ENVRI Community International Summer School 2022

Summer School 2022

Lecce, Italy, 10–15 July 2022.

The ENVRI Community International 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 2022 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. Create 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 ENVRI Community International Summer School 2022 will be offered full board 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 30 May by filling in the sign-up form here.

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

Towards the ENVRI Community International Summer School: Webinars on Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users

End User Webinar

Online, 17 & 23 June 2022.

In the run-up to the ENVRI Community International Summer School in July, LifeWatch ERIC and ENVRI-FAIR will be organising two webinars on “Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”. Participation in the webinars can be in preparation for the School or as stand-alone sessions, for those who cannot attend the School, or those who are still considering registering. For more information on the ENVRI Community International Summer School “Road to a FAIR ENVRI-Hub: Designing and Developing Data Services for End Users”, please visit the dedicated minisite.

The webinars are particularly aimed at IT architects, Research Infrastructure (RI) service developers and user support staff, and RI staff working on user interaction and community/network building. Links to the sessions will be provided upon registration.

Webinar #1: Service validation & evaluation: making sure your services are up to the task

Friday 17 June, 10:00-11:30 CEST

Zoom (link to be provided upon registration)


  • Validating services & assessing their TRL – Mark van de Sanden (SURF)
  • Service evaluation: why & how – Yin Chen (EGI)
  • Evaluating ENVRI services: experiences from the ENVRIplus – Maggie Hellström (ICOS)
  • Q&A and general discussion – plenary

Webinar #2: Service documentation & tutorials: rolling out the red carpet for end users

Thursday 23 June, 10:00-11:30 CEST

Zoom (link to be provided upon registration)


  • Writing effective service documentation for EUDAT services – Rob Carillo (EUDAT)
  • Service tutorial design: experiences from EOSC Synergy – Helen Clare (JISC)
  • Using Jupyter Notebooks to introduce services to “new” end users – ENVRI-FAIR expert (TBA)
  • Q&A and general discussion – plenary

You can sign up for one or both webinars using the form linked below:

Click here to access the form.

13th LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly

LifeWatch ERIC

Online, 29 March 2022. The 13th General Assembly of LifeWatch ERIC will take place on 29 March 2022. The GA will go ahead online, in accordance with COVID-19 health guidelines. Its members will be advised of joining instructions.

Open Science Conference 2022

Open Science Conference

8 – 10 March 2022, Online.

LifeWatch ERIC CEO Christos Arvanitidis will be presenting at the online Open Science Conference with a presentation entitled “Science Cluster Projects in EOSC Future project: A turning point towards the synthetic knowledge by the scientific communities using the EOSC Infrastructure”.

The presentation provides the framework of activities of the Science Cluster Projects in the project EOSC Future. Five Science Clusters come with ten Science Projects which target to current societal challenges (e.g. COVID-19 and Climate Change impacts) and implement a multidisciplinary and cross-domain approach by taking part in the making and using the next-generation Infrastructure of EOSC. This approach attempts to bring down current barriers between scientific disciplines and domains and bring different scientific communities to work together by using the new attributes of the EOSC Infrastructure. The challenges, practices and solutions theses Science Projects are facing are discussed.

Register here.

African Union – European Union Summit: A Science Agenda

au-eu summit

Online, 14 – 18 February 2022.

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14 – 18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

The general topics for the Summit side event will include:

1. The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, NDICI, also known as Global Europe. The Communication from the Commission on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation is a key paper: ….to serve as a guide in implementing the international dimension of the new EU programme for civil research and innovation, Horizon Europe, and its synergies with other EU programmes, in particular the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe.

2. How to accelerate an inclusive approach to collaborative research, recognising African leadership and the untapped potential of women and girls to contribute to science and innovation.

3. Consider how to leverage synergies between funding mechanisms led by the EU and others including development finance provided by the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and others.

4. Raise awareness of the unforeseen and unintended impact of regulations on potential research collaborations with Africa. These include data privacy, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the In-vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR), the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and the Clinical Trials Regulation. Good regulation cannot act as a barrier between African and EU and other researchers. African nations need to build their enabling regulatory environment and regulatory compliance with the EU.

