Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ),
InnovOcean site,
Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Ostend, Belgium

Belgium joined LifeWatch ERIC in 2017 and it contributes to LifeWatch ERIC through its National Distributed Centre.

Notwithstanding its relatively small territory, Belgium has a remarkable diversity of habitats and species, and has a rich tradition of biodiversity and ecosystem research, both within and outside of its borders.

Since the start of LifeWatch, Belgium has been a committed country that actively contributes through a number of long-term projects managed by different research centres and universities across the country and supported by the respective political authorities.

What We Do

Species Information Backbone

The service that facilitates the standardisation and integration of species data and provides access to information on species taxonomy, biogeography, genetics and traits (habitat, morphology, vulnerability, etc.).
Click Here

Marine Freshwater Terrestrial Observatory

Integrated observation systems that generate long-term and openly accessible biodiversity data applying innovative approaches (imaging, acoustics, genomics, tagging and tracking, artificial intelligence, citizen science).
Click Here

Thematic Remote sensing

An interactive geoportal provides thematic pan-European remote sensing data. An object-based ecotope database integrates geographic data for Belgium. Moreover, biophysical variables are available for the South Pole.
Click Here

Antarctic Biodiversity Portal

The Antarctic Biodiversity Portal ( works closely with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) to provide access to data and tools for understanding Antarctic marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Click Here

Organisation or the National Distributed Centre for LifeWatch Belgium combines the regional and federal LifeWatch contributions from Belgium.

The Flemish contribution is shaped by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), and is funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The contribution of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is a collaborative research programme between scientists of the Earth and Life Institute (Université catholique de Louvain) and the Biosystems Engineering Department (Université de Liège/Gembloux-ABT). The federal contribution ( is coordinated by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) and is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO). The federal authority also supports the Belgian Biodiversity Platform in its running of the LifeWatch Belgium scientific node. BELSPO also funds the annual monetary contribution to the ERIC.

VLIZ is the national focal point for the distributed centre.

This leaflet presents the LifeWatch Belgium Distributed Centre, its main activities and organisational structure.

You can browse the leaflet online (full screen mode is available in the control bar) or download it by clicking on the three dots icon.


News from LifeWatch Belgium

National Coordination and General Assembly


Klaas Deneudt

National Coordinator

Jérôme Degreef

General Assembly

Aline Van der Werf

General Assembly

Gert Verreet

General Assembly
Klaas Deneudt's Bio

Klaas Deneudt is the coordinator of the LifeWatch Belgium National Distributed Centre (LifeWatch.BE).

He is a marine biologist employed as head of the Marine Observation Center at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and has over 20 years of experience in marine biodiversity observation, biomonitoring and related data management in a European context. From 2023-2027, he acts as general coordinator of the DTO-BioFlow Horizon Europe project. He is member of the EuroGOOS Biological Observing WG, the European Marine Omics Biodiversity Observation Network (EMO BON) and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON Europe), former chair of the EMBRC e-infrastructure WG, former member of the RDA Group of Data Experts (GEDE) and former member of the IODE WG on Chemical & Biological Data.

Aline Van der Werf's Bio

Aline Van der Werf is Member of the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly.

She is Programme Manager at the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), being responsible for launching, implementing and following-up biodiversity, climate and ecosystem related research initiatives both at the national, European and international levels. These include  research programmes, research e-infrastructures and the Belgian Biodiversity Platform: a key science-policy interface in the field of biodiversity.

Gert Verreet's Bio

Gert Verreet is a Member the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly. He is also a Member of the IKCC.

He is a policy officer in the Flanders Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, working in the Research Division focusing on environmental sciences, supporting VLIZ and EU developments such as JPI-Oceans and international environmental research infrastructures (ESFRI SWG ENV). He is a member of the Flemish Committee for UNESCO. Previously he worked for the OSPAR Commission, the Flanders Department of Environment, Nature and Energy, the Belgian federal marine scientific service and was a researcher at Leuven University, as well as a marine policy officer at the European Commission.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.