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 mantained. 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.
During the 1rst Operational Meeting Spain, as project leader, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands renewed their commitment, while Greece and Romania confirmed it, and Austria, France, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden showed their interest to participate at different levels.
Basset, who reviewed the most important closure ideas of the italian reunion, higlighted the 'exclusive niche occupied by LifeWatch in the Biodiversity Research Area providing the capacity to set up in a modular and integrated way all the components necessary to ensure the construction and full functionality of the distributed e-Infrastructure' which will connect research centers over Europe.
To face this challenge, LifeWatch must 'capitalise the existing biodiversity informatics products and technologies' that have been created in Europe during the last years, and 'develop the most advanced ICT technologies and to specify ontologies and standards currently lacking for the bulk of biodiversity-related data.'
Finally, it was stressed that the long-term commitment of the countries supporting LifeWatch provides this research e-infrastructure with the capacity required to tackle present and future biodiversity research and management challenges, increasing efficiency in the use of European Union funds.