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AGINFRA PLUS D7.4 - Food Security Pilot Evaluation Report

Neveu, Pascal; Boizet, Alice

This document describes the evaluation procedure performed in the AGINFRA+ project to assess the VRE developed for the Food Security community and reports on the outcomes of the different evaluation phases.


The Food Security VRE features have been implemented by iteration. Three phases of evaluation have been performed in order to assess the VRE at different stages of its development and then being able to take into account the users feedbacks for adding improvements. This also allowed to better engage the community users. The first evaluation consisted in testing each available feature independently while in the two later evaluations full research workflows could be demonstrated and it was possible to organize hands-on workshops where users could follow a real user scenario and get a better view of a VRE potential.


To cope with the differences in the evaluation approach between the different research communities (agro-climatic modelling, food safety and food security community), an additional evaluation was developed and performed in harmonized validation format.


Analysing the evaluation feedback, we can conclude that for the Food Security community, the AGINFRA+ project enabled to introduce virtual research environments to scientists who were generally unaware of the possibilities of virtual research. We were able to demonstrate the general concept of a VRE, and how VREs can support collaborative teams in plant science research. In addition, we demonstrated how a VRE and its components can be used to discover and access data and develop scientific workflows. We observe that community members state that VREs can be a useful tool for open science, and we see an interest to use such environments for research. Many seem to recognize that virtual research environments offer unique opportunities to share heterogeneous data and analysis workflows and thus make them more easily reusable, responding to the demand for collaboration in different fields with heterogeneous data needed to address major interdisciplinary challenges in agri-food and environment.

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