ProMeteo project presented in Seville

The ProMeteo project launched by Seville City Council, which will classify and name heat waves according to their impact, and provide a network of climate shelters to protect people from excessive temperatures, will be made possible by the involvement of LifeWatch ERIC and other strategic partners.

The mayor of Seville, Antonio Muñoz, and the director of the Adrienne Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Kathy Baughman McLeod, the organisation promoting the initiative, thanked partners of the project at a launch on 21 June 2022.

Seville’s pioneering strategy recognises the serious consequences that extended periods of extreme heat can have on people’s health, on animals and on the economy. Names will be attributed to heat waves and alert warnings issued on the basis on forecasts made by an algorithm capable of predicting and classifying impacts in advance.

Alongside of LifeWatch ERIC, the ProMeteo initiative includes the Spanish Meteorology Agency, the University of Seville, the Pablo de Olavide University, the Carlos III Institute, the Spanish Office for Climate Change, and the Alliance “El Día Después”. For more information, click here.

United in Biodiversity: Advancing Andalusia’s Green Revolution through the Digital Transformation

Andalusia's Green Revolution

LifeWatch ERIC CTO Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda has been featured in the Tribuna de Andalucía to present six of theprojects in which the Research Infrastructure is involved in the heartland of its ICT-Core and Statutory Seat offices. The title of the article is “United in Biodiversity: Advancing Andalusia’s Green Revolution through Digitisation”, and the ERDF projects presented demonstrate how LifeWatch ERIC uses state-of-the-art technology such as AI, Deep Learning and Virtual Research Environments to protect biodiversity, in collaboration with other important figures in the research sector, such as CSIC, the University of Malaga, the University of Granada, the Junta de Andalucía, and many more.

Additionally, by following a participatory approach to its work, LifeWatch ERIC aims to raise awareness among citizens about the important projects it has underway, which in turn can contribute to preserving the variety and richness of terrestrial, marine and transitional ecosystems.

Click here to read the full article on page 15 (in Spanish).

LifeWatch ERIC in Bold New Horizon Europe Project 

BioDT Kick-off Meeting

This week, along with 22 other partners, LifeWatch ERIC took part in the kick-off meeting of a new Horizon Europe project which will help protect and restore biodiversity through the development of a digital twin prototype, in Espoo, Finland. Biodiversity Digital Twin (BioDT) BioDT will provide a crucial infrastructure to drive long-term biodiversity research and facilitate science-driven policy and rapid-response actions to enforce current commitments to protecting biodiversity in the long term.

In the context of recent efforts supported by the European Commission for the development of digital twins to address multidisciplinary environmental and societal challenges, the consortium, led by the Finnish CSC – IT Center for Science, home of the EuroHPC LUMI supercomputer, is taking on the task of designing and developing a digital twin dedicated to biological diversity in the BioDT project.

CSC is pleased to support this flagship project, with BioDT being one of the first European-wide research initiatives to benefit from access to the LUMI supercomputer”, said Jesse Harrison, BioDT Project Manager. “BioDT will directly improve our ability to address global challenges associated with biodiversity loss and the climate crisis, including the provision of ecosystem services and food security, predicting disease outbreaks, and understanding the dynamics of key species of policy concern.”  

Redefining the ability to predict biodiversity dynamics

Understanding the forces shaping biodiversity is needed for rational management of natural resources and also to meet the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 to restore biodiversity in Europe. In particular, researchers need to be able to better predict global biodiversity dynamics and how species interact with their environment and with each other. This can be an extremely difficult task because the processes underlying biodiversity dynamics are complex. Innovative ways to combine data, models and interaction processes are required to predict these dynamics and offer solutions that promote a sustainable management of Earth’s biodiversity and its ecosystems.

The consortium aims to push the current boundaries of predictive understanding of biodiversity dynamics by developing a Biodiversity Digital Twin (BioDT) providing advanced modelling, simulation and prediction capabilities. By exploiting existing technologies and data from relevant research infrastructures in new ways, BioDT will be able to accurately and quantitatively model interactions between species and their environment. 

Scientists at involved Research Infrastructures (RIs) will use the BioDT to:

  • better observe changes in biodiversity in response to forces resulting from climate change or human activity,
  • mechanistically understand how these changes occur,
  • predict the effects of these changes.

Practical examples and societal impact

The project features eight use cases related to land ecosystems, clustered in four groups grounded in the scientific and technical expertise of the consortium. These use cases focus on the species and ecosystems of highest conservation and policy concern, such as threatened species, pollinators, and grasslands, and are vital to mankind’s well-being and biodiversity conservation efforts.

