Semantic Academy: the registration for the LifeWatch ERIC Intensive School is now open!

In recent years, one of the major challenges in Environmental and Earth Sciences has been managing and searching larger volumes of data, collected across multiple disciplines. Many different standards, approaches, and tools have been developed to support the Data Lifecycle from Data Acquisition to Data Curation, Data Publishing, Data Processing and Data Use. In particular, modern semantic technologies provide a promising way to properly describe and interrelate different data sources in ways that reduce barriers to data discovery, integration, and exchange among biodiversity and ecosystem resources and researchers. Therefore, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 2023 edition of The Semantic Academy – The LifeWatch ERIC Intensive School: Boost your research with semantic artifacts. And this time, we are back in person!

This school is organized by LifeWatch ERIC and will take place in Lecce, from 25 to 29 September 2023.
This edition’s title is “Boost your research with semantic artifacts”. This course is built as a five-day intensive school providing the knowledge on how to create semantic artifacts for a specific domain and use them to annotate and analyse data in a Virtual Research Environment (VRE). It will cover topics such as Data Science, Semantics, Ontology, Vocabularies, Virtual Research Environments (VREs). The School is therefore mainly aimed at IT architects, Research Infrastructure (RI) service developers and user support staff, and RI staff.

The Semantic Academy will welcome participants with a welcome cocktail event and social dinner, while the actual Intensive School programme will last from Monday afternoon to Friday morning, closing with a certificate ceremony.

The outline of the School programme is as follows:

  1. Introducing the LifeWatch ERIC eScience Infrastructure
  2. Ontology Engineering
  3. Designing and Developing vocabularies
  4. Using Semantics for discovering, accessing and analysing data in the Notebook-as-a-VRE (NaaVRE)
  5. Putting everything together: practical activity with participants projects presentations

EXTENDED DEADLINE: Interested persons are invited to apply by 30 July by filling in the sign-up form here
Participation is free, but registration is compulsory. Three grants are made available by LifeWatch ERIC to support applicants younger than 30 years. Successful candidates will be offered accommodation for the whole duration of the intensive school on the basis of their motivation letter and their curricula, while travel must be self-funded. LifeWatch ERIC is an equal opportunity organisation, and encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of race, gender, age, national origin, or sexual orientation. Follow LifeWatch ERIC updates!

You can access the dedicated minisite with more detailed information on the Semantic Academy here.
You can find information about other Summer Schools on Data FAIRness previously organised by LifeWatch ERIC and the ENVRI Community on our Training & Education page.

LifeWatch Bulgaria celebrates Earth Day

Earth Day

­The Agricultural University-Plovdiv (AUP, Coordinator of LifeWatch Bulgaria) and the Faculty of Plant Protection and Agroecology in partnership with LifeWatch ERIC; the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts “Prof. Asen Diamandiev” – Plovdiv (AMTII); the student councils at the AUP and AMTII; the Plovdiv Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW); the Green Balkans Association (Stara Zagora, LifeWatch Bulgaria partner); and the Society of Animalists, Florists and Scientific Illustrators (DAFNI), celebrated Earth Day on 22 April with a variety of educational and creative activities held at the AUP.

Special guests of the Earth Day event were students from the local area, who had the opportunity to learn about and paint different plants. The awards for the best pictures of live plants, provided by LifeWatch ERIC and the Student Councils of AUP, AMTII, and RIEW, went to:

  1. 1st place – Marina Vasileva, 12th grade “Vasil Levski” Secondary School – Vetovo village;
  2. 2nd place – Tamer Reyhanov and Tyulin Tahirov – 12th grade “Vasil Levski” Secondary School – Vetovo village;
  3. 3rd place – Dimitar Rangelov- AMTII and Radoslava Atanasova – AUP.

The work of the Wildlife Rescue Centre Stara Zagora was also presented under the title “The Voice of Injured Wildlife”, as well as the project “Life for the Lesser Kestrel”, implemented by the association with the financial support of LifeWatch ERIC. 

The day’s celebrations featured DANFI and Green Balkans’s exhibitions “The Great Return” and “The Surviving Exhibition”. In the Central Rectorate Building of the AUP is one of the emblematic frescoes of Yoan Leviev – “Earth and People”, which reflects the history of mankind, reminded the Rector Prof. Hristina Yancheva, at the official opening of the event. 

