LifeWatch Belgium Users & Stakeholders Meeting

Users & Stakeholders Meeting

Brussels, Belgium, 19-20 November 2019. Get ready for two days of networking and collaboration at the LifeWatch Belgium Users & Stakeholders Meeting at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences!

During Day 1 (19/11), which will be open to all users and stakeholders of the Belgian LifeWatch infrastructure, a multitude of interesting user stories will showcase the individual projects that are going on and the immense progress LifeWatch Belgium is making. Furthermore, we are honoured to welcome LifeWatch CEO, Christos Arvanitidis, to this event!

Day 2 (20/11) will be an extended project meeting with the Belgian LifeWatch partners, and will be by invitation only. This meeting will focus on discussing internal affairs concerning LifeWatch Belgium, input towards the upcoming LifeWatch General Assembly and closer collaboration between the ongoing LifeWatch projects in Belgium.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 – 09:30 to Wednesday, November 20, 2019 – 16:00


Second Dahlem-type Workshop

Rome, Italy, 2-6 December 2019. 

The second Dahlem-Type workshop will focus on the technical implementation of those e-tools relevant for the validation cases agreed during the first workshop held in Seville.

The workshop will have two phases:

02-04/12/2019 | ICT technical meeting

05-06/12/2019 | Joint Discussion between ICT and Validation Cases experts

Online registrations are closed.

EuroLag 9 2020

EuroLag 9

Venice, Italy, 20-24 January 2020. The EuroLag 9 International conference is devoted to science, research and management issues related to lagoons and transitional areas, The 2020 conference is appropriately located in Venice. 

The venue – the Scuola Grande di San Marco, founded in 1260 – is located in the heart of the old city and will only hold a maximum of 200 people, and registrations close on 15 December. 

The conference is organised 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. The five days of themed sessions and poster events on coastal lagoon science will be complemented by special guided visits to Venice and an exclusive, private (no tourists!) visit to San Marco Basilica prior to the conference dinner. 

Because of the limitations of space, organisation of meetings with international colleagues from all over the world is recommended either before (18-19 January) or after (25-26 January) the conference. Click here for the conference website and here for programme details.

Maritime Industry Workshop

Maritime Industry Workshop

Ostend, Belgium, 23 January 2020. The LifeWatch team at VLIZ welcomes delegates from various companies in the maritime industry sector to get introduced to LifeWatch marine activities and services.

As valorization towards industry is considered an important aspect of the project, a Maritime Industry Advisory Board will be installed to advise the project on existing data gaps and future valorization opportunities towards the sector.

All potential industry stakeholders are welcome to this event. Prior registration is required. Register here.

14:00: Introduction LifeWatch marine observations, sensor networks and data systems / Introductie LifeWatch mariene observaties, meetnetwerken en data systemen
15:00: Presentation use cases of LifeWatch services, data and expertise / Voorstelling use cases van gebruik LifeWatch services, data en expertise
15:30: Introduction to the  LifeWatch Maritime Industry Advisory Board (MIAB) / Introductie tot de LifeWatch Maritime Industry Advisory Board (MIAB)
16:00: First discussion regarding expectations and approach MIAB / Eerste discussie mbt verwachtingen en invulling MIAB
16:30: Reception / Receptie.

Venue: InnovOcean Site, Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Oostende, Belgium.

Time & date: Thursday, 23 January, 2020 – 14:00 to 17:00. Please refer to the webpage.

Transfiere 2020

Málaga, Spain, 12-13 February 2020. Transfiere is the biggest professional and multi-sectoral forum for knowledge and technology transfer in Spain, and gathers prominent players in the national and international Research & Development & Innovation ecosystem. Hosted at the Trade Fairs and Congress Centre, Málaga, this 9th European Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation is the ideal place for research groups, businesses and governments to build networks, share knowledge and connect with strategic sectors of the economy.

The LifeWatch ERIC stand will showcase its innovative services in biodiversity and ecosystem research to the thousands of participants expected from around the world, and explore potential collaboration with universities, researchers, public administrations and entrepreneurs. A dedicated online networking tool will allow meetings to arranged prior to the event. This year, Canada will be the guest country, presenting the latest R & D & I in the networking, conference programme and commercial exhibition areas of the Forum.

For more information and registrations, click here.

Workshop: Online Bioinformatic Platforms to Support Metabarcoding and Metagenomics Research and Applications

Porto, Portugal, 26-28 February 2020. The pan-European Workshop, held in the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-InBIO) at the Vairão campus of the University of Porto, Portugal, boasted a very specific title: ‘Online Bioinformatic Platforms to Support Metabarcoding and Metagenomics Research and Applications’.

The workshop witnessed more than 30 participants from nine European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland) with different expertise and backgrounds, ranging from metagenomics and metabarcoding, to ecology and ICT.

The workshop was jointly organised with PORBIOTA/LifeWatch Portugal, DNAqua-Net (dedicated to the protection, preservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and their functions) and the EnvMetaGen project at InBIO (Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology). LifeWatch ERIC supported its organisation as part of its Internal Joint Initiative on Non-indigenous and Invasive Species. The workshop explored the architecture and function of an online bioinformatics platform capable to address as many needs of the scientific community as possible, such as:

1) Checking existing distributed Bioinformatics e-Resources within the LifeWatch ERIC communities of practice,

2) Reaching a common understanding of users’ requirements and needs in Virtual Research Environments, and

3) Proposing an efficient and realistic and engaging mechanism from an ICT perspective, capable of federating those e-Resources within the LifeWatch ERIC VREs.

