G-8 ag leaders set to meet and open data to the world
With a goal of uniting scientific activities across borders to feed the world, agricultural leaders from the G-8 countries will begin a two-day conference in Washington on Monday. G-8 leaders will meet to discuss the challenges and develop policies for online global platforms to share data from publicly funded agricultural research. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will head the United States government delegation and USDA's Chief Scientist, Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., will act as alternate head of delegation and provide scientific guidance.
"The Obama Administration is committed to opening data to the public and the research community," said Vilsack. "Open data for agriculture offers unlimited opportunity both at home and abroad. We've seen it drive economic growth in the past through the development of navigation systems, weather forecasting and other tools that were revolutionary when created, but that consumers now take for granted. Sharing data will do the same for facing the enormous challenges of reducing poverty, improving nutrition, and sustainably intensifying agricultural production to meet the demand of feeding nine billion people by 2050."
Highlights of the conference include:
- Remarks by Secretary Vilsack to open the first day of the meeting;
- Video remarks by Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
- Panel discussions including participants such as Rachel Kyte, Ph.D., VP, World Bank and Todd Park, White House Chief Technology Officer;
- Lightning presentations by developers of apps currently in use for agricultural production;
- Presentations by key agricultural scientists on the technical details of governments opening data to the public, implications for developing countries and best practices.
- Announcements of new open data releases from government and private sector.
The range of presenters and attendees cover the spectrum of leadership from government and industry. Howard Shapiro, Global Director of Plant Science and External Research, Mars Incorporated will be a lightning presenter, as will Shaifali Puri, from Scientists without Borders, a public-private partnership led by The New York Academy of Sciences. Conference attendees will hear from representatives of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Global Harvest Initiative, Johns Hopkins University and top officials from federal agencies including the Department of Commerce, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Millennium Challenge Corporation and others.