“As a university, we work with professions related to the Earth, plants, animals. Our mission as lecturers is to keep the planet clean for the next generations and in all specialties the focus is on green technologies”, added Prof. Stattev. Dash.

“Art has been ringing the bell since ancient times for the fact that we must preserve the land in which we live,” said Prof. Stattev. Toni Shekerdzhieva – Novak, Rector of AMTII.

The exhibition “The Great Return” presented drawings of species of animals that have been returned to their natural habitats with the efforts of various organisations. It is the second in a row for DAFNI after the first one was presented in 2015. “There are over 30 members of the company, and I believe that it unites all people in our country who depict living nature in its diversity”, said chairman Georgi Pchelarov.

“The Animated Exhibition” presented models of rare and protected bird species, which are made in real size and colouring, said Gradimir Gradev from Green Balkans. These are birds that inhabit the border regions of Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, which fall within the scope of the European Green Belt.

Finally, students from AMTII put on a “green” fashion show in a verdant courtyard of the University. 

LifeWatch Belgium’s Big Seashell Survey Takes Off in France

Big Seashell Survey 2023

The Big Annual Seashell Survey, with shells collected across more than 400 kilometres of beaches, has become one of the largest citizen science initiatives on Europe’s coasts. This annual LifeWatch Belgium initiative began in 2018, driven by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in close cooperation with EOS Science, the Province of West Flanders, Natuurpunt, the Strandwerkgroep, Kusterfgoed and the ten coastal municipalities. In 2022, at the fifth edition, the Netherlands participated for the first time. And during last Saturday’s edition on 25 March, the Netherlands accounted for their entire coastline, and staff from CPIE Flandre Maritime in Zuydcoote (northern France) also took part.

In total, the estimated 2,000 participants picked up 82,444 shells (B: 40,770 ex.; NL: 34,689 ex.; F: 6,985 ex) from the beach during the Big Seashell Survey 2023. In the three countries combined, volunteers encountered 66 different species (B: 51; NL: 55; F: 35). The two most prevalent shells remain the Cut trough shell and Common cockle, making the top five in each of the three countries. There are also clear regional differences; Belgium again saw its ‘traditional’ trio score highest, with Cut trough shell (23%), Baltic tellin (23%) and Common cockle (21%). In the Netherlands too, the Cut trough shell was the most numerous shell (32%), followed by Common cockle (18%) and Elliptical trough shell (17%). The Baltic tellin made it into the top five only in Zeeland. The Zuydcoote counting station in France saw a top-three formed by Common cockle (24%), Pullet carpet shell (21%) and Blue mussel (17%). There, Cut trough shell only came in at position five. And Atlantic razor shell finished fourth in each of the countries.
Project initiator Jan Seys analyses the figures: “Over the entire length of the counted stretch, Cut trough shell and Common cockle are omnipresent. Most of these shells are old, as you can derive from the low number of double shells (<4%), and you find them everywhere. On top of that, you can clearly see local differences, with typically many Baltic tellin on the Belgian east and middle coasts and on the Zeeland coast, and for instance a striking number of recent Pullet carpet shell and Grooved razor shell towards the French border. The Netherlands, in turn, has more fossil Elliptical trough shell. To see those patterns, you need a Big Annual Seashell Survey.” 

There were also striking differences among individual species. For instance, the Netherlands counted only 1,188 Blue mussels in total, while France collected 1,200 specimens at barely one station (and Belgium: 3,398 ex. At all ten stations). Soft-shelled clam, on the other hand, was only found in the Netherlands (total: 436 ex.).

In the three countries combined, the participants found 6 exotic species, accounting for 9% of the shell species. Expressed in number of specimens, the occurrence of exotics appears to increase proportionally towards the Channel. The abundance there of the Atlantic razor clam, supplemented by Dwarf surf clam and Japanese carpet shell makes the difference (F: 14.8%; B: 13.2%; NL: 7.7%). Other important exotic species are the American piddock, Pacific oyster and Slipper mullet.

Finally, this year, attention was also focused on the occurrence of round holes in shells, which testify to silent deaths perpetrated by predatory snails, such as necklace shells and Dogwhelk. These bore through the calcareous shells with their grating tongue, only to suck up the soft flesh inside with their proboscis. In any case, the snails themselves were relatively rare (Dogwhelk: 14 ex.; Spotted necklace shell: 106 ex.; Common necklace shell: 147 ex.). Interestingly, based on almost three hundred checked samples from the Belgian coast, less than 1% of all shells showed bore holes. Half of these occurred on the Cut trough shell; other important prey were Banded wedge-shell, Elliptical trough shell, Thick trough shell and Baltic tellin. Incidentally, many of the affected specimens were (sub)fossil ones.

