12 December 2013 saw representatives from biomedical science, health and food-related research infrastructures meet at the EMBL-EBI headquarters in Hinxton, UK (near Cambridge). AnaEE was represented by Chris Rawlings of Rothamsted Research.
Matters discussed included the ESFRI Implementation group meeting and the Development of the Charter and Code for Access to research infrastructures, which was set to be shared with all coordinators, and which focuses on researcher mobility. There was also feedback from October ESFRI/JPI workshops in Brussels, feedback and update on the ESFRI prioritisation process, talk of Horizon 2020 and interactions with research infrastructures (particularly through clusters), I3 applications and discussion of further political activities by BioMedBridges and Food and Health (formerly BMS) research infrastructures. The need to work together with existing life science infrastructures and international partners was also raised.
CoPoRI (Communication and Policy development for Research Infrastructures in Europe) is an EU-funded project supporting the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), aiming to help ESFRI research infrastructures (RIs) better achieve their policy, funding and communication goals in order to more generally reach fruition. CoPoRI organized its third Workshop on Exchange of Experience (EoE) on 4-5 December 2013.
More than 90 people attended in total, mainly representing ESFRI RIs, but also the European Commission, ESFRI itself and e-infrastructures from across Europe, as well as Peter Fletcher of Science Europe. AnaEE was represented by Evan O’Connell, Angela Baker and Susanna Siitonen.
Issues discussed included how to reach financial and managerial maturity, the added value of “going pan-European”, European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs), e-infrastructures, and the evolution of ESFRI and its Roadmap.
AnaEE Coordinator Abad Chabbi attended the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Strategic Working Group for Environment meeting in Brussels on 3-4 December 2013.
This gathering, bringing together the research community, the European Commission and other key stakeholders, was a chance for Dr. Chabbi to present AnaEE and its benefits for a wide range of national and European actors, while also exploring ways to partner and pool activities with other ESFRI research infrastructures.
The 24th of October saw representatives from several national ministries and research funding bodies meet in London to discuss a wide range of topics around legal, governance and financing issues.
The meeting focused on subjects such as the vision of AnaEE as a European research infrastructure, data access, policies, management and synergies with other ESFRI infrastructures; interim and permanent governance structures; national priorities of experimental ecosystem research; sustainable funding structures; and, more generally, how to best line up AnaEE's activities with the priorities of national and European research funding and political/regulatory bodies.
AnaEE was invited by Dr Marion Guillou, outgoing Chair of the Joint Programming Initiative for Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), to the FACCE-JPI 3-year anniversary event in Paris. The event was be the occasion to reflect, with high-level keynote speakers from national authorities, the European Commission and the research community, on the progress of Joint Programming within the European Research Area (ERA) and to re-consider the great scientific and societal challenges faced by FACCE-JPI. It was also an opportunity to show the accomplishments of FACCE and state concrete commitments for 2014-2015, as well as welcoming incoming Chair Niels Gotke.
AnaEE’s role was highlighted as complimentary and vital in terms of synergies in the ecosystems research community and in facing the grand challenges of today and tomorrow.
Abad Chabbi, Angela Baker and Evan O’Connell attended the ESFRI RIs and JPIs/ERA-Nets networking workshop in the Life Sciences meeting last week in Brussels, on behalf of AnaEE - a great chance to share insights with a range of RIs, JPIs and ERA-NETs. Gabriela Pastori of BBSRC was also present as chair of one of the discussion groups.
AnaEE presented a poster and participated in a breakout session on food and the environment, while also listening to a number of very interesting presentations on Horizon 2020, structural funds and a number of other topics.
Evan O'Connell (WP8 Leader - Communication) and Jacques Roy (WP2 Leader - Vision) attended the AnaEE France "Comité de direction" (executive committee) meeting on 9 October in Rennes. The meeting included representatives from INRA, CNRS and also Université Joseph-Fourier - Grenoble 1 (Station Alpine Joseph Fourier), discussing the concrete steps that were being taken by French research institutes to build and link up ecosystem research platforms and tools to serve the AnaEE European research infrastructure.
