Francesca Cantore, Researcher at Engineering Ingegneria Informatica Spa
What is the DEMETER Stakeholder Open Collaboration Space?
The DEMETER Stakeholders Open Collaboration Space (SOCS) is an online platform dedicated to all stakeholders (farmers, advisors, and suppliers) where they can collaborate, share best practices and participate in co-creation processes. In this virtual environment providers and consumers of digital technologies are not just matching assets and needs, but they are collaborating together towards joint innovations.
Indeed, the SOCS aims to reverse the relationship with suppliers, through an innovative model in which suppliers are responsible for ensuring that a final solution is optimal to the farmer’s existing context and expressed needs. SOCS also provides a response to farmers who need to be supported when they have to choose between different solutions.
The available services through the SOCS may be categorized under three pillars:
- Collaboration Space: concerned with a set of tools useful to share, validate ideas and co-design new solutions.
- Catalogues: concerned with a common repository for human profiles and competencies, enabling search and discovery of who is part of the network.
- Knowledge Management: concerned with providing online access to information and materials.
How will it gather & address farmers’ needs?
One of the main functionalities offered by the SOCS is, undoubtedly, gathering and addressing farmers’ needs according to a co-creation process. Through this process, farmers’ needs can be better elicited, through the collaboration tools and thanks to the help of other users (i.e., advisors). The need expressed by a farmer is analysed and can evolve into a challenge which represents the area of interest that requires new solutions or approaches. The creation of a challenge aims to involve stakeholders in the creation of solutions (ideas) that represent their contributions to the requests expressed through the challenge. The final result of the challenge is the selection of the idea that best matches with the challenge and the elaboration of the optimal solution, relying on the resources present in the DEMETER Enabler Hub (DEH). The DEH centralises the full description of all the components, devices, services, data sources, platforms etc that are accessible for deployment.
When will the SOCS be launched?
The first beta release of the SOCS, with its basic services, will be launched in June 2021. The final version, including the co-creation application, will be available in October 2022.
How will farmers access the SOCS?
Farmers (included the ones outside of DEMETER) will be able, through a link in the DEMETER website, to access to a login section and sign-up as users in the SOCS. This will allow them access to the SOCS portfolio of services. Through the SOCS they will have the opportunity to look for collaborators (i.e., advisors’ support or other farmers who could share the same need), to access to the DEMETER knowledge base in the agricultural domain, to share successful experiences as well as get inspiration by analysing the best practices in agriculture, to connect and interact with the other stakeholders thanks to the collaboration tools (i.e. blog, discussions, etc.), to be updated about agricultural events.