on 26 Mar 2019 12:00 AM

On 25th March and 1st of April 2019, the first evaluation workshops of the DEMETER and RAKIP VREs were conducted by our partner BfR. The workshops were attended by 34 participants.

At the beginning of each workshop, the BfR team introduced the AGINFRA+ project and the concept of Virtual Research Environments (VRE) to the participants. Subsequently, specific VRE features relevant for each of the two communities were presented and demonstrated. This was combined with hands-on exercises for the workshop participants. In case of the DEMETER workshop BfR featured the integration of the KNIME Server Workflow Hub, the new VRE MindMap visualization portlet, the community Wiki, the Data Catalogue, the option to execute KNIME workflows as a Data Miner job and other services integrated into the VRE like Galaxy, VocBench, R Studio and the ARPHA writing tool. In the RAKIP workshop, the focus was laid on the RAKIP model repository, the communication and data sharing features of the VRE as well as on the integration of Data Catalogue, Data Miner and KNIME Server-based services enabling the exchange and execution of risk assessment models. This workshop specifically discussed and demonstrated the benefits of the new information exchange format for food safety models (FSK-ML) that was developed with support from the AGINFRA+ project.

In each workshop, all participants performed own practical exercises inside the VREs and thus had the chance to provide relevant feedback on the VRE services they had used.  

The feedback received from the participants could be summarized as follows:

In the workshop, BfR received very positive feedback from the participants. For example, 80% of the respondents rated the usefulness of the VRE with respect to “collaboration and communication” as “very useful”. On the usefulness of the “Data analytics” features the rating was positive as well (64% OK, 28% very useful). Also on “Ease of finding, assessing and reusing data analysis pipelines/workflows” the presented VREs received encouraging feedback (52% OK, 48% very good). This overall positive feedback was also supported by the answers on the question on the “uptake potential”: 44% of the answers indicated that the participant will use a VRE in the future and 52% indicated that the “may use” it.

The next evaluation workshop for the RAKIP community has already been scheduled for 17th September 2019 as a pre-conference symposia alongside the 11th International Conference on Predictive Modelling in Food ( ) in Braganza.




The selected AGINFRA+ Use Cases will illustrate the benefits of applying the Science as a Service approach to pressing research questions from the corresponding research communities.


This community focuses on use cases aim to support the workflow of researchers, intermediaries and business analysts working on crop modelling, crop phenology estimation and yield forecasting, as well as related activities in the area of policy and decision support in food security, farm management advice and related activities.



This community focuses on use cases to support scientists in the multidisciplinary field of risk assessment and emerging risk identification as there is currently a strong need to create new technology-supported solutions that facilitate the knowledge integration processes relevant for these tasks.



This community focuses on use cases related to the high-throughput phenotyping large amount of data which need to be analyzed immediately for decision making. This aims to support phenomics researchers to select plant species and varieties which are the most adapted to specific environments and to global changes.


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