About 70 environmental researchers and TIC experts from 12 countries met in Granada for two days to boost LifeWatch, the european technological infrastructure which will connect biodiversity data, observatories and researchers from all over the continent, aimed at upgrading the management and protection of natural resources and sustainability policies.


- Experts have came from 12 different countries
- The city of Granada, in south of Spain, held the reunion for two days
- The project, lead by Spain, will connect biodiversity data, observatories and researches
- The main goal: to upgrade the management of natural resources and sustainability policies


Meeting attendees in the entrance stairs of the Carmen de la Victoria, in Granada.
Prof. Van Tienderen from Netherlands.

LifeWatch has clear technological requirements to create its infrastructure backbone in five essential areas: security, data, support and storage, semantics enhancement and integration activities, as Peter van Tienderen explained.

iMarine is a virtual lab oriented to the sea, which aims to improve the fisheries management and the conservation of marine living resources, says its director, Donatella Castelli. 

This technological platform offers a set of basic enabling facilities for researchers "as-a-service".

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LifeWatch will lean in some existing organizations, they are going to be pillars of this distributed infrastructure. They will supply essential data flow.

Sergi Girona explains EUDAT.

LifeWatch members contributes with resources to build this electronic infrastructure for biodiversity research and policy in Europe. 

For the last few years, supported by 7th Framework Programme and other funds, many technological appliances and instruments that have been developed could be included in this european network, once tailored to certain standards.

Professor Francisco Hernández from Belgium.

The Carme de la Victoria was fully occupied by LifeWatch working groups the second day of the meeting. 

Participants debated their views in four parallel sessions related with the four identified components associated to LifeWatch's core: Resources, e-infrastructure, Composition and e-Services & Virtual Research environments.

Christos Arvanitidis explained the capabilities of the Virtual Biodiversity Research and Access Network for Taxonomy (ViBrant)

LifeWatch is an e-infrastructure, and in this aspect there are three tentative contributions that have been developed with the objective to encourage the collaborative work and cut down research time: EGI-InSpire; Ibergrid and ViBrant. 

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The '2nd e-Infrastructure Construction Operational Meeting' of LifeWatch was opened by Spanish authorities, who enhanced the usefulness of this project to support the European policies. 


Juan Miguel González Aranda, deputy directorate-general of International Relations and European Affairs on the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

LifeWatch means 'moving from "satellite" projects to distributed and federated e-Infrastructure concept', says Juan Miguel González Aranda, deputy directorate-general of International Relations and European Affairs on the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

Alberto Basset, professor of Ecology at University of Lecce, reviews the last meeting conclusions.

European Union is a world leader on biodiversity and ecosystem research and one of LifeWatch's main goals is to secure that this role will be maintained. 

This is one conclusion of the project meeting held in the italian city of Lecce in november 2013, explains Alberto Basset, the responsible of that reunion.

Professor Peter Van Tienderen from Netherlands.

Virtual labs and virtual research environment are fundamental elements of LifeWatch, and each one will have an special agreement to become part of the new european research infrastructure, on tasks, adherence to standards, protocols and service levels.

Professor Wouter Los explains Creative-B.

LifeWatch's builders have many challenges: 

1) Deal with a huge amount of databases and information from sensors spanning from weather to marine, and earth sciences 

2) make them available for the scientist European community 

3) create ways to mix them on an appropriate and useful way for researchers different needs providing analytical resources…. 

 

The "2nd Construction Operational Meeting" concluded after two days of intense analysis an debate with a clear framework and also the path to take in the next months up to LifeWatch's legal constitution as a research infrastructure for Europe (Esfri) at the end of the year.

The main conclusions of this reunion held in Granada where presented to representatives of the European Commission in a virtual conference. It was attended by the officers Anna-Maria Johansson and Paul Tuinderfrom, from the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (RTD) and Luis Carlos Busquets and Carlos Morais-Pires from the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (Connect). 

A spokesman of Spain, as project leader, explained the work that have been done in Granada and the next actions to take forward.