The Big Seashell Survey 2023 was for everyone. In Ostend, two reception classes for foreign-speaking newcomers (OKAN) actively participated in the shell count, with 14–18-year-old participants from Pakistan, Romania, Ukraine, Somalia and Saudi Arabia, among others. And in Ghent, Ekoli vzw, working diligently for inclusive science, went to work with students of VBS Sancta Maria Gentbrugge.

This article was orignally posted on the website of LifeWatch Belgium.

LifeWatch Bulgaria Celebrates World Water Day

World Water Day

This year, several LifeWatch Bulgaria partners were heavily involved in World Water Day in Plovdiv, observed on 22 March. The LifeWatch Bulgaria Consortium joined in the colourful event, organised by the Municipality of Plovdiv, The Agricultural University-Plovdiv, the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Plovdiv, “Water Supply and Sewerage” Ltd. – Plovdiv and the East Aegean River Basin Directorate. This year’s theme was “Accelerating Change”, focusing on resolving the global drinking and wastewater crisis. The campaign encourages us to change the way we use and manage water resources. And because water affects us all, we need to take action to make this happen in a reasonable and sustainable way. All of us – everyone.

In fact, there was a big focus on raising awareness through citizen science, showcased by the large number of participants; nearly 400 children from kindergartens, schools and eco-clubs in the city took part in the celebration, with 36 educational institutions, institutions, institutions and organisations participating. Students from Plovdiv schools made models, presentations and drawings related to this year’s motto “Be the change you want to see in the world”. At the end of the celebration, students with the most interesting projects were given prizes. 

This year, a tradition was established for the Leader of the Bulgarian LifeWatch Consortium, the Agricultural University-Plovdiv, to celebrate World Water Day. The University had a stand, where lecturers from the Department of Agroecology and Environmental Protection, together with students majoring in Ecology and Environmental Protection, had prepared a quiz with facts about water. During the event, all curious people were presented with experiments through which they were acquainted with some of the properties of water.

The Green Balkans Organisation, a partner of the Bulgarian LifeWatch Consortium, also took part in the initiative, presenting information about the Natura 2000 ecological network and several waterfowl species – the Sandwich Tern, Red-breasted Goose and Pygmy Cormorant. Students had the opportunity to arrange the entertaining puzzle with the pygmy cormorant by answering the questions within it, and all visitors to Green Balkans’ table received informative materials and posters.

The event was also attended by LifeWatch Bulgaria colleagues from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with information on birds and forests, and the International Movement “Save the Soil” presented interesting facts about biodiversity and how important water is for ecosystems.

Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network for nature conservation. More than 30% of the territory of Bulgaria falls within the scope of the network – 120
protected areas for the conservation of wild birds and 234 protected areas for the conservation of natural habitats.

The Red-breasted Goose is a globally threatened and protected species, protected by the Natura 2000 ecological network. Bulgaria is an important place for the conservation of the species – almost the entire world population spends the winter in the region of Coastal Dobrudzha.

With only a few nesting grounds in the country, the Pygmy Cormorant is one of the three species of cormorants found in Bulgaria. The species is closely related to ponds and nests colonially, making it vulnerable to disturbance. One of the species most threatened with extinction, which is why it is strictly protected and protected by the Natura 2000 ecological network.

In Bulgaria, the Sandwich Tern nests only on Pomorie and Atanasovsko Lakes. Thanks to years of hard work, today the population of the species in Pomorie Lake is the largest on the Balkan Peninsula. Listed as an endangered species and included in the Birds Directive, the Sandwich Tern and its habitats are protected by the Natura 2000 ecological network.

The LifeWatch Community Platform is here!

LifeWatch Community

Roll up, roll up! LifeWatch followers and collaborators are cordially invited to the grand unveiling of the LifeWatch Community platform, now openly available to everyone! Who should become a member? Well, if you’re interested in biodiversity and ecosystem research, then you should!

