The Helbionet Network is the Hellenic Network for Biodiversity Research funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology (GSRT) in order to design the construction and implementation of the national node as the Greek contribution to the European Infrastructure of LifeWatch.
The Helbionet Network takes the form of a separate legal entity, under the Greek law, during the first eight months of the next phase of the project. According to the proposal, the organisational structure of the project is based on the following three principles: simplicity, transparency, effectiveness.
The coordinator initiates the project, after its approval by the General Secretariat of Research and Technology, and establishes the Steering Committee (SC). This later is formed by the coordinator, the activity leaders, the task managers and additional members from the partner bodies (20 members in total). The coordinator represents the Consortium and communicates with the Government. The SC is the decision making body of the consortium, reviews the work flow and make amendments when necessary.
The Management Office is charged with all the managerial and administration work and it is headed by the project manager. The External Evaluators Board (EEB) is formed by three members which represent international or EU organizations and initiatives. It has a strong advisory role to the Steering Committee, hence an important role to the decision-making mechanism. Once the project is approved and before the kick-off meeting, the coordinator along with the activities leader start communications with the representatives, and identify potential members of the EEB. During the first Steering Committee meeting, the three members of the EEB are proposed and elected by the members to joint them.
Other elements of the organisation and functioning of the Helbionet Network include: its functioning and effectiveness, the decision-making mechanisms and its transparency and evaluation mechanisms.
The overall objective of the proposal is to develop and fulfill the vision for the Greek LifeWatch Centre and to establish it as the biodiversity Centre of Excellence for the South-eastern Europe. The specific objectives of the Project are:
(a) To ally all the Greek scientific human potential working on Biodiversity data and data observatories, in the country and abroad, in order to achieve a world-class excellence national LifeWatch Centre. This LifeWatch Centre has to create exemplar management structures, to be legally registered, and to build the adequate interface for collaborative schemes for its continuation after the state funding.
(b) To pave the way for the development of complex virtual domains through a number of background e-Services which facilitate both the data contributors and users, and virtually ally the dynamic teams continuously collecting data at the entire territory of the state.
(c) To develop a number of virtual labs where large scale science can be carried out at all possible levels of the biological organization from molecules to ecosystems. These vLabs will help scientists and other end users to answer the "why" and "how" questions and to adequately assist environmental managers and policy makers, among others, to adopt the biodiversity concept in their everyday activities.
(d) To assist the European Research Infrastructure Platform by adopting and developing, within the human potential of the state, core LifeWatch projects with a massive impact on the users over the EU and world wide.
(e) To build capacity at the national level through a network of activities, including human potential mobilization, training and education schemes, and enhancing organizational development.
(f) To disseminate information, scientific knowledge and experience gained to the public and to liaise the Networkʹs ideas and practices to the activities of targeted groups and of the society at large.
Key national stakeholders
The major stakeholder is the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology. Other stakeholders from the public sector involved are: the Ministry for the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change, the Ministry for Rural Development and Foods, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for the Economy, Competitiveness and Merchantile Marine, the Ministry of Culture, and a large number of local and regional authorities.
Key elements of the national LW project
Helbionet builds on two basic principles: it uses what is already available under the open source code and data philosophy, and it builds always in collaboration with the other LifeWatch partner countries, based on the philosophy of the JIRA database. The basic components (Workpackages) of the Greek national LifeWatch Centre is provided in the following Pert Diagram.
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