event to ensure inclusion in the Proceedings.

Please only submit papers for review where there are authors/co-authors who will complete registration. Please do not submit multiple papers for which there is only one author who can register.

IST-Africa Institute 

EBDVF 2022 Sponsorship Packages

This year’s edition of the European Big Data Value Forum will take place in Prague, 21 – 23 November 2022.

In addition to the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the event is co-organised by the BDVA members from the Czech Republic including Plan4all, the Charles University in Prague, the Technical University of Ostrava and IT4Innovations.

The organisers offer possibilities for booths, talks and sessions, and all packages include branding visibility in brochures, social media and our other digital and print materials. With the central theme “At the Heart of the Ecosystem for Data and AI” and a high-level programme we expect the event to gather around 500 attendees on-site and wide reach in our online channels. The packages are designed to maximise visibility and we can tailor them to suit your needs better if needed. See the details here

EBDVF 2022 will take place between the 21st – 23rd of November in Prague, CZ and the event has been granted the CZ EU Presidency Auspice. Registration to the event will be opened shortly! 

There is only a limited number of booths and sponsored sessions available! The booths and the slots will be filled on a “firstcome, firstserved” basis, so be sure not to miss your chance to partner with the EBDVF 2022 and to gain visibility among the community. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please fill in the EoI template here!

For more details, please contact info@core.bdva.eu.

Webinar: Asymmetric MapWhiteBoard as a Disruptive Technology for Agriculture Advisory Services with practical demo

Venue: 24 June 2022, 14.00 – 15:30 CEST

30 years ago, large scale market uptake of precision farming was ‘put on ice’ due to the aged farming population​. The same is attempted in 2022 – yet in the meantime there has been a generational change on the farms​:

  • is it really that farmers are and forever shall remain stuck at the unfortunate end of the digital divide​
  • or could it be that we, the technologists and scientists have failed in building solutions that are practically viable?

During the Webinar we will try to present our vision of new advisory services, based on asymmetric communication and collaborative  sharing data between advisor and farmer. We will explain what MapWhiteBoard is, how it can be modified for SmartAgriculture and how to run such communication between advisor and farmer.. Part will be practical demonstration.

Agenda:

  • Introduction and link to previous Webinars (Marketa Kollerova as a moderator)
  • From data to knowledge – our vision of future advisory services for farmers – Karel Charvat (15 minutes)
  • What is MapWhiteBoard – Raitis Berzins (10 minutes)
  • Integration of data in Map composition – Franta Zadrazil (5 minutes)
  • Principle of asynchronous services and potential solutions – Runar Bergheim (15 minutes)
  • Live demonstration with existing tools and MapWhiteBoard – Herman Snevajs, Pavel Gnip
  • Discussion and future steps – Karel Charvat
  • Closing of spring series of AgriHub webinars (Marketa Kollerova)

Registration for the webinar is FREE. Register yourself via this link.

Who do you want to inform or engage?

People providing advisory services or developing technology for farmers. researchers, who introduced new solutions.

Read more about addressed topic:

Precision farming came to prominence as a scientific concept in the 1990s on the strength of technological advances that enabled variable rate application of irrigation, fertiliser, and pesticides. The practical benefits were demonstrated and well-proved. However, the uptake among farmers was slow and the domain has evolved on the fringes of mainstream agriculture up to and including the present day Initially, change resistance among an ageing rural farming community was blamed for the slow adoption, but 25 years later, a generation change has taken place in the custodianship of agricultural lands. When the adoption of precision farming practices still remains very limited, it is likely that the problem lies in the communication of, accessibility to and delivery of precision agriculture technology from the scientific community, industrial actors, SMEs and farmers. The combination of Earth Observation technologies, GNSS—one of the key technologies for precision farming—and precision farming itself is discussed as one of the “killer applications” for space technologies.

We have a number of state-of-the-art technical platforms that are capable of harnessing EO and remote sensing data from a plethora, data from machinery and also other data from different sources for agricultural decision making on a very detailed level. The problem is, how to bring these services to farmers.