The content of the Community platform will be widely shaped by its members, allowing them to create and contribute to forums, add opportunities, jobs and events of interest to the community, and hold meetings and collaborative brainstorming together with other members. These features are particularly well-suited to the needs of partners involved in European projects focused on biodiversity, who can benefit from the working groups as the perfect collaborative space.

Once a member of the Community, you can select your skills from a preset list, in order to facilitate linkages among the community. In need of a collaborator with a specific specialisation? Whether the keywords are data sciencesenvironmental sciences or biotechnology, simply carry out a search for the skills you are looking for to identify potential matches.

The platform is also a great space to learn about upcoming events. Of immediate relevance to the community is the upcoming LifeWatch ERIC Biodiversity and Ecosystem eScience Conference in Seville, for which interested persons can already submit their abstract on the Community platform.

While many aspects of the platform can be browsed without registering, we recommend opening an account in order to benefit from the full range of resources available. Sign up now to enhance the community experience for everyone, put your range of abilities and knowledge at everyone’s disposal, in a mutual and sincere effort to foster open science.

If you require any assistance with any of the registration process or functionalities of the Community, please do not hesitate to get in touch with communications[@]

Ten remarkable new marine species from 2022

WoRMS Top ten 2022

As for previous years, the World Register of Marine Species, WoRMS (hosted by VLIZ, focal point of LifeWatch Belgium), has again released its annual list of the top-ten marine species described by researchers during the past year to coincide with World Taxonomist Appreciation Day on 19 March! 

If you were unaware of this celebration of all the work that taxonomists do, you can find more here and here.

Every day in labs, museums, and out on fieldwork, taxonomists are busy collecting, cataloguing, identifying, comparing, describing, and naming species new to science. Some 300 taxonomists globally also contribute their valuable time to keeping the World Register of Marine Species up to date. Today is a chance for those at WoRMS to thank their taxonomic editors for this important task. Let’s celebrate the work of taxonomists now with the WoRMS list of the top-ten marine species described in 2022 as nominated and voted for by taxonomists, journal editors and WoRMS users!

This top-ten list is just a small highlight of about 2,000 fascinating new marine species discovered every year (there were almost 1,700 marine species described in 2022 and added to WoRMS, including some 300 fossil species). Here is the top-ten:

How were the species chosen?

A call for nominations was announced in December 2022, sent to all editors of WoRMS and editors of major taxonomy journals, and posted openly on the WoRMS website and social media so anyone had the opportunity to nominate their favorite marine species. Nominated species must have been described between 1 January and December 31st, 2022, and have come from the marine environment (including fossil taxa). A small committee of volunteers (including both taxonomists and data managers) was brought together to decide upon the final candidates. The list is in no hierarchical order.

The final decisions reflect the immense diversity of animal groups in the marine environment (including crustaceans, corals, sponges, jellies and worms) and highlight some of the challenges facing the marine environment today. The final candidates also feature some particularly astonishing marine creatures, notable for their interest to both science and the public.

Each of these marine animals has a story. This year the chosen species cover the weird, the bewildering and the astonishing! We feature, amongst others, the cute-looking Fluffy Sponge Crab, the Japanese Retweet Mite (remember the Japanese Twitter Mite from the Top Ten 2021?), the mysterious King Ghidorah’s Branching Worm, the illustrious Satan’s Mud Dragon, and the 35 million year old Ballerina Sponge.

Image credit: Colin McLay and Western Australian Museum

This article was originally posted on the website of LifeWatch Belgium.

Voices of Women at LifeWatch ERIC for International Women’s Day

Voices of Women

In preparation for this year’s International Women’s Day, LifeWatch ERIC International Gender Officer, Africa Zanella, had a clear request: amplify women’s voices. As explored in the “Gender, Equity and Research” campaign for last year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, statistically, we know that while more women than ever are getting involved in STEM, there are significant obstacles still to overcome for women in research. 

In light of International Women’s Day 2023, we have therefore created a podcast miniseries specifically dedicated to learning more about authentic experiences of women working in LifeWatch ERIC fields of interest. We asked scientists from our eight member states to talk candidly about their work and experience. The guests were invited to speak in pairs, which produced spontaneous and insightful conversations on these topics, facilitated by LifeWatch ERIC podcast host, Julian Kenny. Being of all ages and hailing from a diversity of backgrounds, the end result produced is an enriching range of experiences and contemporary points of view of women working in research today. Listening to their voices, our eyes are opened to their contribution to society, to science, and the potential offered by the European Union’s Gender Equality Strategy, which LifeWatch ERIC actively supports and incorporates into its everyday work life.

