07/2/14 3:30 PM

Italy, an e-Biodiversity Research Institute

Caress lake at Dolomitas area in the Italian Alpes.
Caress lake at Dolomitas area in the Italian Alpes.

The commitment of representatives of the Italian scientific community to LifeWatch has created a favourable condition for the development of an E-Biodiversity Research Institute that will serve as the distributed Italian LifeWatch Centre. This has contributed to the development of the Service Centre as part of the LifeWatch-Europe Common Facilities.

In order to start implementing the tasks required a group of research and higher education institutions, scientific societies and federations, associations, NGOs and private enterprises, listed below, set up the LifeWatch Italia JRU (Joint Research Unit).

To contact us:

Participants and delegates

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)- Enrico Brugnoli (Coordinator),Giuseppe Martini, Giorgio Matteucci, Graziano Pesole, Alessandra Pugnetti

  • Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro" - Giuseppe Corriero
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze - Luca Bartolozzi
  • Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata", Valerio Sbordoni
  • Università del Salento - Alberto Basset (JRU Manager)
  • Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli - Adriana ZingoneSapienza
  • Università di Roma - Loreto RossiUniversità di Milano Bicocca - Paolo Galli
  • Università di Milano Statale (in adesione) - Fiorenza De Bernardi
  • Università di Trieste - Pierluigi NimisUniversità di Urbino (in adesione)
  • Università di Ferrara (in adesione) - Anna Elisa Fano
  • Università di Palermo - Antonio Manola
  • Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari (IAMB) - Biagio Di Terlizzi, Maurizio Raeli
  • Agenzia Regionale per l'Ambiente in Puglia - Nicola Ungaro
  • Comunità Ambiente - Oliviero Spinelli
  • Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL - Emilia Chiancone, Franco Prodi
  • Presidenza della Repubblica - Riserva di Castel Porziano - Aleandro tinelli, Ervedo Giordani


The mission of the E-Biodiversity Research Institute, an ICT infrastructure, is similar to that of more conventional physical infrastructures:

Providing access to the infrastructure facilities/capabilitiesReinforcing scientific research and education, with a particular focus on young scientists in the early stage of their career and on the higher education programmes for new scientists on biodiversityConnecting the most advanced science with societal requirementsSupporting knowledge-based management and governance decisions at the administrative, economic and political levels

The main focus is on scientific research on species, with their genetic and phenotypic traits, including behavioural ones, their niches and their interactions. Tools and services produced by the E-Biodiversity Research Institute determine also societal benefits in many fields of application, including, among others, environmental and food security and adaptation to climate change.


The E-Biodiversity Research Institute is organised into Departments, which are functionally clustered into two major components:

a Research Unit constituted by distributed Virtual Laboratories, as national contribution to LifeWatch EU, anda Central Service, as a central common component operating in the LifeWatch-EU e-infrastructure and hosted by the E-Biodiversity Institute: The structural components of the Central Service Centre are the Departments for Management and Coordination, E-Training and Mobility, Outreach and Communication, and IT Services. The Centre is devoted to run all activities of management and coordination of the E-Biodiversity Research Institute, of e-training and e-learning, networking with the data providers and data users communities. The Centre will also supply communication, organization and IT services for the whole LifeWatch Infrastructure.

Policy development

The Italian scientific community expressed a high interest for the LifeWatch initiative. On the basis of this, the Italian Ministry of Research made numerous official acts such as: Joining the preparatory phase and appointing of the National representative in the "Science and Policy Board" (April 2007); Expression of interest for LifeWatch in the National Research Plan (January 2010); Establishment of a Working Group for the IT and Scientific Infrastructures of pan-European interest (November 2009) and indication of LifeWatch as an infrastructure of national interest and of high priority in the final document for the production of the Italian road-map for the Research Infrastructures (May 2010);Signing the "Memorandum of Intent" before the intergovernmental agreements for the Research Infrastructure (August 2010);Appointment of the National representative in the "Stakeholder Board" to coordinate the transition from the preparatory to the construction phase of the infrastructure (August 2010).


Dr. Brugnoli, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, (JRU Coordinator)Dr. Basset, Università del Salento, (JRU Manager and representative to the Stakeholders Board)