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Task 4.1 Defining the IMS structure and infrastructure and defining the data structure (M1-M24)
Task-lead: INRA in collaboration with Teagasc

The structure and infrastructure of the Information Management System (IMS) will be defined in order to facilitate uploading and downloading of a wide range of information from various origins. This will be achieved by combining several resources:

a) A database system where information from farms collected through interviews and case studies will be stored. This requires defining a typology of information, regarding the various levels of organisation to be described (farms, animals, herds, grasslands, cropping systems) and the type of descriptors for each level (practices, performances). Alongside with numerical data, it is important to also deal with the experience of the farmers and the written transcriptions. This part of the IMS must ensure that all information is accessible, while fulfilling the rules of the individual property and freedom. In order to maximise efficiency, this will be built upon existing IMS whose architecture is compatible with the objective of this section. The Agrosyst facility developed by INRA as part of the national Ecophyto program will be assessed and adapted to fulfil this objective. As it makes it possible to describe farms, cropping systems with grasslands and animal production, the partners of Inno4Grass identified this IMS as suitable with a limited number of new developments.

b) Dedicated tools for a better exploitation of information available both in farm description and in scientific and technical literature, based upon cognitive mapping tools.

c) A tool dedicated to dissemination of information and knowledge will based upon Encyclopedia pratensis, the wiki developed for multi-species grassland.

d) National Wikimedia for specific parts of the IMS in national languages.

The connections and flows among these tools and segments will be organised to meet the objectives of the thematic network and the specific goals of each WP. A wide range of data will be collected from farmers, through interviews of innovative farmers and case studies, and stored in the IMS. To facilitate the flow of information, exchange among farmers groups and countries, discussion between farmers and researchers and dissemination among countries, a list of descriptors to be collected and indicators associated with document Ref. Ares(2016)5554549 - 26/09/2016 to be calculated will be defined and whenever possible connected to existing information systems through APIs (Application Programming Interface). In particular, this task will pay attention to:


a. Precise definition of metadata of databases describing the various farmers groups and case studies,

b. System descriptors that have to make sense across the various countries, to be relevant for grasslands management and production for a range of animal production, of animal feeds, of grassland types and managements,

c. Indicators that will be calculated from the various types of data. They will cover the different components of sustainability, e.g. production and economic performance, environmental impacts and especially the N balance, GHG emissions, and social performance including workload.

The status of data collected on farms will be analysed, regarding its ownership and the possibility to share information while fulfilling the regulations with regard to confidentiality of the various countries contributing to the project.

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