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28 Feb 2023

Expanding the IGAD CoP in South Caucasus Region – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

The activities in this blog comes in the context of the RDA and EOSC Future open calls programme. The projects are supported by EOSC Future

This project's aim is to increase the knowledge and expertise on the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the Improving Global Agricultural Data (IGAD) Community of Practice (CoP) and EOSC in the South Caucasus Region.  

Today, in an era of rapid change and technological breakthroughs, it is extremely important to communicate more closely and share common values with the world's domain-oriented scientific communities. RDA is an organization with shared values and goals, one of the core missions of which is supporting the global research and create more open, accessible, and vibrant communities to drive scientific data-driven discovery forward. Communities of Practise investigate, discuss and provide knowledge and skills within a specific research domain.  

Accordingly, in this project, with the support of the Institute for Scientific and Technical Information - TECHINFORMI, we are going to engage experts and members of domain specific communities from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to share, better understand and develop more ambitious and advanced approaches for FAIR collaboration in the context of raising awareness and expanding the values of RDA and the EOSC movement. 

In Spring of 2023 we will organize an online event together with the IGAD co-chairs to present RDA, its vision and mission, how to get involved, how to benefit from the IGAD and the CoP that currently includes more than 150 organizations worldwide. This half day event will include stakeholders currently present in IGAD, and will present some lessons learnt on the implementation of RDA recommendations produced within IGAD and also in other Working Groups. Also, we plan to organize dedicated sessions where we will share country specific case studies to all interested parties and present how we contributed and supported local institutions to maintain and continue access to international, open and FAIR data during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, part of the proposed CoP project institute aims to share its own experience on the importance of continuous maintenance and updating local databases and how this might have an impact of increasing trust and sustainability among the local and regional communities to utilize resources and data for their needs. 

These sessions will lead an important step on the way of building a strong understanding of multi-cultural environment of the South Caucasus region and exchange cross-disciplinary open science and data to reach the ultimate goal of reinforcing access to data, access to services, interoperability and sustainability. As well the outputs of the project will be a good illustration for RDA in context of what RDA/IGAD can do better to facilitate the integration of more organizations and individuals in the Community of Practice (CoP). 

As one of the active users of FAO AIMS knowledge sharing platform and other services of FAO, I have regularly participated through-out the 2021 in online Coffee Break webinars organized by Research Data Alliance's IGAD. Also, the Institute TECHINFORMI which I mentioned before represents a FAO AGRIS Country Hub in Georgia and participates in all activities organized by FAO. But the main point, motivation and influential fact was that during one of the usual meetings with FAO AGRIS and AGROVOC team members, I was inspired by some colleagues from FAO when they shared their experience of participating in various Research Data Alliance WGs. The opportunity to meet with scientific communities, experts in different fields from different countries pushed me to try myself and join the EOSC Future Platform open competitions and to discover new opportunities for collaboration.  

As part of the work ahead and to achieve the main goals and objectives of our project, we are going to identify real participants for the upcoming event. Prepare an agenda for the event and distribute invitations and announcements online and through social channels. Finally, we are going to hold a half-day event with the co-chairs of IGAD, which will be attended by various stakeholders, researchers and experts from the South Caucasus. 

All upcoming activities, events, results and outcomes will be shared and disseminated as much as possible via RDA, social networks, FAO AIMS and all available social platforms at the national, regional and international level.  

About the author:

Dr. Marina Razmadze is currently working as a Deputy Director and Researcher at the Central Institute for Scientific and Technical Information – TECHINFORMI. She holds a PhD degree in Computer Science and more than 15 years of hands-on experience in administrative and research roles in Information Technology and Systems (IT&S), Computer Science, Data Research, Data Management, and Information Analysis fields from state and private educational institutions and organizations locally and internationally. Marina is experienced in successful coordination and implementation of research projects (Horizon2020, Erasmus+, National Shota Rustaveli Foundation, FAO, DAAD) and in conducting international seminars, lecture courses for graduate and postgraduate students in computer science and data analysis. She is the co-author of one monographic work and several scientific and technical articles published in local and international journals. 

In her spare time, beyond of science and academia Marina get addicted beekeeping with her friends and family members. 

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