Defra collects a significant amount of environmental data and the hope is that this new platform will provide stakeholders with information and evidence to monitor change and inform future business and environmental decisions.
This comes as part of the department's digital and data roadmap, and will see Telespazio UK and Agrimetrics helping Defra to deliver on its 25-year environment plan which aims to improve the UK’s air and water quality and protect biodiversity.
Chris Howes, chief digital technology officer for Digital Data and Technology Services at Defra, sees this collaboration as an opportunity for the department to modernise its data sharing and expand its the usability across the Government and the public data marketplace.
Agrimetrics is one of four UK Agri-tech Centres created with initial public funding from Innovate UK and has been empowering agri-food businesses since 2014 via an online ‘exchange facility’ that links, organises and shares thousands of rich datasets.
This new platform coined the ‘Data Services Platform’ (DSP3) will make Defra’s environmental data accessible to key stakeholders in agri-food, including farmers and the wider supply chain. Earmarked for later this year, the open-source service will provide a next generation data marketplace which will help improve the wider reusability of Defra’s data for public use.
“DSP3 will build upon the existing DPS2 platform and exploit the existing Agrimetrics Data Marketplace to make thousands of datasets accessible for public use. This will support Defra to deliver the ambition of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan,” explained Rebecca Geraghty, COO of Agrimetrics.
DSP3 will comprise more than 4,500 datasets and 30 applications and APIs (application programming interface calls), Geraghty told Food Manufacture. This will include nationally critical information on flood risks, water quality, fish populations, and habitats, among other factors.
“The platform will enable greater interoperability with other platforms and services to expand the usage of data and evolution of technical services. For example, Agrimetrics’s data catalogue and data marketplace includes data on soils, water, weather and field boundaries, as well as crop analytics and pesticide and fertiliser data,” Geraghty continued.
The platform has been driven by a need for the food sector to meet upcoming and ambitious environmental goals, including UK net zero targets and poor harvests. Telespazio UK’s CEO hopes the delivery of this service will see the DSP becoming a world-leading infrastructure that “underpins environmental improvements and social value gains”.
“Too much data remains locked away, underused and static – it’s a critical yet untapped asset, often hugely valuable in the learnings it can bring,” added Geraghty. “Agrimetrics hopes that users of DSP3 will be able to link environmental data with business decisions to help them to reduce and reverse their impact on the environment.”
The data is collected, collated and published by a range of Defra bodies and accessible here.