New BiCIKL project to build a freeway between pieces of biodiversity knowledge

BiCIKL

In a recently started Horizon 2020-funded project, 15 European institutions, from 10 countries, representing both the continent’s and global key players in biodiversity research and natural history, deploy and improve their own and partnering infrastructures to bridge gaps between each other’s biodiversity data types and classes. LifeWatch ERIC is one of these institutions. By linking their technologies, these project partners are set to provide flawless access to data across all stages of the research cycle.

Three years in, BiCIKL (abbreviation for Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library) will have created the first-of-its-kind Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, where a researcher will be able to retrieve a full set of linked and open biodiversity data, thereby accessing the complete story behind an organism of interest: its name, genetics, occurrences, natural history, as well as authors and publications mentioning any of those.

Ultimately, the project’s products will solidify Open Science and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data practices by empowering and streamlining biodiversity research.

Together, the project partners will redesign the way biodiversity data is found, linked, integrated and re-used across the research cycle. By the end of the project, BiCIKL will provide the community with a more transparent, trustworthy and efficient highly automated research ecosystem, allowing for scientists to access, explore and put into further use a wide range of data with only a few clicks.

“In recent years, we’ve made huge progress on how biodiversity data is located, accessed, shared, extracted and preserved, thanks to a vast array of digital platforms, tools and projects looking after the different types of data, such as natural history specimens, species descriptions, images, occurrence records and genomics data, to name a few. However, we’re still missing an interconnected and user-friendly environment to pull all those pieces of knowledge together. Within BiCIKL, we all agree that it’s only after we puzzle out how to best bridge our existing infrastructures and the information they are continuously sourcing that future researchers will be able to realise their full potential,” explains BiCIKL’s project coordinator Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft, a scholarly publisher and technology provider company. 

Continuously fed with data sourced by the partnering institutions and their infrastructures, BiCIKL’s key final output: the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, is set to persist with time long after the project has concluded. On the contrary, by accelerating biodiversity research that builds on – rather than duplicates – existing knowledge, it will in fact be providing access to exponentially growing contextualised biodiversity data.

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

LifeWatch ERIC in DOORS Project Kick-Off Meeting

DOORS Project

LifeWatch ERIC was proud to represent part of the pan-European contingent of 37 partners in the kick-off meeting for the new EU project ‘DOORS’, led by GeoEcoMar, on 29–30 June 2021. The meeting was launched by Wendy Bonne of the European Commission and Mr Ciprian Teleman, Romanian Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalisation, who said:

“DOORS represents a clear commitment of the European Union for the Black Sea, which will enable a climate neutral, sustainable and productive blue economy. Education, Research and innovation is the Golden Triangle for the knowledge-based economy to strengthen the links between Romanian and European scientists.”

But what is DOORS?

DOORS is a €9m Horizon 2020 project* that stands for ‘Developing Optimal and Open Research Support’ in the Black Sea, which is infamously the world’s most polluted. It will link science, policy and industry for critical Black Sea regeneration, bringing together expertise and technology from institutions from the Black Sea region and other European countries to address the human and climate change impacts on damaged ecosystems.

What exactly will it do?

DOORS will develop a common framework of scientific methods for gathering data, allowing partners to better understand the complex marine processes that happen across the Black Sea. The project will provide a system that will bring together information from in-situ measurements, research cruises, satellite observation, modelling and data integration capabilities.
Alongside the integration of scientific knowledge sharing, it is a fundamental objective for DOORS to engage with wider society. By providing mechanisms for business to link with research, DOORS will create new job opportunities for emerging Blue Growth economies through new synergies and mentoring schemes; the first of its kind to be setup in the Black Sea. Key initiatives that engage schools, universities and general citizens of the region will promote behaviour change and celebrate best practice, influencing future policy, Blue Growth and the health of Black Sea communities.

What role will LifeWatch ERIC play?

LifeWatch ERIC will be participating in Work Package 2: Harmonisation; 6: Blue Growth; 7: Capacity Building; 8: Stakeholder Engagement; and 9: Dissemination and Communication. Alberto Basset, Service Centre Director and project coordinator for LifeWatch ERIC, noted: 

“LifeWatch ERIC’s strong ties with the biodiversity and ecosystem research communities, along with its specialist knowledge in data integration and providing training activities will ensure the infrastructure’s contribution to all three of the DOORS project’s core pillars: System of Systems, Blue Growth Accelerator and Knowledge Transfer and Training. We look forward to strengthening and establishing connections in the Black Sea research community through DOORS, confident that the results of this project will be advantageous for both citizens and scientists of the Black Sea area, as well as Europe as a whole.”