  • Group 1 – Species response to environmental change
  • Group 2 – Genetically detected biodiversity
  • Group 3 – Dynamics and threats from and for species of policy concern
  • Group 4 – Species interactions with each other and with humans

They address global issues of critical societal interest including climate change impacts on species and ecosystems, food security, implementation of EU and international policies and health, and will specifically contribute to addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 – Zero hunger, 3 – Good health and well-being, 13 – Climate action, and 15 – Life on land.

Multidisciplinary data for interconnected challenges

BioDT brings together a dynamic team of experts in biodiversity, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, digital twinning and FAIR data to develop the first BioDT prototype. The scientific expertise and existing datasets from four major biodiversity research infrastructures (GBIF, eLTER, DiSSCo, and LifeWatch ERIC) will bring life to BioDT, allowing for coverage of several application domains such as environmental and earth science, climate science, ecology, biology, genomics, natural history, biodiversity informatics, computer sciences, and mathematics / statistics.

Biodiversity Digital Twin and its infrastructure will become an integral component of the Destination Earth initiative and actively participate in its ambition to realise a full Digital Twin of the Earth. The long-term objectives of BioDT are also tightly interconnected with the EC vision for a robust, federated European computing and data infrastructure, and initiatives such as the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and EuroHPC.

Follow BioDT on the project’s website, LinkedIn and Twitter.

ENVRI Community International Summer School is back in person!

ISS2022_news

We are delighted to announce the 2022 edition of the ENVRI Community International Summer School. And this summer, we are back in person! 

The Summer School, now at its fifth edition, is organised by ENVRI-FAIR and LifeWatch ERIC and will take place in Lecce, Italy, from 10–15 July. This edition’s title is “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”, and it will cover topics such as user interfaces, packaging of services, reusability and validation of services, and building and supporting networks through the lens of the ENVRI-Hub approach. 

This School is therefore mainly aimed at IT architects, Research Infrastructure (RI) service developers and user support staff, and RI staff working on user interaction and community/network building.

The Summer School will welcome participants on the afternoon of Sunday 10 July with an opening event, while the actual School programme will last from Monday to Friday afternoon, closing with a certificate ceremony. Two online webinars are also planned to take place in the third and fourth week of June on specific use cases, in preparation for the School or to attend as stand-alone sessions.

The outline of the School programme is as follows:

  1. Introducing the ENVRI-Hub (concept and architecture)
  2. Learning to know your end users and their expectations: requirements elicitation
  3. Creating high quality documentation and usage examples to support service end users
  4. Developing services and fostering reusability/interoperability among them
  5. Validating and evaluating your services
  6. Participants’ presentations, school evaluation and certificates

Successful applicants to “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users” will be offered accommodation and lunch each day in the beautiful baroque city of Lecce in Southern Italy, and will be invited to “extracurricular” activities such as restaurant dinners and excursions in the surrounding area. 

Interested persons are invited to apply by 26 June by filling in the sign-up form here. Follow LifeWatch ERIC and ENVRI Community updates!

You can access the dedicated minisite with more detailed information on the School here.

Wrapping up the first year with a BiCIKL ride in Seville

BiCIKL Seville Meeting

One year after the debut of the BiCIKL Project, partners and research infrastructures will meet all together in person for the first time. A three-day of presentation of the tasks completed, bilateral meetings and technical forums will take place in Seville (Spain) between 2 – 4 May 2022.

We are all thrilled about this convention,” Project Coordinator Prof Lyubomir Penev comments. “It is going to be a huge step forward and an important moment for planning the activities to come.”

During the meeting, which will be held at La Casa de la Ciencia, Seville, LifeWatch ERIC and GBIF will be presenting The Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH), a structure at the core of the BiCIKL Project.

We can’t reveal much before the meeting,” – says Christos Arvanitidis, LifeWatch ERIC CEO, “but BKH will be a single knowledge portal that helps researchers access and use interlinked and machine-readable FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) relying on unique stable identifiers on specimens, genomics, observations, taxonomy and data in publications.”

There will be much more in the Andalusian venue: technical discussions will take place on linking between data classes, for instance, and the event will be wrapped up with a Forum on the BKH and the Fair Data Place.

Follow the project on Twitter for continuous updates with the hashtag #BiCIKL_H2020

LifeWatch ERIC partner in successful Horizon Europe project proposals

LifeWatch ERIC Horizon Europe

LifeWatch ERIC participates in project proposals both in order to expand the communities which make use of its assets, and because successful proposals provide additional resources which help expand and improve its Infrastructure and address the needs of its stakeholders. Luckily, several of the project proposals submitted to Horizon Europe which LifeWatch ERIC helped to draft over the course of last year have recently been approved. LifeWatch ERIC is keen to begin work on these synergistic projects, all regarding biodiversity and ecosystem research services and FAIR data, the key priorities of the Infrastructure. Below is an outline of all the most recent approved projects involving LifeWatch ERIC, which are expected to launch in a few months’ time. You can see the projects that LifeWatch ERIC is already involved in here.

