LifeWatch-ERIC is the e-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, officially established as international organism by the European Commission in 2017.
In general terms, LifeWatch is aimed to address new research fields, test innovative hypothesis, deepen scientific knowledge and above all, to provide solutions for environmental policy and management issues.
LifeWatch is an e-infrastructure of distributed nature, therefore it constitutes a network linking different Nodes (LifeWatch Centres) located in countries which are Members or Associated countries of/to the European Union. Those Centres are upgrades of existing facilities and new infrastructures located in Member and Associated Countries of the European Union, providing access to:
Distributed observatories/sensor networks;
Interoperable databases, existing (data-)networks, using accepted standards;
High Performance Computing (HPC) and Grid power, including the use of the start-of-art of the so-callled Cloud and Big Data paradigms technologies;
Software and tools for visualization, analysis and modeling.
LifeWatch has the objective of being a "first class" worldwide provider of contents and services for Biodiversity community by establishing:
New opportunities for large-scale scientific development;
Enabling of accelerated data capture with new innovative technologies;
Knowledge based decision making-support for the management of biodiversity and ecosystems;
Supporting environmental training, dissemination and awareness programmes.
These developments are mainly based on the analysis of biodiversity research data originated from all over Europe and beyond.
LifeWatch is aimed to provide a "backbone" instrument which operates as a single, but distributed Research e-Infrastructure in order to:
Enable capabilities for demand-driven biodiversity data mobilization;
Integrate access to distributed data resources;
Make provision services for data discovery, analysis, modelling and visualisation;
Web portal-based and site-based support for users;
Provide Virtual Research Environments (VRE) for scientific cooperation and experimentation.
In essence, the LifeWatch distributed e-Infrastructure offers substantial new opportunities to its potential users which roughly speaking, can be classified into three big groups related to Environmental and Biodiversity:
Scientific and Technological Researchers;
Policy Makers dealing with environmental managers, and
Citizens in general terms;
As one of the first infrastructure of its kind, LifeWatch allows its users to enter new research areas supported by its e-Infrastructure, which represents an added value in strengthening and structuring the European Research Area (ERA) and a significant improvement in the relevant scientific and technological fields at international level.