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Why Spain has high interest in participating in LifeWatch e-Infrastructure

 

The Science, Technology and Innovation interest of Spain in joining LifeWatch is mainly based on these main facts:

  • Spain (as part of the Iberian Peninsula) is a highly biodiverse country.
  • There is a great concern about the anthropogenic impacts (particularly climate change) on biodiversity at different scales.
  • Potential of LifeWatch as a tool for biodiversity research and to define research-based environmental policies to support decision making.
  • Strong scientific community on biodiversity research (top 10 in scientific citations in Ecology and Animal and Plant Sciences in the last 12 years).
  • The commitment of both Ministries: Economy & Competitiveness (through the Spanish Council for Scientific Research-CSIC, among others); and Agriculture, Food and Environment (mainly through the River Basin Authorities, specially the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority).
  • Solid ICT e-Infrastructures, Researchers and Technical staff:
    • It is important to put in value, at international level, of the big investments of Spain in Singular Scientific & Technological Infrastructures (ICTS), such as the Doñana Biological Reserve in Andalusia;
    • The Spanish Network for Supercomputing (RES) and the National Grid Initiative (NGI), tightly connected with (strategical) Portugal's one (IBERGRID). Indeed, it has recently confirmed by both Inter-ministerial and Iberian Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Community channels the aim of Portugal and Spain to share the working strategy through the so-called IBERLIFE initiative (officially launched in Aveiro, September 2014). This will strength the active and successful collaboration of both countries through GBIF, LTER.eu, BIODIVERSA, and other bilateral agreements between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Institutions from both countries (CIBIO-PORBIOTA, etc.).

 

LifeWatch Headquaters (Statutory Seat) premises will be placed in the city of Seville, autonomous region of Andalusia (Spain), allocated in the emblematic area of "Plaza de España". In fact, Sevilla has an excellent and strategic geographical situation in the Iberian peninsula so that main capital cities and ecosystems for experimentation and pilot demonstration and innovations are easily accessible: Málaga, Huelva, Algeciras (Atlantic/Mediterranean coast Harbors), Natural Park of Doñana, Madrid (easily accessible by high-speed railway train), international airports of Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, Málaga, Faro and Lisbon.

Moreover, it is worth to mention the geo-strategic allocation and historical connections with Africa (mainly Magreb and Machreb) and above all, Latin America, without forgetting the big commitment of the Andalusian Regional Government (Junta de Andalucía) which has decided to include LifeWatch ESFRI on the top of its Regional Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3) policies for the construction or the upgrade of  Research Infrastructures, with the aim to mobilize the Structural Funds allocated to them to improve regional competitiveness mainly based on Research, Development and Innovation ICT e-Infrastructures focused on Environmental (including Biodiversity and Ecosystem) issues.