The guests featured in “Voices of Women” are:

The episodes will be released over the course of the week beginning 6 March and will be consolidated with an overview and considerations from LifeWatch ERIC International Gender Officer, Africa Zanella, interviewed by Chief Communication Officer, Sara Montinaro, to be released on 8 March (International Women’s Day). This podcast will examine the progress of the infrastructure as a whole in terms of achieving gender sustainability and equity, a year on from the appointment of LifeWatch ERIC’s International Gender Officer, and explore future plans to continue the commendable and tangible work that she has already set in motion.

The podcasts are available here below. They can also be found on Spotify, Google, Apple, and Amazon.

EU Commissioner for Innovation visits LifeWatch Bulgaria’s Agricultural University – Plovdiv

EU Innovation Commissioner Bulgaria

Last week, the LifeWatch Bulgaria consortium representative, the Agricultural University – Plovdiv, was thrilled to welcome the European Commissioner for Innovation, Scientific Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, to its premises. The Commissioner held a meeting with students, teachers, innovators, young scientists, representatives of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology in Food (EIT Food) and citizens of Plovdiv on the theme of “Innovation and education – building synergy for better opportunities”.

In the European University Strategy, the leading initiative is the European University Alliances and their acquisition of status; there are currently 44 alliances, and the goal is for them to grow to 60 by 2024. Behind the 44 alliances are 340 universities from 31 countries and 1,300 partners: non-governmental organisations, local authorities, enterprises, noted Gabriel.

The Innovation Commissioner went on to underline that there is a difference between regions and member states in terms of science and innovation. Europe’s goal is to form 100 regional innovation consortia/hubs to connect and work towards a pan-European innovation system. For 70% of all companies in Europe, the first hurdle to growing businesses and investing in each location is finding people with knowledge, Gabriel said. According to her, the role of universities is to become a driving force. Plovdiv, she said, is a shining example for Europe because of the many innovative local ecosystems. It has set a goal of having 1,000,000 tech talents by 2025. “Europe needs investment in people with skills and talents in technology, for which I want to congratulate this wonderful university, which educates and develops the talents of future leaders in these fields every day” she commented.

The rector of the Agricultural University-Plovdiv, Professor Hristina Yancheva, drew attention to the fact that the university is a partner in the UNIgreen European University Alliance, and explained that the alliance is the first project in Europe for a “green” European university in agronomy, biotechnology, and natural sciences. As an excellent model for cooperation in the field of science, the rector highlighted the university’s membership and collaborative work of the LifeWatch Bulgaria consortium, which has been part of LifeWatch ERIC since the beginning of 2022.

LifeWatch ERIC Wins Prize at AI for Science Workshop

AI for Science

The AI for Science Workshop was held from 12–16 December in Rabat, Morocco, organised by NASSMA, MASCIR, and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. Artificial Intelligence offers the promise of revolutionising the way scientific discoveries are done, and tremendously accelerate their pace. However, major challenges still remain in this nascent field of AI for Science, and the goal of this workshop was to address and discuss challenges such as novel methods for AI for Science, tackling the right set of scientific problems, enabling scientific discoveries with AI, and the journey from scientific discovery to a practical application. 

LifeWatch ERIC was represented at the event by its Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Assistant, Yassir Benhammou, who exhibited the ERDF-funded SmartEcoMountains project, which combines interdisciplinary perspectives to obtain and integrate data on how global change affects mountain ecosystems. He displayed a poster on the project “Satellite RGB images and Time Series datasets for automatic Global Land Use/Cover mapping using Deep Learning”, presenting two Smart Global datasets, TimeSpec4LULC* and Sentinel2GlobalLULC**, to train Machine Learning models to perform land use/cover mapping. These two datasets are published in two renowned journals: Earth System Science Data (IF-2021=11,81) and Scientific Data (IF-2021=8,5). On the final day of the event, it won the “best poster prize”. LifeWatch ERIC is delighted and honoured by the recognition afforded by the panel, which featured representatives of pioneers in AI such as UM6P, DeepMind, University of Cambridge, the Morrocan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research and Google.

For more information on projects in which the infrastructure is involved, please see our related projects page.

