Inmaculada Figueroa, new Chair of LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly

Inmaculada Figueroa: Chair

LifeWatch ERIC is pleased to announce the election of Inmaculada Figueroa as the new Chair of the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly for the next two years.

“I have been involved with LifeWatch since the early stages of its creation and hosting in Spain and with the General Assembly since its establishment as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium in 2017, and I am delighted to have been elected as Chair of this strategic infrastructure in such a crucial moment, with LifeWatch ERIC closing its first term and setting its sights on upcoming the challenges presented by the next one. After 5 years of groundwork building the tools and web-services required, LifeWatch ERIC is in a position to boost its contribution to civil society, in supporting the European Union in reaching the 2030 Green Deal Biodiversity Targets and the UN SDGs,” says Inmaculada Figueroa; “As much as I am looking forward to getting started, I would first like to extend my thanks and congratulations to my predecessor for the brilliant work he has done for the infrastructure, Gert Verreet. I would also like to take a moment to remember Marc R. De Jonge, who also chaired the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly until his untimely passing on 27 April 2019.”

Inmaculada is an electrical engineer with more than 17 years’ experience in the Space domain (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial), being responsible for the Assembly and integration of scientific satellite payloads. Since 2009, she has been working in the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and its predecessors in the field of Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures. Currently, she is the Deputy Vice Director General for Internationalization of Science & Innovation in the Spanish Ministry of Science & Innovation and ESFRI Vice Chair.

The LifeWatch ERIC Executive Board and all the staff warmly welcome Inmaculada and wish her the best for her new position.

The LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly

The LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly is the highest governing body of LifeWatch ERIC and is responsible for the overall direction and supervision of the infrastructure. The members of the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly are:       

Inmaculada Figueroa (Chair, ES); Gert Verreet, Aline Van der Werf, Jerome Degreef (Belgium); Georgios Kotoulas, Eva Chatzinicolaou (GR); Grazia Pavoncello (IT), Joana Pinheiro, Pedro Beja, Rui Figueira (PT); Viorel Vulturescu (RO); Luboš Halada (SK), Albin Kralj (SI), Maria Teresa Serrano, Alejandro Rodríguez, José Juan Sánchez (ES); Edwin van Huis, Marjolein Robijn, as well as the members of the LifeWatch ERIC Executive Board: Christos Arvanitidis (CEO), Juan Miguel González-Aranda (CTO), Alberto Basset (Service Centre Director), Peter Van Tienderen (Interim Director of VLab & Innovation Centre) and Lucas de Moncuit (CFO).

The 2021 ENVRI Community International School

The official banner for the ENVRI Community International School - Services for FAIRness

The 2021 edition of the ENVRI Community International School has been launched!

Organised by ENVRI-FAIR and LifeWatch ERIC, the ENVRI Community International School is at its fourth edition, having established itself as an unmissable opportunity to learn about FAIRness in the framework of Research Infrastructures. Having gone into depth on data FAIRness and data management during previous editions, this year the School will focus on Services for FAIRness, from their design to their development and publication.

Further information on the programme and teachers will soon be available.

SAVE THE DATE | The school will take place online from 27 September – 8 October 2021.

Do you want to know more about the School? Check out the previous editions at the following links:

The 2020 Winter School on DATA FAIRness

The 2019 Summer School on DATA FAIRness

LifeWatch ERIC at the RI-VIS Latin America-Europe Symposium

RI-VIS Latin America Symposium

LifeWatch ERIC was delighted to take part in the RI-VIS Latin America-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures, held online 15-17 June 2021. The European Union and Latin America enjoy privileged relations and are natural partners, linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. The EU-LAC ResInfra project (Towards a new EU-LAC partnership in Research Infrastructures, funded under Horizon 2020), of which LifeWatch ERIC is a partner, has for ten years been building biregional collaboration on climate change, digital innovation, research and education. Cooperation between the 27 EU and 33 LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) countries, which together comprise over one billion people, is an important part of addressing major global issues like infectious disease, food security, and natural disasters.