But, in its eagerness to provide a sophisticated tool, we have overlooked that they do not have skills necessary for all these tools and do not possess a supercomputer and would be using this tool at the very maximum few times in a year. Thus, utilization of technologies depends on man-in-the-middle services provided by regional and local agricultural advisors who will use the platform on a regular basis as they each serve a multitude of farmers and agricultural businesses. We have a high skills consultant, who will use these tools. Service organizations will conduct high resolution spatial analysis for their client farms – but when the analysis is done, they are required to discuss the results and how to apply them to the specific farm together with the farmer.

Then, the goal of this project is to develop an application, helping a farmer and other players in the agri-food value chain to make proper decisions leading to sustainable production and reducing the losses and energy and chemical production based on evidence decision making.

The evidence comes from data, turned into information. The information then needs to be presented in a clear way, to help understanding of a studied system (knowledge) and objective reasoning (wisdom).

Users of data in agriculture, a part of the precision farming, can be divided into two groups as:

  • data processors  – service IT providers, software producers and consultants, and service organizations in the domains including Earth observation, aerial photogrammetry, drone application, phytopathology, agronomy, interpretation of vegetation data from satellite and aerial images, etc.
  • consumers of results produced by data processors –   farmers, engineering and environmental agricultural companies, agronomists, machinery manufacturers and input providers (fertilizers, chemicals).

Members in both of these groups must collaborate in order to develop all required applications. Then all will benefit from these applications: farmers can make informed decisions regarding their crops and advisors can sell services to farmers and input providers can use weather and soil maps to predict the demand for fertilizer.

The vision of the Map Whiteboard innovation was born out of a sequence of large-scale collaborative writing efforts using Google Docs. As opposed to traditional offline word processing tools, Google Docs allows multiple people to edit the same document—at the same time—allowing all connected clients to see changes made to the document in real-time by synchronizing all changes between all connected clients via the server. The overall vision for the technology is that a Map Whiteboard will be to GIS what Google Docs is to word processing.

An additional dimension to the Map Whiteboard technology is the importance of sharing rather than only sharing data. Spatial data are subject to (mis)interpretation; maps are the means to express these interpretations in a manner  suitable for communicating purpose, intent and shared understanding. The Map Whiteboard is not limited to editing a shared dataset. The technology shares the entire map, presenting the data in the context of any background information that may be useful. It allows multiple clients to see the identical map interface and simultaneously draw on it, emulating the widespread use case of sitting around a meeting table looking at a map together, annotating it, pointing at “things”, and proposing changes. 

The MapWhiteboard is tested now  as an add-on to an application that performs automatic zoning of agricultural fields based on remote sensing data for defining yield potential and nitrogen application. The application takes as input a field, automatically acquires satellite imagery time series data, calculates indices such as the NVDI and uses the resulting 4D data to determine zones in the respective field that should be treated differently with respect to fertilisation, irrigation and pesticide application.

The MapWhiteboard component adds value to this scenario in two ways:

  1. Users can indicate points that reside within distinct areas of the field
  2. Users can modify the resulting zones after auto-classification
  3. Users can add recommendations, rates to the individual zones

Agro Domain support in Slovakia as part of the 2. INSPIRE ESPUS conference

Venue: 30/06/2022, 13:00 – 16:00 CEST

The webinar will take part during the 2. INSPIRE ESPUS conference, where a dedicated session will be held with the focus on the Agro domain support in Slovakia. 

Aside from the presentation of the Innovation Experiment 3 Agro environmental services, a wide range of contributions will be provided from the public, private, academia and R&D organizations. 

Webinar will provide the opportunity to disseminate the information about the Smartagrihubs, Agrihub CZ&SK and other agrifood related initiatives, organizations and stakeholders.

Agenda:

  • 13:00 – 13:30 INSPIRE implementations across the Europe (Thorsten Reitz,  WeTransform)
  • 13:00 – 14:00 Podpora vesmírnych aktivít na Slovensku (Daniel Šagáth, Slovak space office)
  • 14:00 – 14:20 Geo aktivity rezortu Pôdohospodárstva (Jakub Soldán, Ministerstvo pôdohospodárstva a rozvoja vidieka Slovenskej republiky)
  • 14:20 – 14:30 Break
  • 14:30 – 15:00 Systémy na podporu rozhodovania v poľnohospodárstve (Radovan Hilbert, YMS)
  • 15:00 – 15:30 Agro Environmentálne Služby (Marcela Bindzárová Gergeľová, Technická univerzita Košice)  
  • 15:30 – 15:50 Aplikácia digitálneho prieskumu zeme pre potreby agrosektoru (Miroslav Garaj, DIMATZ / Technická univerzita Košice)

What is the theme, problems we address?

