LifeWatch ERIC and eLTER RI: together to advance biodiversity research 

During the final stakeholder meeting of the Europa Biodiversity Observation Network on 27-28 May, LifeWatch ERIC CEO Christos Arvanitidis and the Chair of LTER-Europe and Coordinator of eLTER ESFRI process, Michael Mirtl, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between LifeWatch ERIC and eLTER RI. This Memorandum aims to take the collaboration between the two organisations to the next level by combining the resources and expertise to advance ecosystem research and biodiversity conservation across Europe. LifeWatch ERIC and eLTER RI have collaborated on several flagship projects, such as ALTER-Net, ENVRI, ENVRIplus, and ENVRI FAIR.

A common mission

LifeWatch ERIC and eLTER RI are committed to addressing environmental challenges by conducting long-term, multidisciplinary research to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss on ecosystems. The common mission is to enable a better future through integrated research efforts and shared data resources, leading to a deeper understanding of our planet’s ecosystems and contributing to the conservation and sustainability of life on Earth.

Memorandum of Cooperation’s goals

The collaboration will combine the potential of both Research Infrastructures, drawing on their respective areas of expertise. While LifeWatch ERIC aims to use advanced digital technologies to support biodiversity and ecosystems by facilitating data creation, access, quality control, management and dissemination, eLTER’s support of extensive documentation and integrated access to multidisciplinary data will provide access to a seamless and robust data services ecosystem.

The collaboration will also focus on aligning catalogues of resources, standardising data infrastructure and ensuring interoperable data and metadata standards to create a unified ‘data lake’ for researchers to access. In addition, creating virtual laboratories will facilitate the analysis of biodiversity data using LifeWatch ERIC’s advanced ICT technology and eLTER’s in-situ environmental data.

To achieve these goals, the Memorandum of Cooperation outlines several joint activities, spanning from the development and implementation of common tools and service-oriented architectures to enhance data interoperability, such as the Tesseract and NaaVRE technical composability layer and LifeBlock blockchain technology, to the organisation of joint dissemination, engagement and training activities addressed to their stakeholders, including EU and national decision-makers, funders, and the broader scientific community.

Bulgaria

The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Spain

The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Slovenia

The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Portugal

The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Netherlands

The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Italy

The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Greece

The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Belgium

The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.