16-17 December 2014 saw 11 of the 13 ESFRI European infr-structures in the health and food domain meet for a special meeting organised by the Italian Presidency of the EU in Berlin, along with EU OPENSCREEN.
Held at the Italian Embassy, the workshop aimed to deal with ways to grow European infrastructures by deepening German-Italian cooperation. AnaEE’s Franco Miglietta and Evan O’Connell were present, along with scientists from across the research community in both countries, and representatives of ESFRI, the German and Italian Ministries of Research, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Policy, the German Science Foundation, and the Berlin Regional Government.
The meeting was a fantastic chance for us to gain insights into best practices both in research and in legal, governance and funding issues. It was also a chance for us to make additional contacts with relevant institutional stakeholders.
Via the Fondazione Edmund Mach (as a Preparatory Phase Partner) and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR - a Third Party in the project) AnaEE is building a strong and sustainable Italian national node that we hope will respond to the needs of that country’s research community. At the same time, we are working to ensure that Germany is not left behind, and hope to continue work in building AnaEE Germany in 2015.
The 2nd AnaEE annual meeting were held on 13-15 October 2014 (Monday-Wednesday) at the University of Antwerp (address: Hof van Liere, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium).
The schedule was as follows:
AnaEE's stakeholder meeting was held in Antwerp on Tuesday 14 October 2014. The day to brought together keynote speakers from some of the most important players in the world of research and policy to further deepen understanding among key stakeholders of the need for cooperation and coordination on scientific and economic challenges to achieve scientific and societal goals, while also allowing ample time for long and deep debate on key issues.
The day focused first on the scientific and economic challenges at hand, via two morning sessions on “Food security, climate change and biodiversity – working together to respond to the grand challenges” and “The strong ties between the environment and the economy” which to date remain unexplored. These featured speakers including John Porter (University of Copenhagen), Reinhart Ceulemans (University of Antwerp) and Ana Iglesias (Technical University of Madrid).
The afternoon then saw two sessions on policy and cooperation: “European governance and research infrastructures: strategy, challenges, evolution” (featuring former ESFRI chair John Wood and ICOS Director-General Werner Kutsch) and “Thinking internationally: how can research infrastructures build global ties and what are the barriers in achieving this goal?” (featuring Clare McLaughlin, Australian Mission to the EU).
The final programme is here (on the day, Werner Kutsch stood in for Abad Chabbi for the second presentation on clusters).
You can download some of the presentations here:
There was also a very important and interesting data and quality workshop the following day (October 15th) featuring speakers including Nic Bertrand and John Watkins (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Roy Remme (Wageningen University), Giulio Cardini (Italian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry), Madeleine van Mansfeld (European Institute of Technology, Climate KIC) and Joachim Maes (European Commission – Joint Research Centre).
AnaEE Coordinator Abad Chabbi was a keynote speaker at the International TERENO-Conference (Terrestrial Environmental Observatories) in Bonn, from 29 September to 2 October 2014. Dr. Chabbi shared his experience with ExpeER and AnaEE and discussed efforts made to establish infrastructures and networks for ecosystem research across Europe and around the world.
ExpeER (Experimentation in Ecosystem Research) forms the building blocks of the AnaEE distributed infrastructure by federating and structuring key existing experimental (and observational) infrastructures in ecosystem research in Europe. ExpeER organised an International Conference on Experimentation in Ecosystem Research in a Changing World, at the National Museum of Natural History (at the auditorium de la Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, 36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire) in Paris on 24-25 September 2014. This conference focused on the following topics:
• GRAND CHALLENGES: With the current set of Experimental Research infrastructures in ecosystem science, do we have the capacity to tackle the grand challenges of today and tomorrow?
• IN VITRO AND IN NATURA: How realistic are they, and how they can be better linked?
• TECHNOLOGIES: Which emerging technologies could enhance (or are needed for) the performance and services offered by our RIs?
• DATA: Towards an e-infrastructure for ecosystem research - challenges and opportunities.
• MODELLING: How accurate is our capacity to forecast and upscale, and what is missing? How can we communicate uncertainty? How do we strike the right balance between modelling and experiments?
Abad Chabbi was invited to speak at this joint training workshop organised by two key research infrastructures in Europe and America.
Dr. Chabbi gave an overview of AnaEE’s goals and the role of large-scale experiments in advancing ecology, climate change research and work in related fields.
