LifeWatch Italy

at University of Salento
via prov. Lecce Monteroni sn,
73100 Lecce, Italy

Italy is one of the founders of LifeWatch-ERIC and hosts its Service Centre. LifeWatch-ERIC has always been strongly supported by the national scientific community, as well as regional and national institutions, since Italy is a biodiversity hotspot in Europe, with more than 57,400 animal and 6,500 plant species. Italian landscapes and protected areas are natural laboratories for biodiversity and ecosystem research.

The LifeWatch Italy webportal provides a networking interface for the biodiversity and ecosystem community, offering learning and training opportunities, semantic resources and data, ICT services & VREs, supporting research activities and science-based policy-making.


The Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) and the National Research Council (CNR) lead the Italian contribution to LifeWatch-ERIC and the activities of its national node, in close cooperation with the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection.

Organised as a Joint Research Unit (JRU), LifeWatch Italy is coordinated by the department of Earth system science and environmental technologies of the CNR. The General Assembly and the Coordination and Management committees oversee its governance.

The JRU counts among its many members the most important institutions active in the domain, including the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic (Castelporziano Presidential Estate), the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, as well as many universities, regional agencies and private bodies (please see here for the full list of members).


LifeWatch-ITA, as a National Support Committee, contributes to the construction and operation of the infrastructure via its e-Biodiversity Research Institute and ICT Working Group, seeking to reinforce integrated scientific research into biodiversity and ecosystems by:

  • Implementing semantic resources, such as controlled vocabularies and ontologies, to support interoperability among different data infrastructures (Thesauri, gazetteer);
  • Making data & metadata accessible, interpretable and reusable over time ensuring the transparency, reproducibility and sustainability of scientific research results (Data Portal);
  • Providing ICT Services for the study of biodiversity and ecosystems and cooperation in VREs dedicated to major scientific issues (e.g. Alien SpeciesPhytoplankton)
  • Supporting Citizen Science & Education with ICT services, applications, platforms, and learning environments, combined with gaming resources specifically designed for students (LW for Schools).

To find out more, please visit



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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.