Examples of evidence-based research were provided by the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), MIRRI (Microbial Research Resource Infrastructure), ELIXIR (which unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the ever-growing volumes of data generated), other Research Infrastructures and Bioinformatics initiatives.

The outcome of the Online Bioinformatic Platforms Workshop was a plan with well-identified next steps towards the co-construction of the bioinformatic platform.


Christos Arvanitidis | LifeWatch ERIC – mission and recent developments. Download PDF

Rocío Bautista | Bioinformatic analysis at SCBIDownload PDF

Pedro Beja | Next generation sequencing: Opportunities and challenges of a disruptive techmology for biodiversity assessment and monitoring. Download PDF

Bopco & JEMU | The Barcoding Facility for Organisms and Tissues of Policy Concern & The Joint Experimental Molecular Unit. Download PDF

CIBIO | Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic ResourcesDownload PDF

CNR-IBIOM | Infrastructure, data and analysis resources. Download PDF

Day 2 Session 3 | What should be the characteristics of online bioinformatics platforms in LifeWatch ERIC? Download PDF

Mafalda Galhardo | Metabarcoding and data processing pipelines. Download PDF 

Juan Miguel González-Aranda |  Towards the establishment of a LifeWatch ERIC bioinformatics platform.  Download PDF

Tine Grebenc & Nataša Šibanc | Slovenian Forestry InstituteDownload PDF

Matjaž Gregorič | Spider webs as a source of eDNADownload PDF

Marta Goberna | Spanish Institute for Agricultural Research, Department of Environment and Agronomy. Download PDF

Pascal Hablützel | VLIZ’s ambition for online bioformatic platforms to support metabarcoding and metagenomics research. Download PDF 

Florian Leese | DNA-based aquatic bioassessment in Europe and beyond: Chances and challenges. Download PDF

Jennifer Leonard | Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group, DoñanaDownload PDF

Florian Mauffrey | Development of a molecular diatoms index for water quality assessment of Swiss rivers.  Download PDF

Niklas Noll | Going through a metabarcoding workflow – pointing out problems and proposing solutions for a bioinformatics platform.  Download PDF

Alberto Pallavicini | Units of the Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste.  Download PDF

Christina Pavloudi & Haris Zafeiropoulos | LifeWatchGreece Hellenic Centre for Marine ResearchDownload PDF

Sergei Põlme | UNITE: Curated and evolving databases for molecular identification and for communicating fungal species. Download PDF

Blue Growth in the Black Sea Region

Constanta, Romania, 9-10 March 2020. The International Conference on Blue Growth in the Black Sea Region will take place in Romania from 9 to 10 March, under the theme: ‘Ecosystem Services on River-Sea Macro-ecosystems’.

The first of its kind, the conference is organised by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC), which came into existence as a model of multilateral political and economic initiative with the signing of the Istanbul Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statement by the Heads of State and Government of the countries in the region, on 25 June 1992.

Please refer to the website for more information.

WP9-WP11 ENVRI-FAIR technical meeting

Cancelled | Ostend, 16-17 March 2020. 


The purpose of this 2-day meeting is to:

1) Advance in the coordination and implementation of tasks and activities foreseen by the H2020 ENVRI-FAIR project in WP9 and WP11;

2) Highlight synergies among Work Packages and with other LifeWatch ERIC Initiatives;

3) Solve possible bottlenecks.


Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Spuikom & De Noordzee conference rooms – InnovOcean site (entrance: warehouse 61)
Wanderlaarkaai 7
8400 Ostend

NIS IJI Workflows Technical Meeting

Ostend, 16-17/03/2020  *Meeting has been moved online due to Covid-19 pandemic, new arrengements were communicated to participants.

Registration is free of charge and compulsory, please click here.

ScopeCompleting final scientific & users’ requirements to advance in the ICT developments for Workflows on Non indigenous-Invasive (Alien) Species -NIS- of the Internal Joint Initiative (IJI).

The purpose of this 2-day meeting is:

1) To go over IJI Workflow #1 ARMS+ ASSEMBLE final version review & approval.

2) To discuss other issues: Tesseracto_VRE & rest of workflows (#2 to #6) developments progress, etc.




Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Spuikom & De Noordzee conference rooms – InnovOcean site (entrance: warehouse 61)
Wanderlaarkaai 7
8400 Ostend

How to reach us? Click here


Coming soon!

More info

Postponed: Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference II

Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference

Due to the current global COVID-19 crisis, the Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference has been postponed to 2021. 

Tervuren, Belgium, 14-15 May 2020.  Five years after the “Empowering Biodiversity Research” conference organized in May 2015, we would like to invite to the 2020 Conference on Biodiversity Informatics, for a new journey into the world of biodiversity data standards and tools. Projects that started five years ago are about to deliver what was promised and many new biodiversity informatics related projects have launched since then. Concepts such as Open Data, Open Access and Open Science are now increasingly recognised across disciplines and are changing the way science is conducted.

The time has come to find out what happened since our last conference! Let’s also look together at what is likely to happen next in the world of Biodiversity Informatics! So get ready for this fascinating conference which will take place at the AfricaMuseum, Tervuren, Belgium, on 14 and 15 May 2020. The objectives of the conference are to:

  • Explore and discuss the opportunities and strengths related to Biodiversity Informatics and Open Data & Open Science
  • Learn about Belgian research projects using biodiversity informatics tools to enhance their results
  • Network with fellow biodiversity scientists.

LifeWatch Belgium is one of the organisers, along with the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, the AfricaMuseum, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), the Meise Botanic Garden (Meise), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Université of Liège (ULiège), the VIB and the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo). 

For more information visit the conference website, click here for the programme,  check out the before and after workshops,  or go dirctly to registrations