Research Infrastructure mobilisation in response to COVID-19


In a virtual workshop on 11 May 2021, hosted by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) and Science Europe, Chief Executive Officer Christos Arvanitidis spoke about how LifeWatch ERIC has contributed to answering critical questions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, including collaboration and data sharing between Research Infrastructures (RIs). COVID-19 had a substantial impact on the operations of analytical facilities that serve external users, for example.

At a time in which physical access to RIs has been restricted, Dr Arvanitidis said, LifeWatch has been able to offer a collaborative computing environment that is secure, accurate and transparent, delivering continuity and versioning control. Some projects, like the Internal Joint Initiative, have continued as in-house “in remote-working”, other projects have been “fast-tracked” for high priority research.

EOSC Future, ENVRI-FAIR and the ERIC Forum are some of the European RI projects that have benefited from LifeWatch ERIC’s input, resources, building of commonalities or provision of collaboration spaces. “We are proud to have enabled access to other RIs in these difficult times. We have accelerated the diffusion of data and results, and supported policy actions to enable RIs to mobilise effectively. After all, we’re all in the same boat,” said Dr Arvanitidis.

Click here for the presentation slides.    

COVID-19 | Epidemiology and data support

Epidemiology and data support

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting our society and citizens hard, in Europe and all over the world, generating a health crisis whose proportions and impacts have no precedent in recent history, and which is yet to be fully understood. An emergency, that to be tackled requires institutional and key science actors to join forces and coordinate efforts and identify viable science-based approaches.
LifeWatch ERIC welcomed the initiative undertaken by ESFRI for “aggregating information about dedicated services offered by Research Infrastructures and communicating all relevant actions as broadly as possibly” on a unique web page where the information collected is clearly organised, immediately available and regularly updated. 

LifeWatch ERIC submitted a proposal to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation on a joint initiative, involving a group of international scientists with long-track experience in machine learning and modelling, to create dedicated epidemiology and data support services. Expected to become available in the next few months, the services will make it possible to: 
• Implement a large set of scenarios and model simulations to establish alternative trajectories of the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
• Perform an extensive sensitivity analysis to understand the major sources of uncertainty associated with model projections.
• Develop an on-line decision support system platform enabling stakeholders in the public and private sectors to make queries about risks in specific locations and time periods.
• Support the federation, provenance and accountability mechanisms associated with distributed (e-)Resources (databases, publications, media, software, etc.) through Blockchain-based technologies