This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A distributed e-Infrastructure to support research and sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystems
The e-Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (LifeWatch) is a distributed Research Infrastructure to advance biodiversity research, to address the big environmental challenges and support knowledge-based strategic solutions to environmental preservation. This mission is achieved by providing access to a multitude of data sets, services and tools enabling the construction and operation of Virtual Research Environments (VREs).
LifeWatch has been established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) since March 2017, with the Statutory Seat and the ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Offices – located in Spain – that jointly assist the coordination and management of the day-to-day institutional relationships and administrative, legal, financial issues. It also coordinates the implementation of e-Services demanded by the Service Centre in Italy, the Virtual Laboratories and Innovations Centre in The Netherlands, as well as other distributed facilities located in other Member Countries of the LifeWatch ERIC which are encouraged to establish Thematic Centres in accordance with its overall architectural scheme.
The Statutory Seat and the ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Offices also coordinate and manage the ICT e-Infrastructure distributed construction, maintenance, deployment and operations. The Service Centre provides the interface with the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Scientific Community, identifies the needs of the multiple users’ groups from different domains and areas of interest and coordinates the development and operation of the related Services. It also assists in deploying the Services provided by LifeWatch ERIC, including those enabling discovery, visualization, and download of data and applications for analysis, synthesis and modelling of scientific topics. Thus the Service Centre identifies new data resources, incorporates vocabularies, semantics and services to aggregate larger typologies of data. It also provides the optimisation of the access and use of Service Centre facilities as a whole, and offers web-based tools to facilitate Social Networking and Social Learning (including e-Learning). Finally, it promotes the awareness of LifeWatch ERIC for users and general public, and enhances the visibility of LifeWatch ERIC scientific outcomes, by publicising and disseminating them.
The Virtual Laboratories and Innovations Centre coordinates and manages the requirements and needs analysis, design and implementation of the scientific case studies and productions of the LifeWatch ERIC Virtual Laboratories. These e-Labs are implemented and deployed through the LifeWatch ERIC ICT distributed e-Infrastructure facilities, and made accessible through the Service Centre to the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Scientific Community. This procedure guarantees the overall coherence of the Research Infrastructure by promoting synergies in regards to the semantic interoperability among data, services and their final users.
LifeWatch ERIC provides the instruments to empower its users, as its Virtual Research Environments enable ideas and people to move in an open way within a digital context. It builds capacity to foster opportunities for large-scale scientific development; to enable accelerated data capture; to support knowledge based decision making for the management of biodiversity and ecosystems. It benefits the ERA through the design of infrastructure capabilities driven by scientific and societal needs; enabling new ways of interoperability among science, policy and society; providing the adequate VRE for the interaction of user-driven research, training and innovation activities; cooperating with the private sector in developing the best ICT technologies needed for its construction and operation, providing innovative applications derived from the research carried out; delivering excellence, as a key principle by building capacity and by the priority of the most promising talent.