BioDT: 22 partners

The goal of Biodiversity DT is to push the current boundaries of predictive understanding of biodiversity dynamics by developing a Digital Twin providing advanced modelling, simulation and prediction capabilities. By exploiting existing technologies and data available across relevant research infrastructures in new ways, BioDT will be able to more accurately model interaction between species and their environment. Scientists at Research Infrastructures will be able to use the BioDT to 1) better observe changes in biodiversity, 2) relate these changes to possible causes, and 3) better predict effects of changes based on influences on these causes by either climate or human intervention. The consortium brings together a dynamic team of experts in biodiversity, high performance computing, artificial intelligence and FAIR data to realise the first biodiversity Digital Twin prototype.

MARBEFES: 23 partners

The overall aim of MARBEFES is to determine the links between the biodiversity and functioning of coastal and marine ecosystems and the resulting ecosystem services. The project will progress substantially beyond the current state-of-the-art understanding of the causes and consequences of the maintenance, loss and gain of biodiversity and its ecological and economic value, and the repercussions of this for the management and governance of European seas. MARBEFES will identify the tools to value different natural capital resources and inform planning from financial allocations to management and with monetary and non-monetary benefits. In this, the project advances knowledge through linking marine biodiversity and its ecological structure and functioning to ecological and economic valuation.

Marine SABRES: 22 partners

Marine SABRES will set European marine management on a course to reverse biodiversity decline, it will conserve and protect biodiversity by integrating sustainable ecosystems and a resilient blue economy; enable managers to make sustainable decisions; empower citizens to engage with marine biodiversity conservation; promote sustainable development and in coastal and marine sectors. The project is comprised of an interdisciplinary consortium including world leaders in the field of Ecosystems-Based Management and Social Ecological Systems distributed across Europe and focusing demonstration of practical management efforts in three Demonstration Areas (Tuscan Archipelago, the Arctic North-East Atlantic and Macaronesia) before upscaling throughout Europe and beyond.

FAIR-IMPACT: 28 partners

FAIR-IMPACT focuses on expanding FAIR solutions across the EOSC, identifying proven domain solutions and facilitating the interoperable uptake of these solutions across scientific domains and for different types of research output. This includes the overall FAIRification of various research objects from assigning and managing identifiers, describing them with shared and common semantics to making them interoperable and reusable. The project’s ambition is to build a web of FAIR data and related services together with relevant stakeholder groups, and to take steps towards realising the web of Open Science. It will contribute to transforming the way researchers share and exploit research outputs within and across research disciplines, and to the facilitation of scientific multi-disciplinary cooperation, improving public trust and reproducibility in science.

Agroserv: 73 partners

Integrated SERVices supporting a sustainable AGROecological transition (AGroServ) will facilitate a systemic and holistic approach to understand the threats and challenges agriculture is facing, towards the implementation of a resilient and sustainable agri-food system. The project proposes a transdisciplinary offer of services, integrating the actors of the agriculture system in the research process, of which the farmers are the first, thanks to a wide offer of living labs across Europe. It will develop a wider catalogue of integrated and customised services, providing a strong community building and training programme for access managers and users. Results from the research performed under AgroServ will be synthetised to be use in the scope of evidence-based policy making. Data from AgroServ will be open and compliant with FAIR practices, and made available on the long-term to the communities, and be linked with European initiatives, such as the EOSC.

OpenEM: 21 partners

The Open-Earth-Monitor will increase European capability to generate timely, accurate, disaggregated, people-centred, accessible (GSM-compatible) and user-friendly environmental information based on Earth Observation data. The project will achieve this by building a cyberinfrastructure anchored in FAIR data principles, leveraging and improving our existing platforms OpenEO.org, Geopedia.world, GlobalEarthMonitor.eu, EarthSystemDataLab.net, OpenLandMap.org, OpenDataScience.eu, LifeWatch.eu, XCUBE and EuroDataCube.com. Specifically, it will innovate the implementation of original cloud-based solutions to seamlessly integrate in-situ (point, site) & EO data so that we can produce environmental information at analysis- and decision-ready levels, the implementation of fully-scalable Automated Mapping / AutoML frameworks, user-experience-designed data provision and Apps possibly reaching millions of users across EU and globally, and financial assessment tools allowing users to directly quantify ecosystem services (SEEA methodology) in order to identify optimal environmental and climate solutions and build business solutions.