This course was aimed primarily at early career scientists including advanced PhD students, postdocs, and Junior Faculty. The motivation was to use in-situ data to address emerging issues in carbon cycle science including atmospheric science, biogeochemistry and ecosystem science.
The workshop provided the opportunity to learn how to use ‘big data’ from the ICOS and NEON large networks of observatories while discussing the frontier of carbon science and identifying new research opportunities.
The AnaEE grant agreement has been modified to add the Norsk Institutt for Vannforskning (NIVA - Norwegian Institute for Water Research) as a full partner, represented by Claus Beier on AnaEE's Steering Committee. Dr. Beier leads AnaEE's Work Package 3 (Technical Development Plan). This growth brings AnaEE to 14 partners in 10 countries (for more information, please visit the "team" section of our website, here).
The Italian Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerche (CNR - National Research Council) has also been added as a Third Party of existing partner Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM). Collaboration between FEM and CNR is carried out as a Joint Research Unit (JRU), denominated FoxLab. Work Package 5 (Innovation) is led jointly by CNR and FEM.
AnaEE held its 3rd LGF-AG meeting on 22 May 2014. The workshop was attended by scientists and research funding/policy bodies from all over Europe. It was followed by an Intellectual Property and Data Sharing Workshop on 23 May 2014.
The main points discussed were the following:
Input into a call for candidate sites: AnaEE will launch a call in summer 2014 which will invite countries to submit expressions of interest for candidate sites at a national level which could become a part of AnaEE. The 3rd LGF-AG meeting was an opportunity for funding bodies to express their own priorities and ensure the call meets the needs of their organisations and provide feedback on the call.
Memorandum of Understanding: In order for AnaEE to progress, it is likely there will need to be an interim governance document whilst a long-term legal model is worked on.The LGF-AG was an opportunity to discuss the contents and progress of signing a MoU among European countries.
AnaEE central services: The legal, financial and practical aspects of developing central services are timely issues that are of great interest to national research funding and policy bodies. LGF-AG was a forum for discussions on these matters.
On behalf of the Chair for the ESFRI ENV SWG, AnaEE was invited to participate in a Workshop on the Landscape of the European Research Infrastructures for Environmental Sciences in Paris on 22 May 2014. AnaEE was represented by Michèle Tixier-Boichard and Franco Miglietta.
In April 2014, ESFRI approved the launch of the next Roadmap process. The new Roadmap will aim to be a more strategic document based on an analysis of the landscape of RIs in Europe and elsewhere, including gaps in the European Research Infrastructure ecosystem, synergies with national and regional RI projects and between existing RIs including strategies for optimal use, global opportunities, continuous upgrade and sustainability and decommissioning perspectives.
It is the role of the ESFRI SWGs to perform a complete landscape analysis as well as to use the feedback from existing RIs before the update of the ESFRI roadmap.
The overall objective of this workshop was to prepare a solid basis for the landscape analysis, for both mid and long-term vision, for the Research Infrastructures in the Environmental domain starting from the feedback of the different ESFRI research infrastructures (RI), existing research infrastructures implemented as Integrating Activities and relevant networks in the whole Environmental sector.
AnaEE's Work Package 3 (Technical Development), led by NIVA's Claus Beier, organised a workshop aimed at finalising the text for AnaEE's upcoming "Call for Expression of Interest" for national platforms. The aim is to launch the call in June, after it has been presented to funding and policy bodies at the upcoming Legal, Governance and Funding Advisory Group meeting in Helsinki on May 22nd.
AnaEE coordinator Abad Chabbi is invited by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation/DG Connect) on 28 April 2014 in Brussels to attend the FP7 Research Infrastructures programme evaluation as an expert, to provide feedback on the key messages deriving from the Research Infrastructures programme evaluation, and to contribute to recommendations in relation to the programme in H2020.
AnaEE Communication/Lobbying Officer Evan O'Connell attended and gave a presentation at the "Information Meeting on European Research Projects" organised by the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon (where the Montpellier Ecotron is situated), focusing on AnaEE's preparatory phase, funding, national and European support, and other related aspects. Among those present, a representative of the French Ministry for Education, Higher Education and Research gave a presentation on France and Europe's research infrastructure policy, as well as EMBRC (European Marine Biological Resource Centre) which also gave a presentation.