The 1st AnaEE annual meeting and scientific user forum were held on October 1st- 3rd, 2013 (Tuesday – Thursday) in Venice, Italy.
AnaEE’s annual meeting (October 1st-2nd) was a chance to discuss the vision, as well as progress made in a number of work packages. It was also an opportunity for Evan O’Connell, AnaEE Communication/Lobbying Officer, to unveil initial plans and proposals for communications activities with a view to producing a full Communication Plan later in the year.
In addition, October 3rd saw AnaEE members engage with a range of scientists from the public and private sector to discuss both the overall vision and concrete services and priorities for the scientific community. A focus was placed on identifying common themes of interest to all users present, and better defining the niche in which AnaEE could position itself.
Following the ESFRI AEG's recommendations, a meeting was organised that brought together the heads of major research institutes in Germany (GFZ, PIK, ZALF, Thünen Institute, German Centre for Integrated Biodiversity Research) and the German science foundation (DFG) on Monday, July 15th 2013, at the GFZ in Potsdam. The aim of the meeting was to study ways to integrate Germany's research community into the AnaEE initiative.
The meeting was extremely fruitful and a protocol summarizing all relevant information discussed will be drafted to feed into a more detailed concept of how Germany would best fit into AnaEE.
This matter is to be further discussed with relevant political decision makers and stakeholders, particularly with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
AnaEE Internal workshop of WP6/7 was held on 26th June 2013 in Helsinki.
Initial proposals for governance and financial models were proposed and were scheduled to be circulated by the end of August.
A first UK workshop was held in May 2013 as a first step to explore UK capability for agri-ecosystems science. Outcomes from the workshop will contribute to defining UK participation in AnaEE. The workshop brought together some of the UK agri-ecosystems communities including funders (such as the Natural Environment Research Council), research institutes/centres (Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and academia. Abad Chabbi was also there to present AnaEE. One of the main outcomes from the meeting will be to explore the possibility of a pilot action which could look at crop productivity in different ecosystems and agricultural practices, bringing together the capacities of the NWFP and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
A second follow up workshop is being planned with wider participation early 2014.
Cooperation between AnaEE and the Chinese research infrastructure on impact of climate change on agro-ecosystem productivity. During his stay in the Institute of Resource, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University (China), Dr. Abad Chabbi (AnaEE Coordinator) proposed to link heavily instrumented and well-designed field experiments of climate change effects on agro-ecosystem to AnaEE infrastructure.
This multidisciplinary research infrastructure project was created by Chinese State Public interest research funding and lead by Prof. Dr. Genxing PAN, involving more than 13 research institutes from all over China and aiming to address the overall critical impact of climate change of warming and CO2 enrichment in agricultural productivity and long-term ecosystems services by coupling short-term versus long term changes in the agro-ecosystem productivity and functioning.
The idea of linking the two infrastructures was welcomed by the project consortium in China, as it will underpin the cooperation between Europe and China in the field ecosystem science especially around the issues related to climate and food security.
The 2nd AnaEE vision workshop was held in the Ayazaga Campus of Istanbul Technical University on 18th-19th April 2013. 25 participants took part in the workshop. The workshop aimed to further discuss the output from the first vision workshop in Paris.
Different aspects of the AnaEE vision such as services to deliver and added values across Europe were discussed.
A new version of the vision was scheduled to be produced later as output.
Abad Chabbi was invited by the European commission to GEO EUROPEAN PROJECTS' WORKSHOP-7, which was held in Barcelona on 15th and 16th April 2013. The title of his presentation was: "Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE): A distributed research infrastructure to forecast ecosystem responses to disturbance."
Abad Chabbi presented AnaEE at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, held in Vienna (Austria) from 7th to 12th April 2013. The title of his presentation was: "Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE): a new research distributed infrastructure to tackle ecosystem complexity."
The first AnaEE vision workshop was held in Paris on 22nd January 2013. 15 participants took part in the workshop. The workshop built on the first discussion on the AnaEE vision in the Kick-Off meeting and provided an initial list of services that AnaEE can deliver, the related added value and the potential tools.