*Authors of TimeSpec4LULC: Rohaifa Khaldi, Domingo Alcaraz-Segura, Emilio Guirado, Yassir Benhammou, Abdellatif El Afia, Francisco Herrera, Siham Tabik. Article link:

**Authors of Sentinel2GlobalLULC: Yassir Benhammou, Domingo Alcaraz-Segura, Emilio Guirado, Rohaifa Khaldi, Boujemâa Achchab, Francisco Herrera, Siham Tabik. Article link:

Fostering Innovation with the European Commission and Universities for Regional Development

regional development

On Friday 2 December, European experts debated in the Auditorium of the University of Seville about the contribution of the university to regional development and how the promotion of innovation can benefit the double ecological and digital transition. The seminar, organised by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and the universities of Seville and Pablo de Olavide, served as a stage for the exchange of knowledge on how the connection between universities and the other actors in the innovation system is essential to tackle challenges such as climate change, digitisation or water scarcity.

The Minister of University, Research and Innovation of the Junta de Andalucía, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos; the director of the JRC in Seville, Mikel Landabaso; and the rectors of the University of Seville and the Pablo de Olavide University, Miguel Ángel Castro Arroyo and Francisco Oliva Blázquez, participated in the seminar called ‘The contribution of the university to regional development through the promotion of innovation’.

In particular, examples were analysed of how collaboration between companies and universities is a characteristic of the most advanced regions in terms of innovation and job creation. In addition, the role of universities in the implementation of regional economic transformation strategies was discussed. For this, experts intervened such as Francisco Solé, vice president of the CYD Foundation; Luc Soete, former Chancellor of Maastricht University and co-chair of the S4 Scientific Commission; Koen Jonkers, editor-in-chief of the JRC; Karel Haegeman, team leader at JRC; Johan Stierna, JRC Lead Scientist; Antonia Jiménez, Vice-Rector for Research, Transfer and Doctorate at the Pablo de Olavide University, and Felipe Rosa, Vice-Rector for Knowledge Transfer at the University of Seville.

LifeWatch ERIC, which sets an example of promoting innovation through agreements with research centres and universities inside and outside Europe, attended this seminar. Juan Miguel González Aranda, LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer and Common Facility in Spain-ICT Core Director, reached out to the heads of the JRC and the main universities in Seville to expand cooperation in projects already underway.

The Councillor for University, Research and Innovation of the Junta de Andalucía, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, highlighted that “the innovative capacity of academic institutions is linked to the flow of knowledge that they transmit to the business sector, and the degree of disruption that is implicit”. As an example of this, the Minister highlighted the Andalusia-Alentejo-Algarve University Innovation Centre CIU3A: a cross-border project promoted by the University of Seville, together with Portuguese higher education institutions, which will make it possible to take advantage of the opportunities associated with collaboration between the universities of both countries and to create international environments for R+D+I.

Miguel Ángel Castro, rector of the University of Seville, has stressed that “although much progress has been made in recent years, it is necessary to establish more synergies between the universities and other actors in the regional ecosystems to promote the innovation necessary for the profound transformation of regional production and consumption systems”. He has also referred to the European Universities initiative launched by the European Commission, in which the University of Seville is represented through Ulysseus European University. Castro recalled that this programme is being developed in parallel to the new European Innovation Agenda, is the aim of which is “to promote innovation as the engine of the ecological and digital transitions that Europe needs”.

Francisco Oliva, rector of the Pablo de Olavide University, expressed his admiration for “the important contribution that universities make to the social, cultural and economic development of our environment”; highlighting that “in the face of the challenges that society faces regarding digitisation and the ecological transition, universities contribute knowledge and act as transformative agents, generating alliances for innovation and training future generations”.

In the photo, from left to right: Mikel Landabaso, director of the JRC in Seville; Vincenzo Cardarelli, head of institutional relations at the JRC in Seville; Juan Miguel González-Aranda, LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer and Common Facility in Spain-ICT Core Director; Miguel Angel Castro Arroyo, rector of the University of Seville; Francisco Oliva, Blázquez, rector of the Pablo de Olavide University; Carmen Vargas, Vice Chancellor for Internationalisation at the University of Seville; Amapola Povedano, General Director of Employability and Entrepreneurship at the Pablo de Olavide University, and Francisco Solé Parellada, Vice President of the Knowledge and Development Foundation.