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Administrating A “Virtual” Research Centre: The Case Of The Colombian Centre For Innovation In Floriculture

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21934)
Authors:   Rebecca A. Lee, Carlos González
Keywords:   Virtual, research centre, web-based management

Colombia is the second largest world flower exporter. This leadership was achieved in part by the adaptation of imported technology. However, the special conditions of the production areas particular to the high tropics and increased international pressure require that the producers combine their efforts to increase productivity and competitiveness.

To meet this challenge, the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters (Asocolflores) recently established the Colombian Centre for Innovation in Floriculture (Ceniflores) as a scientific, technological, independent, private, and non-profit institution. Research investment is long term and has proven high rates of return in other commodities. Due to limited funding, the flower sector needs adequate tools to manage it strategically. A research plan based on grower demand is the starting point for the Centre, which acts as virtual articulator between producers and research institutions, nationally and abroad.

To achieve its objectives, Ceniflores has acquired a systems infrastructure built completely on Internet through a WEB-based architecture. This allows for information collection from multiple sources, its integration, and analysis. The information is available to different stakeholders through articulated networks (Business Web [B-Web]) built around the services offered, including access to documents, projects, research priority questionnaires, databases, and topic-based research networks, among others.

The technology used is based on various open source applications, dramatically reducing time and cost to implement each of the services. Furthermore, the use of existing applications and how they have been integrated, allow replication of the model by other centres that require the creation of WEB based networks.

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