General description

Stichting Wageningen Research (WR) consists of a number of specialised institutes for applied research in the domain of healthy food and living environment. WR collaborates with Wageningen University under the external brand name Wageningen University & Research. The research institute involved in this proposal is Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR), a research institute within the legal entity Stichting Wageningen Research.

Wageningen Environmental Research (formerly known as ALTERRA WUR) is a leading research institute on ‘our green living environment’. We offer a combination of practical, innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research across many disciplines related to the green world around us and the sustainable use of our living environment. WENR focuses on aspects such as land cover and land use, the use of geo-information and remote sensing, landscape and spatial planning, forestry, flora and fauna, soil, water, climate, vegetation, recreation and its governance. WENR engages in integrated research to support design processes, policy-making and management at the local, national and international levels. WENR has about 400 staff members and combines a wide range of expertise for integrated agri-environmental assessments, climate change impact assessment and for studies related to rural areas and their sustainable use. WENR has been partner or coordinator of a range of service contracts for the European Commission (DG CLIMA, DG ENV, DG ENERGY, DG AGRI, DG REGION) and in the Framework Programs.


Role in the project

WR will lead the NIVA project and as such carry final responsibility for the overall project coordination, in close consultation with the Policy Board.

WR will also lead WP1 (project coordination and management) and WP 6 on open call, within WP6 leading on T6.1 on drafting the terms of reference for the open call. In WP 1 it will lead all task except the coordination of the policy board, which will be lead by DAFM as co lead. In WP5, WR will coordinate T5.3 on other uses of IACS data. Finally WR will support RVO in its use case on machinery data.


Key persons involved

Dr Sander Janssen: Project Coordinator. Sander Janssen is a specialist in land use analysis and agricultural systems modelling. He is an experienced project leader of large European and national projects, such as FP7 NOE LIAISE, UKAID/DFID GODAN ACTIONm strategic research funds of Wageningen UR on Big Data . He is currently team leader Earth Informatics at Wageningen Environmental Research, leading a team of experienced researchers and software engineers in the field of integrated (spatial) modelling, remote sensing and knowledge systems. He has keen interest in knowledge representation and knowledge engineering, focussing on making knowledge explicit and usable for end-users (i.e. policy makers, stakeholders, nature conservationists, general public, water managers).

Henk Janssen: Team leader Spatial Knowledge Systems of Wageningen Environmental Research. Project manager of national and international projects on the integration of GIS in work processes. He contributed to many national and international projects with a link to IACS: Optimove, National strategy on Precision Agriculture, landscape elements scoping.

Tamme van der Wal: Information Management expert with special attention for the data revolution, Public Sector Information, user and usage aspects of spatial data, demand driven developments, satellite data (navigation and earth observation), INSPIRE, information policy etc. Specialist in studies on agriculture, precision farming, CAP, water management, natural resources. In the past years mostly active as researcher in innovation and valorisation projects, focussed on societal aspects of technological innovations concerning the acquisition, processing and use of spatial information either originating from satellites, airborne platforms (manned and unmanned) or 'on the ground' systems like sensors, GNSS etc.

Rob Lokers: ) is a project manager of ICT projects and research infrastructures. He has a long year experience in information system development in scientific and commercial environments. His expertise is in ICT in science (agriculture, food security, environment), research infrastructures, knowledge technology and agro- environmental modelling. Rob’s focus is on co-creating innovative knowledge infrastructures and applications that advance the level of agro-environmental research by exploiting the possibilities of Big Data and the Semantic Web. He leads projects and work packages in large international research projects and service contracts, e.g. research infrastructure initiatives like the FP7 SemaGrow and Trees4Future projects and knowledge platforms like Climate-ADAPT, the European Platform for Climate Adaptation. Rob has an IPMA certification (level C) for project management.


Relevant publications

[NIVA] template WP18-20 v20171006

Balafoutis, A., Beck, B., Fountas, S., Vangeyte, J., Wal, T.v.d., Soto, I., Gómez-Barbero, M., Barnes, A. and Eory, V., 2017. Precision Agriculture Technologies Positively Contributing to GHG Emissions Mitigation, Farm Productivity and Economics. Sustainability, 9(8), p.1339.

Janssen, S.J., Porter, C.H., Moore, A.D., Athanasiadis, I.N., Foster, I., Jones, J.W. and Antle, J.M., 2017. Towards a new generation of agricultural system data, models and knowledge products: Information and communication technology. Agricultural systems, 155, pp.200-212.

Lokers, R., Knapen, R., Janssen, S., van Randen, Y. and Jansen, J., 2016. Analysis of Big Data technologies for use in agro-environmental science. Environmental Modelling & Software, 84, pp.494-504.

Porter, C.H., Villalobos, C., Holzworth, D., Nelson, R., White, J.W., Athanasiadis, I.N., Janssen, S., Ripoche, D., Cufi, J., Raes, D. and Zhang, M., 2014. Harmonization and translation of crop modeling data to ensure interoperability. Environmental Modelling & Software, 62, pp.495-508.

Reidsma, P., Janssen, S., Jansen, J. and van Ittersum, M.K., 2018. On the development and use of farm models for policy impact assessment in the European Union–A review. Agricultural Systems, 159, pp.111-125.


Relevant projects and activities

Wageningen Environmental Research has a strong track record in national and international research and advisory projects regarding agricultural accounting, remote sensing, precision farming, data analysis, land use modelling and sustainability assessments. Some relevant projects are:

  • FP7-ICT SemaGrow (Data intensive techniques to boost the real-time performance of global agricultural data infrastructures, 2012-2015) developed scalable, efficient, and robust data services. Alterra worked on a use case related to agricultural research data within the Agricultural Modelling Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) program, exploiting SemaGrow Linked Data and semantic technologies to make data easier to discover, link and integrate in ongoing research activities. It uses the advanced SEMAGROW infrastructure to achieve its goals. URL:
  • MARSOP (2000-2018) provides technical support to the European Commission to establish production forecasts for major crops in Europe and neighbouring countries as well as in strategic areas of the world. It includes various activities such as the acquisition of meteorological data and maintenance of a meteorological database; the application of agro-meteorological models (WOFOST, crop specific water balances) to determine the effect of weather on crop growth; and finally the acquisition and processing of low resolution satellite data to assess vegetation health.
  • FP 7 NoE LIAISE, on Linking Impact Assessment tools to Impact Assessment procedures. This Network of Excellence project consolidated knowledge, collaborations and networks around impact assessment and tools developed across FP5, 6 and 7 for better use in impact assessment procedures at EC, national and international level. Its execution was guided by a policy board, with EC and national representatives to reflect on its developments, see: