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Assessing Technology Platforms for Sustainability with Web Data Mining Techniques

Desamparados Blazquez (), Josep Domenech () and Jose-Maria Garcia-Alvarez-Coque ()
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Desamparados Blazquez: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Spain
Josep Domenech: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Spain
Jose-Maria Garcia-Alvarez-Coque: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Spain

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-15

Abstract: Public policies have encouraged the proliferation of technology platforms that support the transition towards sustainable agriculture and the development of innovations in the food system. Provided the difficulty associated with assessing the outputs and outcomes of technology platforms, this work proposes a practical assessment method based on the retrieval and analysis of online documents related to the technology platforms. Concretely, the method consists of applying web scraping techniques to retrieve documents related to a technology platform from the Internet and then applying web data-mining techniques to automatically classify these documents into the functions that the platform should fulfill, which are described from the viewpoint of co-evolution of innovation. Data are automatically processed to obtain a variety of metrics, which are applied to measure the impact of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) on promoting an organic food paradigm. This method provides time-series data that helps to follow the evolution of the different functions of the platform and to describe its lifecycle. It has been applied to one platform taken as a case study, TP Organics, which represents a key platform for stakeholders that promote organic farming and agroecology as core components of an ambitious program for sustainable agriculture. The obtained online-based measures have been proven to assess the global evolution of the platform, its dissemination through the European Union (EU) Member States, and the evolution of the different functions expected to be fulfilled by it regarding the diffusion and promotion of innovations in organic agriculture.

Keywords: technology platforms; sustainable agri-food systems; innovation in sustainable agriculture; online data; data mining; TP organics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4497-:d:186423