LifeWatch research infrastructure starts construction in 2011 | Lifewatch regional portal

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LifeWatch research infrastructure starts construction in 2011

Added on 2012-11-07 14:44:28 by Dekeyzer, Stefanie
The initial country consortium establishing the LifeWatch research infrastructure agreed to finance the start-up activities for the infrastructure construction. These countries will host the Common Facilities of LifeWatch.
On 19th January 2011 representatives from organisations in Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate for an early start of the LifeWatch infrastructure for biodiversity and ecosystem research. The LifeWatch Stakeholders Board, representing the ten countries aiming at establishing the LifeWatch ERIC, welcomed the initiative to start early construction.

Three countries host the distributed LifeWatch Common Facilities
Several important LifeWatch tasks must be taken up by the initial LifeWatch consortium. The Stakeholders Board agreed that Italy, the Netherlands and Spain take lead by pledging financial support for establishing the technical, managerial and legal aspects of the LifeWatch Common Facilities on the basis of their respective capabilities and commitment. The representatives of Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have agreed that there is a need of coordination among countries in all main strategic aspects of the LifeWatch development and in the key strategic technical aspects, but also that the main responsibilities can be allocated among partners according to the following scheme:

  • Spain is hosting the Statutory Seat and it is leading the ICT core, which is incorporated in the Statutory Seat;
  • The Netherlands is hosting the LifeWatch IT Research and Innovation Centre leading the Virtual Lab and Innovation Lab development to secure a phased application integration;
  • Italy is hosting the Service Centre leading all the activities connected to developing services and supporting end-users.

Priority for two initial virtual laboratories
Apart from the Common Facilities, an increasing number of countries is enforcing its position in LifeWatch by constructing distributed LifeWatch Centres, operating specific capabilities and services in support of the research community. The Stakeholders Board was proposed to start collaborating at short term by creating at least two virtual laboratories as new show-cases.
  • Biodiversity in marine wetlands (exemplars for Waddenzee, Adriatic lagoons, Doñana marsh, Danube delta)
  • Ecosystem fragility to alien and invasive species

Cooperative principles
The three countries hosting the LifeWatch Common Facilities agreed that the start-up activities to establish the LifeWatch Common Facilities are based on a collaborative international spirit. The final steps for the establishment of the legal LifeWatch ERIC will be pursued, together with the other country members in the Stakeholders Board. The LifeWatch staff will be appointed after an open recruitment process.

All persons and services contributing to the start-up activities are assigned on temporarily basis and will initially be directly paid from hosting countries. They operate together as single team and with united management. A clear organizational structure for the project is designed, able to operate in the interest of the emerging infrastructure. Some selected experts from the Preparatory Project are contracted in the start-up activities to provide general advise and actively participate in a number of these activities with their collective knowledge on the interconnected construction projects and their networks.

All European countries are invited to join the establishment of the LifeWatch European Research Infrastructure Consortium.

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