5. Indigenous knowledge can be a force for good and part of the equation when promoting Africa-Europe science collaboration, including developing relevant information services and linking indigenous knowledge to data capacities; patent data. WTO TRIPS Art. 66.2 is critical to supporting technology transfer.   

6. The meeting will also consider the importance of the SDGs in this context, including enabling local and community (UN Local 2030) science as part of the global response.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) met in Kigali, Rwanda, on 26 October 2021, took stock of progress regarding the priority areas adopted during the last AU–EU Summit held in 2017, in Abidjan. This press release provides some guidance on priorities for the AU-EU Summit on 17-18 Feb 2022.

To join this event please register here. For more information, please see the AERAP website.

Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference II

Empowering Biodiversity Research

Tervuren, Belgium, 24–25 May 2022.

The Empowering Biodiversity Research conference, EBR II, will take place 24–25 May 2022 at the AfricaMuseum in Tervuren. It will take you on a journey into the world of biodiversity data standards and tools and will inform you on the latest developments in the world of Biodiversity Informatics, on the state-of-the-art in initiatives like GBIF, LifeWatch ERIC, DiSSCo, etc. and how you can benefit from them.

EBR II aims to build a bridge between Biodiversity informatics and its relative “Bioinformatics” and investigate what their crossover can bring to Biodiversity Research. Genomic information meets digital taxonomy.

Want to present a poster? Submit your abstract until 31 March 2022.

Find more information about the Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference on their website.

LifeWatch Belgium is one of the co-organisers and will be presenting following topics:

  • LifeWatch Belgium
  • From remote sensing and GIS to model-oriented databases
  • The LifeWatch Species Information Backbone
  • Biodiversity.aq / POLAAAR
  • BopCo
  • LifeWatch Fish Acoustic Receiver Network

In particular, LifeWatch VLIZ will be organising a workshop on Bringing Together Marine Biodiversity Environmental and Maritime Boundaries.

133080 Tervuren

Registration has been prolonged until 29 April 2022 – see the EBR website for more details.

Stay tuned for another workshop in September on Research Data Management!

5th edition of the Big Seashell Survey


All along the Flemish and Dutch coasts, 19 March 2022.

Who isn’t fascinated by shells on the beach? Picking up shells, admiring them and trying to find out the story behind the find. And if at all possible, to give science a helping hand at the same time. That is what the Big Seashell Survey is all about!

On Saturday 19 March 2022, the Big Seashell Survey will take place, as part of the LifeWatch Belgium programme. It is the fifth time this citizen science initiative has been organised. In each of the ten coastal municipalities, shell experts will help you collect and identify your hundred beach shells at the counting stations between 10 am and 4 pm. And if hundreds of enthusiasts do this, we all learn a lot more about these fascinating sea creatures. Experience or not, everyone can become a marine citizen scientist for a day!

For the first time this year, comparisons will be made between the shells found on Flemish beaches and those of the Netherlands. On the same day, the natural history museum Naturalis in Leiden will be holding a big seashell survey as well, on the beaches of the coastal province South Holland – as part of the event Leiden2022 – European City of Science. Are you also curious whether we will see big differences?

In addition, families with children can go to three provincial visitor centres (Duinpanne, Raversyde Anno 1465 and ZWIN Nature Park) for a playful introduction to shells (workshop in Dutch only). Afterwards, they will be fully prepared to collect and process a sample of shells at a counting station.

Find more information about this event on www.groteschelpenteldag.be (in Dutch only).

Subscribe now on the website of EOS Iedereen Wetenschapper and receive the newsletter (in Dutch only) with the necessary information and keep up to date on the results (registration is free and not obligatory).

The Big Seashell Survey is an initiative of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), EOS Wetenschap magazine, the Province of West Flanders, Natuurpunt, Strandwerkgroep, Kusterfgoed and the 10 coastal municipalities. Initiative within the framework of LifeWatch Belgium.

Training event: I-ADOPT Framework for FAIR variables and metadata description


Online, 17 & 31 March 2022.

What is inside your RI’s data? And how easy is it for your end users to find out? 

To make good scientific use of data, it is necessary to be absolutely clear on what has been measured or calculated. Just labelling table columns with “SWC_1_1” or “P_sal” is in many cases not precise enough, even for people familiar with your subdomain. 

