The European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) published today its selection of the most promising next generation large-scale Research Infrastructures. In the area of biodiversity research the LIFE WATCH (http://www.lifewatch.eu) plan was selected. The plan aims at constructing an e-Science and Technology Infrastructure for biodiversity data and observatories.
This initiative developed by 8 major EU scientific networks is the first step towards the realisation of the infrastructure. It builds upon preceding developments such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and brings together facilities for data generation and interoperability in support of networks of biodiversity observatories (biological collections and field sites), together with digital laboratories offering analytical and modeling tools.
The Life Watch infrastructure will boost many developments. The wealth of large data sets from different levels of biodiversity opens up new and exciting research opportunities. This large-scale approach supports the understanding and managing of the impacts of climate change on the distribution, adaptation and functions of biodiversity. The infrastructure will promote and facilitate value-added networking both with respect to data and tools, and will enable a more focused attention of the scientific communities on common problems.