The LifeWatch Marine Virtual Research Environment (VRE) portal has just been launched, bringing together several marine resources, data bases, data systems, web services, tools, etc. into one marine virtual research environment.This portal can be considered as a first bottom-up development demonstrating potential and capability emulating the LifeWatch objectives.
The Marine VRE allows researchers to retrieve and access data resources holding marine biodiversity and ecosystem data, a range of data systems on species names, traits, distribution and genes.
A set of online tools is available to facilitate data analysis of marine biodiversity and ecosystem data, and analysis can be performed on data from known data resources and/or data uploaded by the users themselves. Should a researcher need a specifically adapted service, the Marine VRE gives the possibility to build his/her own marine virtual lab, making use of the web services that access and process data.
Service catalogues and 'how to' manuals will guide the users during the development of their own system. The Marine VRE is already looking to the future, working to further increase the integration and interaction between its components.