Tuesday, 21 August, 2018


Great news reached the CETAF offices late last week as two more of the projects proposals CETAF had teamed up for haven been successfully evaluated for funding by the European Commission. Both projects, SYNTHESYS+ and ENVRI-FAIR will in their own ways contribute to the further development of the research landscape in the environmental domain and support the development of the research infrastructure DiSSCo.

The goal of SYNTHESYS+ is to unify European natural science collections, effectively transforming them into an integrated data‐ driven pan‐European research infrastructure. To achieve this, the project will

  1. Develop and operate the required infrastructure to provide world leading open services and couple this with a comprehensive physical access programme;
  2. Coordinate formal and professional training activities to enhance data skills and competencies of scientists;
  3. Run a robust joint research programme, enabling scientists to benefit from new research infrastructure to deliver data-driven scientific innovation; and 4) Develop common policies and harmonisation of processes in alignment to national and international agreements. 

It will do so via a number of joint research and networking activities that underpin the work on physical and virtual access to natural history collections over the course of four years. The consortium of 32 partners including CETAF from countries all across Europe will be led by the Natural History Museum in London. 

ENVRI-FAIR on the other hand is the connection of the ESFRI Cluster of Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI) to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Participating research infrastructures (RI) of the environmental domain cover the subdomains Atmosphere, Marine, Solid Earth and Biodiversity / Ecosystems and thus the Earth system in its full complexity. The overarching goal is that at the end of the proposed project, all participating RIs have built a set of FAIR data services which enhances the efficiency and productivity of researchers, supports innovation, enables data- and knowledge-based decisions and connects the ENVRI Cluster to the EOSC. This goal is reached by:

  1. well defined community policies and standards on all steps of the data life cycle, aligned with the wider European policies, as well as with international developments;
  2. each participating RI will have sustainable, transparent and auditable data services, for each step of data life cycle, compliant to the FAIR principles.
  3. the focus of the proposed work is put on the implementation of prototypes for testing pre-production services at each RI; the catalogue of prepared services is defined for each RI independently, depending on the maturity of the involved RIs;
  4. the complete set of thematic data services and tools provided by the ENVRI cluster is exposed under the EOSC catalogue of services.

CETAF and DiSSCo will be involved in the biodiversity and ecosystem subdomain implementation within this large project which brings together 37 partners under the leadership of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, DE. 

We will provide more information once it becomes available, so stay tuned!