Italy is one of the Member States of LifeWatch ERIC, the European e-Science Infrastructure for biodiversity and ecosystem research.
Italy is a biodiversity hotspot and this issue is a high political priority. Indeed, Italy has played a key role in the construction and transition of LifeWatch, the European Research Infrastructure on Biodiversity. The commitment of the Italian Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) and the National Research Council (CNR) resulted in the setting up of the LifeWatch Italy Joint Research Unit (JRU).
These activities include the work of specific Working Groups responsible for ICT, Modelling, Citizen Science and Showcases (e.g. the Alien species showcase).
The e-Biodiversity Research Institute has branches distributed throughout Italy, focusing on the construction of a functional backbone and seeks to reinforce integrated scientific research into biodiversity. The e-Biodiversity Research Institute of LifeWatch-ITA is organised into four thematic centres: Biomolecular, Collections, Interactions and Mediterranean.
The JRU coordinates the Italian contribution to LifeWatch and the national activities of the LifeWatch Service Centre and the e-Biodiversity Research Institute of LifeWatch-ITA. The JRU is coordinated by Dr. Antonello Provenzale (CNR) and is governance is ensured by the Coordination and Management committees, and its General Assembly, where all JRU’s members are represented.
LifeWatch ERIC is the e-Science European infrastructure for biodiversity & ecosystem research. It facilitates the sharing and aggregation of open-data, and their integration and analysis in advanced models. Its VREs, combined with computational power and disruptive technologies, make it possible to test scenarios of change on biodiversity organisation and conservation, ecosystems and their services, under multiple drivers in the future.
The Service Centre is part of the Common Facilities of European LifeWatch, and is responsible for the communication activities of the LifeWatch infrastructure, as well as the active involvement of the European scientific community in LifeWatch and the provision of services to users. At the national level, it plays the same role, as it is a core component of the e-Biodiversity Research Institute of LifeWatch-ITA.