The RI-VIS Latin America-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures brought together nearly 200 speakers to consolidate collaboration on enabling scientists to use specific facilities, resources, and expertise to accelerate scientific achievements, overcome boundaries, train highly skilled specialists, and promote sustainable research. The goal was to deliver a sustainability plan and roadmap which included human capital development and capacity building within its science, technology and innovation framework.

LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer and ICT-Core Director, Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda, delivered an enthusiastic presentation on the “LifEuLAC Pilot Case Study” on Tuesday 15 June, as part of the session Case studies of multinational and biregional Latin American-European partnerships. He outlined LifeWatch ERIC’s role in economic evaluations of ecosystems, describing how through strategic, tactical and operational plans it will continue to expand environmental studies that contribute to economic growth and equity.

The development of innovative ICT tools – Blockchain, which illustrates the socioeconomic value of ecosystem services, and Tesseract, which is designed to support policymaker decision-making – places LifeWatch ERIC in a strong position to measure the impact of global climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem research. Ongoing collaboration with other Research Infrastructures will produce greater data evidence and understanding that will greatly benefit both regions of the partnership.

For more information, click here to read the White Paper published ahead of the Symposium, entitled “Recommendations towards cooperation between Latin American and European research infrastructures”.

LifeWatch ERIC receives Sustainability Award

Sustainability Award

On 28 May, Fundación Ingenio, an initiative bringing together the main stakeholders of the agricultural sector in Murcia (Spain), presented LifeWatch ERIC with its Environmental Sustainability Award, as further recognition of the work it does in support of sustainable ecosystem management.

LifeWatch ERIC CTO, Juan Miguel González-Aranda, accepted the award from the President of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, along with the Regional Minister of this area, Antonio Luengo Zapata. Christos Arvanitidis, LifeWatch CEO, sent a video message expressing his thanks, followed by a short speech from Juan Miguel González-Aranda emphasising the importance of fostering sustainable agroecosystems, in synergy with the EU Green DealSDG 2030, and the European AgroEcology Network, among other outstanding initiatives.

In addition, LifeWatch ERIC also participated in the radio programme “A vivir Tierra y Mar” with Radio Cadena SER.

LifeWatch ERIC would like to extend its congratulations to the other Environmental Sustainability Award winners: Cáritas Diocesanas for their efforts in supporting disadvantaged and deprived groups, and a family from the Campo de Cartagena area which boasts three generations of farmers.

ERIC Forum elects new Chair F. Colomer

New ERIC Forum Chair elected: Francisco Colomer

The ERIC Forum is pleased to announce the appointment of Francisco Colomer, Director of JIVE ERIC, as the new Chair of the ERIC Forum.  

The new Chair, with the support of members from the Executive Board, will be in charge of the strategic management and planning of the ERIC Forum, strengthening its dialogue and relations with key stakeholders such as the European Commission and the ESFRI.  

Francisco Colomer commented that “the best researchers need the best research infrastructures to produce the best science“. The ERIC Forum, which is one of the leading science policy voices in Europe, “emphasises the critical role of European research infrastructures as high level service providers to those researchers, to make science and innovation possible, while increasing the visibility and relevance of ERICs in the individual European member states“. 

Composition of the Executive Board: 

Each member of the Executive Board represents a scientific cluster (Social Sciences and Humanities, Life Sciences, Environment and Earth Sciences clusters), in addition to the chair and vice-chair who, in their turn, represent the two remaining clusters (respectively: Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Health and Food clusters). 

ERIC Forum Executive Board >> 

About the ERIC Forum:  

The ERIC Forum brings together 21 large-scale European Research Infrastructures, and aims to advance operations of ERICs and to strategically contribute to the development of ERIC-related policies. The ERIC Forum is also a consultation body for EU policies related to Research Infrastructures. It centralises the type of challenges that ERICs face in this regard and the potential solutions which are being implemented. 

For more information, visit the ERIC Forum website:

Contact us at: