Project deliverable Open Access

AGINFRA PLUS D8.4 - AGINFRA Association Blueprint

Manouselis, Nikos; Kouriantaki, Irene

In the AGINFRA PLUS Sustainability Roadmap, we describe the way in which the technology partners of the consortium are envisioning how the key software infrastructures, services and tools of the project are going to be sustained after the project ends. This deliverable first provides an overview of the key software outcomes and highlights the ones selected for further exploitation. Then, it focuses on the targeted stakeholders and market segments, the business models chosen per targeted
segment, as well as the operational and financial resources required.

After the project’s Mid-Term Review meeting, an early version of this deliverable was prepared and submitted according to the reviewers’ request, to reflect our thinking and approach in terms of sustainability at that point of time. In this new version of the deliverable, we significantly revise, extend and complete our original thinking. It has become clearer to us that in an era of radical digital transformations in the food and agriculture sector, the way in which project outcomes may be positioned and offered to potential users has changed. This creates numerous opportunities for the partners that are interested to continue this investment after the end of the project.
The five (5) key technology offerings that we have decided to continue investing into are the

  1. D4Science-powered VREs (CNR): existing or new Virtual Research Environment (VREs) that specific communities or organisations may continue using or creating, over the D4Science e-infrastructure.
  2. EGI-powered Jupyter Notebooks (EGI): existing or new scientific applications that will be using Jupyter Notebooks for interactive data science and scientific computing, over the EGI e-infrastructure.
  3. EGI-powered Galaxy Workflows (EGI): existing or new scientific workflows that will be executed over Galaxy, over the EGI e-infrastructure.
  4. Data Harvesting & Data Linking Services (Agroknow): existing or new software applications that will be using the semantic indexing and data lookup services of Agroknow (or request a white-label set up of their own similar service).
  5. ARPHA-powered Data Journals (Pensoft): existing or new scientific data journals that will be powered by ARPHA.

In terms of large-scale computing facilities and cloud storage resources, the above technology offerings have been powered by the two European e-infrastructures that have been serving as the backbone of the project:

  • D4Science e-infrastructure (CNR & UoA): the Data Infrastructure that connects more that 7.000 scientists in over 50 countries, hosts more than 100 VREs for a variety of communities and that promises 99,8% service availability.
  • EGI e-infrastructure (EGI): the federation of cloud providers and data centres, spread across Europe and worldwide, that delivers advanced computing services to scientists, projects and research infrastructures.

The deliverable has modified and extended its initial scope of describing an “AGINFRA Association”, as the consortium has decided not to move forward with such a legal entity. Not all partners were equally interested in a joint commitment about the way to continue to support and evolve the various project outcomes. It was therefore decided that a select number of partners responsible for the above key AGINFRA PLUS technology offerings (namely, Agroknow, CNR, Pensoft, and EGI) develop jointly a plan about the future of these offerings. To this end, the original title of this deliverable “AGINFRA
Association Blueprint” has been revised to “AGINFRA PLUS Sustainability Roadmap”.

This Roadmap includes the following parts:

  • An overview of the main technology outcomes of AGINFRA PLUS, also comparing their IP, TRL and licensing to the ones originally foreseen in the DoA.
  • An introduction of the need that we see in the market & technology outcomes that we have decided to offer: what is the situation in the current market, with the food and agriculture sector being under a huge transformation; who are the potential users/customers that we may address; which are the specific market segments that we believe have potential for our partners and offerings.
  • An overview of the market segments that we target and the offerings that are relevant: what are the specific audiences and their needs; which are the AGINFRA PLUS offerings that we see as relevant for these audiences; what is the competitive advantage that we have against the competition; what is the business model that we have decided to adopt in each case.
  • A description of the strategic, operational and financial requirements to continue supporting each offering: which are the labour and computing resources needed; what are the corresponding costs; how do the financial forecasts look for each offering.

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