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.

BiCIKL Project wraps up the first year of integrating FAIR data on biodiversity

BiCIKL Seville

The fourteen partners of the BiCIKL Project met in Seville (Spain) for their first physical meeting at the beginning of May, one year after the start of the project, whose mission is to catalyse a top-down culture change in the way researchers work with data about the world’s biodiversity at each step of the research process.

“We will cultivate a more transparent, trustworthy and efficient research ecosystem,” were among the words to remember from the meeting’s opening, summarising the rationale behind BiCIKL. 

Hosted by LifeWatch ERIC, the event at La Casa de la Ciencia provided fertile ground for new ideas, as partners spent three days together discussing and analysing how their tools, workflows and platforms have evolved during the past year – and their next steps toward improvements in retrieving, preserving and linking different sources of biodiversity data.

The meeting had a strong technical focus on the transition from one-sided, uni-directional linkages between biodiversity data and infrastructures to more complex bilateral and multi-directional connections across various types of FAIR and open data. 

Dr Joe Miller, Executive Secretary of GBIF — the Global Biodiversity Information Facility — provided an initial framework for the discussions by placing the work of BiCIKL within the framework of the alliance for biodiversity knowledge

So far, such links are mainly possible within the scientific publishing process,  but that’s going to change.

“What researchers and research infrastructures would find particularly useful and enjoyable is that – as a result of our joint efforts at BiCIKL – scientific literature will become an integral part of the biodiversity research lifecycle,”  said Prof Lyubomir Penev, BiCIKL’s Project Coordinator, founder and CEO of Pensoft Publishers. “We are working on several workflows and tools that continue to facilitate the biodiversity publishing of the future even after the project’s end.”

“The most important outcome of this meeting is the return of the BiCIKL community vis-à-vis”, the Partners say, without forgetting what will be next, “Much of the knowledge about biodiversity is largely imprisoned in an ever-growing corpus of 500 million pages of scientific research publications. We are trying to liberate that information as data, make it permanently available from the Biodiversity Literature Repository, and improve international standards and practices more broadly. We include adequate support text, answering questions about biodiversity and data mining applications.

Visit BiCIKL Project’s website at https://bicikl-project.eu/

Follow BiCIKL on Twitter and Facebook. Join the conversation on Twitter at #BiCIKL_H2020.

To learn more about the projects LifeWatch ERIC is involved with, visit our Related Projects page.

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:

ASSEMBLE+ Project Opens Call

Assemble Plus Call

Until 13 February 2022, researchers from industry and academia can apply for free access to top-class marine research infrastructures, thanks to the opening of the ninth call of the ASSEMBLE Plus project (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories Expanded).

 ASSEMBLE Plus offers access to over 32 marine stations and institutes in 13 countries across Europe and overseas for basic and applied research in the marine science field (see overleaf). Researchers from both industry and academia can apply for on-site and remote access. Sponsorship includes travel and subsistence for two persons (one return trip per person, up to 30 days). Successful applicants will be able to carry out their project free-of-charge (subject to some limitations).

Please visit assembleplus.eu for updates on available services, call dates, application procedures and any further information on current and upcoming calls for access.

EOSC Future ‘Ask Me Anything’ Webinars

EOSC Future Webinars

Starting in February 2022, EOSC Future (one of the projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is currently involved) will organise ‘ask me anything’ webinars.

On the first Tuesday of every month, participants will have the chance to ask questions about a variety of EOSC services and resources.

During these exclusive Q&A sessions, resources and resource categories available on the EOSC platform will be presented, discussed and, in some cases, tested out.

Each session will take place online from 14.00-15.00 CET

The first 3 webinars are listed below:

  • 01/02/2022: Data storage
  • 01/03/2022: Software 
  • 05/04/2022: Compute services

Have a question about another EOSC service that is not listed above? More dates and topics are coming throughout 2022-2023. Eventually, the webinars will cover all resource categories on the EOSC portal.

Ask me anything about…

The EOSC Future ‘ask me anything’ webinars aim to encourage uptake among users as well as show potential service providers how their resources could be featured through EOSC.

For each session, EOSC community members, experts and project coordinators will present an EOSC resource. As needed, there will be a demonstrative use case to show how a specific type of resource can be accessed and used via the platform. For all webinars, particular emphasis will be placed on answering any and all questions from the audience.

Registration

Register for specific sessions by following the links below:

Visit the EOSC Future website for updates on upcoming webinar topics and dates.