Internal joint initiative

The Internal Joint Inititaive was instigated by LifeWatch ERIC in 2019 to build the next generation of Virtual Research Environments (VREs). Informaticians at the ICT-Core in Spain and the Service Centre in Italy have worked extensively with scientists from biodiversity and ecosystem communities across Europe to develop new platforms and tools that those researchers required to take their investigations to the next level.


Five separate validation cases on Non-indigenous and Invasive Species (NIS) have described the technical specifications they required, and guided the development of workflows that integrate data from myriad sources in multiple formats, allowing full interoperability in accordance with FAIR data principles. These tools will shortly be available to the wider scientific community in the new VREs. 


Now in September 2021, the resultant Tesseract VRE is in the beta stages of deployment, featuring cutting-edge technologies to facilitate research on spatial and temporal scales that have never before been possible. The co-creation of these e-Services is a great example of trans-disciplinarity that will be increasingly required to address the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. 


If you are interested in the IJI and want to contribute to the beta-testing, just drop us an e-mail at  service.centre[at]

Rationale & objectives


The warnings of 15,000 scientists, of the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) and now of the UN Global Assessment Study clearly demonstrate that humanity is bringing our life support system, the biosphere, to the point of collapse. The effort to counteract this current loss of biodiversity requires concrete actions at all levels. For science, it means improving our current level of knowledge, to move beyond the present fragmentation of science, and to foster greater complementarity and synergy between disciplines, by developing new inter-disciplinary paradigms and starting to build synthetic knowledge, so as to boost innovation and involve more young scientists and civil society.
LifeWatch ERIC is Europe's first line of response to this emergency, applying and advancing ICT technologies, web networks, interconnecting scientific communities and research centres internationally into its web-based research infrastructure. 


The Internal Joint Initiative was  born from the need to:
i. Boost the integration of tools and services into the LifeWatch ERIC web-portal 
ii. Focus on a major scientific issue in biodiversity and ecosystem research with relevant socio-economic implications in different fields;  
iii. Produce new and synthetic knowledge that is needed by institutions, administrations and managers to give solutions to major environmental problems at different scales;  
iv. Involve the LifeWatch ERIC national scientific communities, key international research groups and other European research Infrastructures with related interests and running activities; and, 
v. Make this effort an example of the functioning of the LifeWatch ERIC e-Infrastructure through its dissemination and outreach activities.
The topic of NIS was chosen as an area of urgent need, capable of helping define more advanced functionalities within the LifeWatch ERIC e-Infrastructure. The development of the Tessearct virtual research environment will help address some of the main issues on NIS in the field of ecosystem and habitat type vulnerability in the context of climate change, and present potential solutions to the environmental problems the world is facing today.