Legal Challenges to Opening up Research Data in France

There are a lot of legal challenges to opening research data
Standard

We at RS Strategy are strong supporters of open knowledge. Our founder is a trained scientist, thus opening up science and research are a soft spot for us.

We are thus happy to join a dedicated workgroup at the French National Institute for Agriculture Research (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA) aiming to map the current legal framework of research data production and management. To our knowledge, this workgroup is the first of its kind at the institutional level in France. The group’s members wish to explore the legal challenges ahead of opening the Institute’s data. An expected outcome is a handbook for researchers to smoothen their journey towards Open Science Data.

Continue reading

Open Data Index 2013: Fundamental Public Sector Data Still Unavailable in MENA

Standard

Rayna Stamboliyska, the founder of RS Strategy and Open MENA, served as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Editor for the Open Data Index.

The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of information in ten key areas, including government spending, election results, transport timetables, and pollution levels, and reveals that whilst some good progress is being made, much remains to be done.

The Open Data Index 2013 is the first assessment of openness of fundamental government data in the Middle East and North Africa, including full scorecards for six countries (Israel, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen). The six countries from the Middle East, featured in the Index, globally show very low openness.

Continue reading

[Brevia] Open Letter to the European Commission on Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities research

Standard

In the proposal for next EC Framework Programme — Horizon 2020, — no funding for research in the social sciences and humanities is mentioned. If you support the idea of maintaining specific research funding for the social sciences and humanities (as it is the case under FP7), you are kindly invited to sign the open letter to the European Commission

Please forward this invitation to sign to others.

Improving biofuel production thanks to yeast

Standard

Everybody knows humankind produces beer and wine since ever. In this case, we put a bug – yeast, from the same family as the one helping to produce the pastries  – in presence of sugar and absence of oxygen which concludes in the production of bioethanol.

What is biofuel?

Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass. When people think of producing some liquid biofuel, it is generally alcohol-based, namely bioethanol. People like it because it is renewable energy. It can be made from agricultural feedstocks (sugar cane, maize, potato).

The problem is that if we use these crops, the food prices will increase and moreover, a lot of arable lands is needed; but most of all, the concerns went to the energy required to keep the pollution balance of the whole cycle of ethanol production (especially when it comes from corn).

Continue reading