To Infinity… And Beyond! LifeWatch ERIC in Initiative to Launch Nanosatellite

Nanosatellite

LifeWatch ERIC is proud to be a key partner in an initiative to launch the first nanosatellite for terrestrial observation in Andalusia, alongside longstanding collaborator AGAPA from the Junta de Andalucía. The initiative in question is the SmartFood project, which has planned the nanosatellite launch for 2023, integrating a high-resolution camera, as well as the corresponding power supply equipment and the communications system necessary for transmitting data to the ground control station.

The SmartFood project has a budget of almost €1 million, 80% financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Pluriregional Operational Programme for Spain 2014-2020. Its mission is to deploy a land network of sensors to monitor variables related to climate, soil, water and plants; capture aerial images through drones and balloons, as well as capture images from space. The collection of these data from a range of different spatial-temporal scales will allow for a comprehensive approach to monitoring agricultural and livestock systems.

“Another aim of the SmartFood project is to establish standardised protocols for the monitoring, quantification and evaluation of biodiversity through the integration of open data. To this end, the ultimate goal is to offer tools and collaborative work environments for the research community, also making the information and applications developed available to the different end users involved in the primary sector” said LifeWatch ERIC CTO, Juan Miguel Gonzalez-Aranda, as PI of the project. This will be made possible through LifeWatch ERIC; the entire ecosystem of data and applications collected will be shared with the LifeWatch ERIC community, thus facilitating consolidation and collaborative analysis in relation to:

  1. monitoring and controlling the impacts that agriculture and fishing have on biodiversity, as well as;
  2. measuring the effects of climate change on the sustainability and profitability of agriculture and fishing;

by means of the implementation of the proper VRE.

BiCIKL Project: User Requirements Survey for Biodiversity Scientists

BiCIKL Survey

We invite all biodiversity scientists to fill in this survey, which aims to identify gaps and trends in the ways in which biodiversity scientists access and use data in their research, by asking participants to describe use cases from their previous or projected work experience. The most appealing use cases will be invited to the open call for Trans-national access projects supported by the BiCIKL project.

BiCIKL is an EU project that aims to provide access and tools for seamless linking between the data along the biodiversity research cycle: specimens > sequences > species > analytics > publications > biodiversity knowledge graph > re-use.  BiCIKL will develop and implement new methods and workflows for an integrated access to harvesting, liberating, linking, accessing and re-using of subarticle-level data (specimens, material citations, samples, sequences, taxonomic names, taxonomic treatments, figures, tables) extracted from literature. 

Click here to fill in the survey.

Collaborations with the European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis

ETC-UMA

On 18 February 2022, shortly after attending the Transfiere Forum, LifeWatch ERIC CTO Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda remained in Malaga for a meeting with The European Topic Center on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA). The discussion centred around the definition of cooperation areas with LifeWatch ERIC, specifically for the integration of the “Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Knowledge Platform” (MBPKP) as a LifeWatch ERIC VRE. All of this is based on the EnBIC-Lab2, Indalo, LifeWatch Alboran and other projects, in an area of cooperation within Horizon Europe where biodiversity is a key topic.

Information about ETC-UMA:

The European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA) is an international research centre within the University of Malaga, which since 2011 has supported the development of knowledge to support evidence-based policy. The team has a wide expertise in a range of environmental and socio-economic domains, and its main areas of expertise include land management, ecosystem services, coastal and marine studies, environmental conservation, territorial development, resource efficiency, and soil mapping.

Information about MBPKP:

The MBPKP is an initiative of the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC), which brings together researchers, managers, public authorities and environmental institutions in 15 thematic projects under the umbrella of one horizontal initiative for the Mediterranean. Until 2019 this was known as PANACeA until 2019, with renewed support as MBPC until 2022.

The objective of this community is to foster an ecosystem based approach to nature conservation. This overarching coordinating initiative aims to provide: scientific syntheses with clear messages and recommendations for use in management and to inform and influence current policy in the form of factsheets, technical and policy papers, and media materials; spatial tools and databases to generate new knowledge and better integrate past and current datasets from related projects; and enhanced communication and learning through networking and showcasing the outputs of the whole community of projects in key events and fora.

Hiring: Scientific Collaborator for BopCo project 

BopCo

LifeWatch Belgium consortium members RBINS (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences) and the RMCA (Royal Museum for Central Africa) are looking for a Scientific Collaborator to join the LifeWatch BopCo project.

A postdoctoral researcher position is now open within the project “BopCo: A barcoding facility for organisms and tissues of policy concern“. The position will be administratively managed by RBINS, but functionally shared by RBINS and RMCA. The contract is for 1 year and applications must be submitted by 7 February 2022.

BopCo is an initiative of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), the main activity of which consists of providing scientific services concerning the DNA identification of socially and policy-relevant organisms at the request of governments, companies, NGOs, associations and the general public.

For more details about the vacancy and how to apply: