GODAN Executive Director Invited to Become Member of EURAKNOS Strategic Innovation Board of HORIZON 2020 EU Project

Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) is delighted to announce that Executive Director, André Laperrière, has been invited to become a member of the Strategic Innovation Board (SIB) of the Horizon 2020 EU Project in Brussels, Belgium.
GODAN, a UN, UK and US Government supported initiative that facilitates the proactive sharing of Open Data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security, has a long and established history as one of Europe’s leading organisations in the field.
Mr Laperrière, who has been Executive Director since 2015, has been instrumental in promoting Open Data collaborations to harness the growing volume of data generated by new technologies to solve long-standing problems and to benefit farmers and the health of consumers. This has seen him deliver key addresses and presentations in many countries across the world including Belgium.

Horizon 2020 is currently the largest EU Research and Innovation programme to date with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe2020's global competitiveness.
Mr Laperrière will be joining the board of the EURAKNOS thematic network which is establishing and developing the compilation of knowledge relating to agri-food and forestry data, ready for practice through interactions between different thematic networks to maximise outputs for practitioners and tackle data management. The aim is to create a European Agricultural Knowledge Innovation Open Source System so that knowledge coming from these networks is sustained in order to maximise the potential for its users.

The project, in coordination with the University of Ghent, is expected to be completed in December 2020, with the support of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament.

Mr Laperrière, will be travelling to Brussels on Thursday 10 th January to meet with the programme's directors and individuals involved in the project, budgeted at over €2 billion, to accept the invitation and offer his experience and knowledge of the dynamics and modernising of the agricultural industry. Mr. Laperrière will provide his contributions and expertise in tackling some of the world’s most difficult challenges including food security and hunger.

Speaking about his new membership, Chief Executive of GODAN, André Laperrière, said:

“We are currently in the midst of a rural revolution and as the industry continues to modernise, it is an honour to be offered the opportunity of a board member for the Horizon 2020 EU Project. By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

With millions of people going hungry all over the world, there are many ways in which this can be resolved and this project is a great platform as it can get off the ground early and gather momentum which will ultimately lead to its success.

Through EURAKNOS, the ability to explore the needs of end-users and the possibilities of creating a European agricultural knowledge innovation open source system will bring thematic networks much closer together and therefore more effective in their goals.”

Mr Laperrière added: “The project focuses on widening existing thematic network outputs in an interactive way and the likes of cross-fertilisation will be organised among countries, regions and production systems allowing for the agricultural industry to be more efficient and effective.

My on the ground experience with GODAN will hopefully prove pivotal in helping this project towards its goals and will allow me to establish and develop new relations with key partners as we strive to end world hunger.”

With more than 855 partners across the globe, GODAN has already established a number of relationships in the country, including web platform Landfriend, EUROSIS - the European multidisciplinary society for modelling and simulation technology and Photosynthetica Ltd, a Hi-Techstart-up in agronomy.