EuroLag 9

Four environmental Research Infrastructures to build a new joint vision for transitional and coastal environments in the future.

Two years after the last appointment in Athens, the 9th European Coastal Lagoons Conference (EUROLAG) was held in Venice, from 20 to 24 January 2020. Hosted by the Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR) of the Italian National Research Council, the Consortium for Lagoon Research (CORILA) and the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari jointly organised this 2020 edition with a focus on science, research and management issues related to lagoons and transitional areas. 

The EUROLAG conference marked a very important step not only on the specific coastal lagoon scientific and managerial issues approached in the five days, but it also distinguished itself by putting in the spotlight European research infrastructures, their potential and capacity to tackle big societal challenges, and connecting and supporting scientists in their work. 

The conference opened every day with a keynote talk given by one of the four research infrastructures involved: LifeWatch ERIC, eLTER, Danubius-RI and EMBRC-ERIC. These sponsors combined their efforts and pooled their strengths to chart a path towards how environmental research infrastructures can collaborate in transitional and coastal environments in the future, avoiding the duplication of tasks, and identifying areas for more intense cooperation and engagement with stakeholders. 

More information on the congress, its programme and contributed sessions are available on

Marine Industry Workshop

Marine Industry Workshop

On 23 January 2020, the LifeWatch team at VLIZ, the Flanders Marine Institute, organised a full day consultation with a number of interested international engineering and environmental firms at the first LifeWatch Maritime Industry Workshop in Ostend, Belgium. The organisations represented included the Jan De Nul Group, DEME, Maritech, Haedes, the Antea Group, Blue Cluster and Arcadis. 

The day’s proceedings afforded LifeWatch Belgium the opportunity to present its marine observatory, sensor networks and data systems, illustrated by use cases that highlighted the industrial use of LifeWatch data, services and expertise. The interactive discussion that followed  provided some interesting ideas on ways in which the LifeWatch Research Infrastructure could meet the needs of engineering and environmental enterprises and help create more win-win situations.

This workshop was acclaimed as the first step towards a sustainable collaboration between LifeWatch and innovative industry partners to meet the growing need for greater integration between industry, science and data.  The launch of the LifeWatch Maritime Industry Advisory Board will follow later this spring. For more information, contact info[@]

EuroMarine 2020 General Assembly Meeting

LifeWatch ERIC CEO, Christos Arvanitidis, is attending the EuroMarine 2020 General Assembly Meeting (16-17 January 2020) hosted by the National Institute of Biology (NIB) at the Marine Biology Station of Piran (Slovenia). LifeWatch ERIC CEO was invited to join the open session of the meeting to describe how LifeWatch ERIC can support EuroMarine mission and activities, triggering new opportunities for cooperation.

The EuroMarine network has been active since 2014, with the clear mission of generating ground-breaking new ideas and supporting research and innovation for healthy oceans and their sustainable use, from genes to ecosystems. EuroMarine is now recognised as an important forum in Europe to generate new ideas using a bottom-up and interdisciplinary approach.

As we are entering the UN Decade for Ocean Science, the demands for more and further integrated knowledge and enhanced cooperation become more important than ever, and LifeWatch ERIC is committed to playing a key role in establishing synergies and identifying nature-based solutions.

LifeWatch ERIC Seminar to MSc Students

Training and education are among the core objectives of LifeWatch ERIC; the research infrastructure not only offers online learning opportunities thanks to its online platform and ICT tools, but also face-to-face courses and seminars to directly engage with academics, in particular University Students and early career researchers.

On 13 and 14 January 2020, LifeWatch ERIC Chief Executive Officer, Christos Arvanitidis, is in Thessaloniki and Crete giving, on behalf of the whole Executive Board of the infrastructure, a seminar addressed to master students on how LifeWatch ERIC, as a research infrastructure, can contribute to the study and conservation of transitional ecosystems.

LifeWatch Slovenia Project

ERDF LifeWatch Slovenia

The Slovenian Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy issued a grant decision on 23 December 2019 (from the ERDF) that will help LifeWatch Slovenia to enhance its international competitiveness. The LifeWatch-SI project grant of €2.6 million will enable the purchase of equipment to support the implementation of international research projects in monitoring and predicting the impacts of global changes on biodiversity. 

The research infrastructure, established in 2015, will be better able to collect, manage and save biodiversity data by establishing a tissue sample bank, an analytical centre, a molecular laboratory with the necessary software for analysing genetic diversity, and instruments in the field of genomics and biotechnology. The RI-SI-LifeWatch project fulfils a national priority under the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2011-2020.

Professor Tanja Pipan, national coordinator of LifeWatch Slovenia in Postojna, was delighted with the grant and declared, “This European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) commitment will allow us to set up a national network of Smart Specialisation Strategy of Slovenia partners under Horizon 2020, and to establish a national data center to meet the needs of Slovenian researchers in ecosystems and biodiversity”.