Work packages

The seven project work packages delivered as part of IPM Decisions

Work Package 1: Ethics requirements

This work package sets out the 'ethics requirements' that the project must comply with. Including consent procedures, identifying research participants, data protection, and gender requirements.

Work Package 2: Integration and sharing of data, models and tools

This WP will facilitate access to data needed as input to a wide range of models used in DSS. This includes weather data, physical data (e.g. soil type), cultivar, resistance levels and farm management data (sowing date, previous crop, tillage, etc). Available datasets will meet the input requirements of a wide range of models, be locally relevant, quality controlled, and easily accessible for the user.

Work Package 3: Development of Dashboards and platform

Work package 3 is responsible for developing a set of dashboards and a web-based platform that will facilitate access by a range of stakeholders to decision support systems (DSS) and weather data across Europe.

We are developing an open source framework, based on a microservices architecture, to integrate multiple weather data sources with a range of different DSS. Alongside this we are developing the following dashboards to allow users to interact with the DSS:

  1. Use Dashboard This will provide at-a-glance risk outputs from the DSS selected by the user along with the key actions the user needs to take. Users will be able to set up email or text alerts from this dashboard for key crop-pest combinations.
    Users will also be able to modify and provide farm and crop information to ensure the outputs from the DSS are tailored to the individual user.
  2. Evaluation Dashboard On this dashboard, users will be able to compare results from multiple DSS for the same crop-pest combination to determine which is most suitable for their needs.
  3. Adaptation Dashboard This dashboard is designed to enable researchers to adapt a DSS to a specific country or set of conditions. Users will be able to modify the internal parameters of the DSS and compare the resulting outputs with both the original DSS and field data.
  4. Integration Dashboard This is a standalone dashboard that will use a scientific workflows framework to allow users to develop novel DSS by combining different DSS or parts of DSS (models and tools).


Work Package 4: DSS validation and evaluation

This WP will verify the extent to which decision tools give accurate predictions and quantify the value of these predictions in terms of economic return and reduction in pesticide use. This work package will also scale up to an assessment of the potential impact of DSS tools at a European scale in terms of economic return and environmental impact.

The work package tasks will answer the following questions.

  • Do the models and DSS correctly predict: (i) a pest or disease outbreak, (ii) the response of a pest, disease and/or weed population to management?
  • Is there a sound logic behind models and the DSS?
  • Do the DSS lead to better yields/better economic returns/less use of pesticides?
  • What is the potential impact of using DSS at the European scale?


Work Package 5: Incentives and barriers to DSS uptake

Current and potential users of DSS will be interviewed and surveyed to evaluate the overall performance of each DSS. Additionally, the study of users’ profiles will identify possible linkages between user characteristics and reasons for their acceptance/no acceptance of various types of DSS. This will enable us to study different behavioural and technical aspects which influence the user’s selection of a specific DSS.

Work Package 6: Multi actor activities, networking and dissemination workshops

The work package will use a multi-actor approach for interactions with users and stakeholders. Interactions will be coordinated in three bio-geographical zones, with each zone coordinated by a ‘Zone leader’.

The first phase of work will focus on gathering information into the project from representative groups of users and stakeholders from contrasting sectors of agriculture and geographic zones. This phase will (i) promote benefits of the Platform and identify DSS developers with an interest to cooperate with the project, and (ii) ensure that WP 2-5 get the key inputs they need to understand the constraints with current routes of access to DSS, and user input to the design and content of the Platform and Dashboards.

In the second phase, the IPM Decisions Network will be expanded to full scale for dissemination to wide user and stakeholder communities, to foster uptake of the Platform and IPM DSS.

European participants

European participants

WP7 Project management

This WP will ensure quality of delivery and scale of impact within the project timeframe and budget.

Work Package leaders, and Zone Leaders in the IPM Decisions consortium, will form a Project Management Executive (PME). For project oversight, a Project Steering Group (PSG) will comprise all participants, except those represented on the PME.  The PSG will provide strategic direction to ensure the project fulfils user requirements.