Fair data and living lab data in agriculture

#45, May 2024

Petri Linna

Project Manager, Tampere University

Agriculture is currently undergoing a significant transformation from the perspective of data. New devices and technologies are rapidly emerging, which generate large amounts of data in multiple ways. How to make better use of these data is still an open question. The various aspects such as fairness in sharing the data, motivation to collect the data, ensuring the quality of the data by developing metadata specifications and developing the data analysis workflows for decision support need to be addressed.  

Implementing a Fair Data Economy in Agriculture - IFDEA

The IFDEA project, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry explored the implementation of fair data economy arranging 20 workshops over two years. Hundreds of people contributed their insights into what constitutes a fair data economy in agriculture and what considerations it should include, such as upcoming regulations and rules of play. As a result of the project, the first draft of the agriculture fair data economy rulebook was created. The project also developed the grain chain processes and piloted various ways of sharing and managing data. Collaboration was promoted at different levels starting from the developer communities and bringing together the people working on a variety of separate initiatives.

The final report of IFDEA is available (in Finnish) here:

Our Data Ecosystem for Value-Added Grain - OurData

Looking more closely at the grain chain process, it consists of dozens of different actors. Data moves between some of them, but data sharing is still far from its full potential. In practice, this means that the farmer has numerous agreements with different service providers, each covering a narrow sector of grain chain data economy while the service providers typically do not share data with one another. The OurData project investigates this challenge in the grain chain together with 4 research institutions and 20 companies. The goal is to develop the grain chain into a functional ecosystem capable of agreeing on data rules and facilitating fair data exchange, thereby increasing the entire grain chain's value. The project is also developing a pilot service that allows data producers at different stages of the grain chain to generate data and aims to connect them with those who need the data. This approach also creates opportunities for reusing the collected data, for example, in research and statistics, from which the data producer receives financial compensation or rights to use the services.

The underlying motivation for these projects has been to promote digitization in agriculture in a manner that is fair, collaborative, and profitability-enhancing.

Both projects align well with the regional specialization strategy of Satakunta, emphasizing, among other things, the vitality of food production.

Projects links:

·         IFDEA: https://www.tuni.fi/en/research/ifdea

·         Living lab OurData: https://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en/research/livinglabdata