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.
The '2nd e-Infrastructure Construction Operational Meeting', held in Granada, relied on the participation of experts from Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Norway, the United Kingdom, Finland, Slovakia, Greece, Sweden Hungary, Holland, and Spain, the latter country heading the project. They identified each country's contribution, what it means, which current technologies can be used. These facilities have been developed by previous researchers supported by the 7Framework Programme.
Furthermore, they have organized a working roadmap to the end of the year, when LifeWatch is planned to be established as a legal entity. Upon completion of the tasks within this timeline, the project will be one significant step closer to realising its goals.
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (Esfri) considers that Europe needs this scientific and technological instrument in order to maintain its future competitiveness. As a consequence, LifeWatch will legally become an Esfri. For this reason, the meeting ended with a video-conference with four representatives of the European Commission, explaining the progress that has been made over these two days.
LifeWatch will create technological instruments to enable researchers to share data and knowledge. Moreover, they will work together through virtual laboratories, removing borders or handicaps such as distance. The main goal is to speed up the research process, linking the best scientists and enriching the decision-making process in order to enhance biodiversity management.
The headquarters of this european infrastructure will be located in Andalusia as well as the main office of Eu Solaris, another Esfri, both lead by Spain. The project involves the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Andalusia's regional government (Junta de Andalucía), which are in continuous and close coordination.