Bio-Drasis is co-funded by the EU European Social Fund and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Competitiveness & Entrepreneurship” (EPAN II) of the National Strategic Reference Framework – Research Funding Program: “COOPERATION 2011 – Partnerships between businesses and research bodies in specific research and technological sectors”. The project is coordinated by the Technological Education Institute of Crete (istlab laboratory) with partners affiliated with DHO, AMKO, ALTEC, LATZIMAS, BIANAME and Paterianakis Wines.
Bio-Drasis is a joint effort aiming to establish, strengthen and/or extend competencies of organic farming alliances to appropriate the benefits of professional collaboration and networking so as to ensure effective and timely management of resources. This will be achieved by designing, implementing and piloting computer-mediated workflows and an infrastructure for distributed organizing and collaborative co-engagement. The main feature of the envisaged infrastructure is its capability to (a) manage i.e., record, process and manifest digital traces of a broad range of daily and periodic organic farming activities and (b) assemble such digital traces in a manner that make them transparent, accountable and tailorable to the requirements of all actors involved including producers, specialists, intermediaries and consumers.
Bio-DRASIS strives for innovation in the sector of ‘Food and drinks’ by focusing on a research agenda that promotes the creation of a favorable environment for organic agricultural productions. Specifically:
- The theoretical objective in Bio-DRASIS amounts to re-shaping practices of organic agricultural production to suit a more collaborative mode of work that spans across organizational and sector-specific boundaries. Key issues in this respect include (a) the conception of a practice-oriented frame of reference to guide detailed insights into and support boundary spanning collaboration, (b) the translation of this frame of reference to novel activities distributed across multiple contexts (physical and virtual). Phrased differently, it is of paramount importance to understand what collaborators do in their daily activities, how these activities are interrelated and revealed in distributed workflows and how technology is implicated so as to span physical boundaries and promote networking.
- In terms of engineering, the objective is to establish effective mechanisms and computer-mediated processes that amplify individual and collective performance, thus allowing partnerships to flourish. Designing partnerships is far from trivial as it relies not only on the availability of a technological infrastructure but also commitment to non-technological factors such as willingness to share knowledge and experiences, building trust, assuring togetherness and maintaining sense of community. To this effect, specific targets to be addressed range from the implementation of collaborative work practices that re-organize production to launching community-based models for commerce and marketing of organically-produced agricultural products. Although such models are well established in information-based industries, such as tourism and consumer goods, they are missing from agricultural sectors and especially the organic production.
- The applications-oriented objectives of the proposed work are confined to the current and foreseen activities of the business partners and the selected lines of organic agriculture, namely vegetables, wine and olive oil. To this end, pilot developments and experimentation will provide evidence on the benefits resulting from novel implementation measures, new (individual and collective) capacities and professional collaboration in a sector which is emerging and of critical importance to the country.