The RDA I-ADOPT framework responds to this requirement offering a way to compile clear and unambiguous definitions of variables in a standardised way. It helps you to describe concepts at different levels, ranging from overarching classes (“soil composition”) down to the very detailed (“soil water content, measured in a mineral soil matrix below root depth”).  You can create and register your own definitions, or reuse those of others, and once in place use them to tag your RI’s datasets. 

The formalised descriptions empower the FAIR principles in many ways, for example by facilitating searches across data portals (F+A) and enabling machine-driven interpretation and use of data and metadata (I+R). 

ENVRI-FAIR WP6 is organising two training events that will help you to learn more about the I-ADOPT framework and the benefit this can generate for your RI.

The training series has the potential to be extended with more in-depth sessions to be organised at a later stage.


The training events will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 17 March 14-17:30 CET
  • Thursday 31 March 14-17:30 CEST


The training introduces the concept of I-Adopt, offers opportunities to experiment with real live examples from daily practice and to discuss issues related to these experiments and receive advice on your approach. After the training, participants will be able to discuss the main elements of the I-Adopt framework, evaluate its usefulness in their RI and, if interested, participate actively in the I-ADOPT discussions under github or in the I-ADOPT Task Group under the auspices of the RDA VSSIG (Vocabulary Services Interest Group); the follow-up group to gain further knowledge and contribute to the maturing of the concept. 


This training could benefit all data managers in RIs that work on vocabularies/semantics or want to have a more in-depth knowledge of this topic. It is also suitable for researchers working with observation data to better define their data analysis needs towards RIs, for instance.


The training is structured around three components:

  1. Introductory session – explanation of the concept and demonstration through examples. During the session, participants will practice to try out the concept and discuss first outcomes. A mix of plenary lectures, breakout sessions with exercises, and plenary feedback for a duration of 3 hours;
  2. In between the first and the second session, participants will be allowed ample time to experiment themselves with the I-ADOPT framework to test it on their own variables. Guidelines and Google sheets will be provided to guide these experiments;
  3. Discussion session – a second 3-hour virtual event to discuss issues related to the variable modelling, solve problems and give advice in the first 2 hours. The last hour will be used to discuss I-ADOPT in a bigger context. How should this be embedded in daily practice of research and Research Infrastructures, how can it build bridges between disciplines, what services are needed to facilitate the I-ADOPT approach, how does it relate to other areas like sensor measurements, provenance, how it can enrich the catalogues of description patterns. 

The main trainer is Barbara Magagna (Umweltbundesambt, eLTER), supported by Gwen Moncoiffé (British Oceanographic Data Centre) and Lucia Vaira (LifeWatch ERIC).

On the I-ADOPT Initiative…

The aim of the I-ADOPT initiative is to produce an Interoperability Framework, co-developed by a wide community of terminology experts, for representing observable properties. This effort will have a strong focus on observable properties in environmental research because it leverages existing efforts to accurately encode what was measured, observed, derived, or computed in relation to the earth systems[1].

The framework has been developed by an RDA working group, dedicated to this topic. 

The aim is to create FAIRer observable property terminologies, the global effectiveness of tools operating upon them will be improved and their impact increased. This will thus strengthen existing collaborations and build new connections between terminology developers and providers, disciplinary experts from across the various domains of Earth and Environmental Science, and representatives of scientific data user groups[2].

How to register

Please register your online attendance using this form.

[1] RDA I-Adopt WG case statement

[2] RDA I-Adopt WG description

12th LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly

LifeWatch ERIC

Online, 20 December 2021. The 12th General Assembly of LifeWatch ERIC will take place on 12 December 2021. The GA will go ahead online, in accordance with COVID-19 health guidelines. Its members will be advised of joining instructions.

European Researchers’ Night

European Researchers' Night

Seville, Spain, 24 September 2021. LifeWatch ERIC CEO Dr Arvanitidis and CTO Dr González-Aranda will explain the SUMHAL Project alongside Andalusian Delegate of CSIC, Dr Paneque, in the “LifeWatch” area of Plaza de San Francisco at 19:00 CEST. Check out the European Commission’s page on the European Researchers’ Night to see what is going on near you!