Click here for the DOORS website. You can also follow its activities on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

*grant agreement No. 101000518

EOSC Future: Call for Evaluators

EOSC Future

LifeWatch ERIC is proud to be a partner in the EOSC Future project, which, over the next two and a half years, will develop an environment with professional data services, open research products and infrastructure. It looks to create a so-called ‘system of systems’ that will support European researchers in managing the entire data lifecycle: from sharing, managing and exploiting their own data to discovering, re-using and recombining the datasets of others. The project will engage, train and support (potential) EOSC users and will encourage providers to sign up by offering easy onboarding, ticket management and analytics.

Since its official kick-off meeting on 10 June, the project has launched a call for external evaluators, seeking experts to evaluate a series of diverse grants to be awarded by the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Though the call will remain open for submissions until June 2023,  experts will be called on to evaluate grant applications as soon as October 2021.

To enable the co-creation of EOSC, via early adoption, technical and domain solution development and interoperability, RDA will be running a rich set of regular open calls. The RDA Open Calls mechanism is backed by a €1 000 000 grant earmarked for engaging with multiple stakeholders, including targeted scientific communities, technical experts and early career researchers. The calls will be complemented by a broad range of support activities, such as events, use cases, info packages, best practices, a Scientific Ambassador Network and dedicated RDA groups. These activities will enable a continual innovation workflow and engagement with science projects to support the implementation of an EOSC environment.  

In keeping with its principles of transparent and community-driven action, RDA is looking for external expert evaluators to support the decision-making process for awarding the RDA Open Calls grants. These evaluators will operate remotely via the EOSC Future Grants Platform and will be responsible for evaluating applications for RDA Open Calls, both for general and discipline- or domain-specific grants. While the call for external expert evaluators is open for the entire duration of the EOSC Future project, evaluators will be needed as soon as October 2021. Evaluators will be routinely selected from the pool of applicants based on their availability and the expertise required. Aside from a few exceptional cases, drafting an individual evaluation report will be compensated with a €150 fee (equivalent to 0.3 working days). 

Experts can submit their applications via the dedicated EOSC Future Grants Platform, which will manage the grants application process for all calls under EOSC Future‘s €1.6 million grant fund. This includes the €1 000 000 in grants under the RDA Open Calls as well as another €600 000 awarded through various DIH Calls.

LifeWatch ERIC in BiCIKL Kick-Off Meeting

BiCiKL

The kick-off meeting for the Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library (BiCIKL) took place last week on 27-28 May! LifeWatch ERIC is proud to be one of the fourteen official partners of this Horizon 2020 project,* contributing to the establishment of open science practices in the biodiversity domain as it follows its own mission to become a worldwide provider of content and services for this research community.

But what is BiCIKL?

BiCIKL is an EU-funded project coordinated by Pensoft that aims to unite key European and international research infrastructures across ten countries in their quest to facilitate open science and fair data practices in the biodiversity scientific community. Its four key products have been identified as: a community equipped with tools for searching and accessing FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) interlinked data; an interlinked corpora of knowledge for biodiversity and related research domains; automated tools and workflows for data liberation and FAIRisation from literature; and semantic-based journal production workflows for publication and reuse of FAIR biodiversity data.

What exactly does it do?

BiCIKL plans to build a Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, providing access to data, associated tools and services at each stage and along the entire research cycle. Speaking technically, it will focus on harvesting, liberating, linking and reusing subarticle level data literature (specimens, material citations, samples, sequences, taxonomic names, taxonomic treatments, figures, tables, etc.), whether PDF- or XML-based. It will provide seamless linking and usage tracking of data along the line: specimens → sequences → species → analytics → publications → biodiversity knowledge graph → re-use.

What role does LifeWatch ERIC play?

LifeWatch ERIC, which already carries out specialised work in the areas of semantics and usage tracking, will be key in helping BiCIKL develop the methods, tools and workflows required for the realisation of BiCIKL goals. Its two main tasks will be to analyse the technical requirement of users and implement the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BiKH). It will participate in testing and streamlining interoperability and the alignment of findability, reuse and accessibility. Furthermore, LifeWatch ERIC will contribute to defining and implementing the necessary operational framework, as well as identifying BiKH components and translating the functional diagramme and operational framework into an educational cloud.


BiCIKL’s website is currently under construction, but you can follow its activities on Twitter.


*grant agreement No. 101007492, duration May 2021-2024