AnaEE has a strong relationship with Languedoc-Roussillon, which let us use its offices in Brussels for a recent internal workshop on centralised services and also supports local and national ecosystem research platforms.
Abad Chabbi, AnaEE Coordinator, was invited to the 2nd International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2014), which took place in Athens, Greece, on 2-4 April 2014 under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the European Union, co-organised by the European Commission and the “Athena” Research Center. Dr. Chabbi spoke on food security and the need for international research infrastructures to respond to this challenge in the face of climate change.
AnaEE was also present at ICRI with a stand - as well as posters and communication materials, this booth was also the chance to launch our official AnaEE video, which you can find on our home page.
20-21 March saw AnaEE consortium members come together at the Maison du Languedoc-Roussillon in Brussels for a workshop on shared and supranational services and platforms. The meeting sought to establish a clear list and definition of priorities in terms of what and how AnaEE would operate on a European level, both in terms of governance and scientifically. The meeting organiser, Jacques Roy (AnaEE Work Package 2 Leader and Director of the CNRS Ecotron in Montpellier, France), informed attendees that a wrap-up report of the meeting would be made available in the following days.
Because data organization and analyses are intimately linked, AnaEE organised a workshop on "computational databases". The fundamental hypothesis of the workshop was that multivariate processing of terrestrial ecosystem data across Europe (and beyond) will help us answer research questions far beyond meta-analysis of multiple published studies. The objectives of this workshop were first:
You can find the report here.
AnaEE coordinator Dr. Abad Chabbi met with the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Research Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) - an initiative bringing together 21 countries committed to building an integrated European Research Area addressing the interconnected challenges of sustainable agriculture, food security and impacts of climate change.
Dr. Chabbi presented possible areas of cooperation, including a pilot study involving both AnaEE and FACCE, that fits in with the goals of the Strategic Research Agenda of the Joint Programming Initiative.
The meeting also featured - among others - Werner Kutsch (newly confirmed Director General of ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System)), and Mike Roper (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK Government, presenting the aims and progress of the Sustainable Intensification Platforms).
AnaEE's Work Package 3 - led by Claus Beier and dealing with mapping and technical development of future experimental, modelling and analytical platforms - held a working session in Copenhagen from 3-5 February 2014. It was attended by Abad Chabbi (Coordinator), Jacques Roy (WP2 leader) and representatives of all WP3 partners.
The meeting dealt mainly with the upcoming call that AnaEE is planning to launch in June 2014 for "National Nodes". Categories and questions to be included in the call were drafted and work plans for the finalising of the call were planned. The nomination of National Focal Points for AnaEE (both in existing participant countries and others) was planned, as well as how the call should be organised in each country to ensure that the entire research community concerned by AnaEE is reached. The responsibility for the call was decided to be delegated to the ANAEE SC.
Much progress was made and tasks were assigned to attendees to be fullfilled by the end of April to be finally discussed and presented to the National Focal Points at a meeting on 7-8 May. This meeting should ensure that maximum attention to the call is generated towards the Focal Points and that relevant feedbacks from these can be included before the call is launched. A Legal, Governance and Funding Advisory Group meeting later in May featuring national research funding agencies and ministries will provide the final feedback and allow AnaEE to finalise all details and launch the call shortly afterwards.
Chris Rawlings of Rothamsted Research (UK) organised a workshop on 28-29 January 2014 at INRA's Headquarters in Paris to discuss work towards defining common rules and frameworks around such issues as data, access and intellectual property. This meeting examined concrete experiences from ExpeER (represented by Nic Bertrand of NERC) and AnaEE France (represented by André Chanzy of INRA), and also examined best practices in terms of data and intellectual property policies of other infrastructures and groupings within Europe and beyond.
22 January 2014 saw AnaEE (the European infrastructure par excellence for analysis and experimentation on ecosystems) organise a high-level technical working session with two other key European research infrastructures - ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) and LifeWatch (E-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research) - at INRA headquarters in Paris. Attendees included Abad Chabbi (AnaEE coordinator), Wouter Los (LifeWatch coordinator) and Werner Kutsch (incoming ICOS director-general).
The meeting touched on technical cooperation, the possibility of joint sites, synergies and complementarities. It also dealt with data access issues and other best practices, as well as financing and governance issues.
Attendees agreed to continue discussing how best to cooperate in a way that highlighted each other’s strengths while also forging as many synergies as possible.
A summary of the main conclusions and outputs of the meeting will be made available shortly.