  • Space sector awareness raising
  • Introduction of data and technological possibilities 
  • Community support 
  • Identification of opportunities 
  • Geoinformation platform

Website: https://inspire.gov.sk/clanky/pozvanka-na-2-inspire-espus-konferenciu

PoliRural webinar: Semantic Explorer: A Text Mining Tool for Smart Research

Topic:
Semantic Explorer, or Semex, is a powerful text analytics tool that works with structured and unstructured data sources to provide insights to policy makers, researchers, foresight practitioners and others who need to make informed decisions while working with large amounts of information under time constraints. A typical foresight workshop, for example, requires a lot of research to prepare briefing notes, background papers, and lists of different kinds e.g. curated reading lists (CRL) with references. In PoliRural, Semex was used to improve the quality of this preparatory work and the productivity of those responsible for its execution. For example, Semex users can find out what the article, оr a CRL, is about by looking at the system-generated summary, geo-location, keyword frequencies, and sentiment scores associated with different paragraphs and topics – all without having to read the whole thing end to end. This workshop will explain how Semex was built, how it works, as well as its current and future potential based on the experience of some PoliRural pilot regions. The event will feature an interactive session to allow participants to ask questions and/or respond to any of the points mentioned in the presentations.

Time:
Jun 22, 2022 11:00 AM in Brussels
Registration:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Dwu7Lf76S3-7uJnLvoU65w

Speakers

photo of Denis KolokolDenis Kolokol Data Scientist and Developer @KAJO Denis Kolokol graduated in 2000 from Zaporizhzhya Technical State University (Ukraine), with a MS degree in Computer Science and Management Systems, and since then has been busy developing systems of all scales in many international teams. His roles varied from tech designer and software / database engineer to data scientist and researcher. For the last several years he has been mainly focused on the development of intelligent web-services and APIs with streaming data from social resources, natural text processing and big data analysis. Prefers to work on the projects with “open data” philosophy or related to science and/or education. Particularly interested in ML applications to text processing, as well as and computer vision, statistics, and physics. His area of expertise includes languages and frameworks such as Python, SuperCollider, Django, RESTful API, Elasticsearch, Mongodb, PostgreSQL, Docker, etc.

photo of Tuula Löytty

Tuula Löytty CEO @Smart & Lean Hub Tuula has contributed to Häme (FI) region’s research, development and innovation actions for 18 years. The interventions have been addressed to value chain improvements through case studies, experiments, and capacity building. The typical target field has been the manufacturing industry and working adults.

Categor

How to improve farming advisory services at 123rd OGC Member Meeting

Let us cordially invite you to join the upcoming Agriculture DWG session on “How to improve farming advisory services – from global needs and data to local advisory services”.

During the session, we plan to provide insights into existing advisory services, analyse problems with advisory services, look at how global data can be used locally, and how we can integrate local and global data. We will also discuss how different models and semantics can influence the transferring of solutions from country to country.

The session will be held during the 123rd OGC Member Meeting on Wednesday 15 June, 12:00 – 13:30 PM CET.

Our speakers will address following questions:

  • What are the main problems of current advisory services?
  • Where do you see the future? Global or local solutions?
  • Can we transfer experience from industry to agriculture?
  • How to integrate global and local data?

Agenda

  • The role of technology producers, service support and advisory for farmers in Adoption and running  of Precision Agriculture on the farm – Pavel Gnip (AGCO)

  • Advisory service – in between farmers and science: current status, new challenges and prospects – Sonja Gvozdenac (Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops)

  • Digital solutions for agriculture at a local, regional and global scale – Monika Manolova (Digital National Alliance)
  • Integrate global needs for longterm saver benefits – Walter H. Mayer (Progis)
  • Assymetric MapWhiteBoard as a Disruptive Technology for Agriculture Advisory Services – Karel Charvat (Plan4all) & Runar Stein Bergheim (Asplan Viak)

Register for the workshop at https://store.ogc.org/ and join virtually or visit Madrid!