Stephanie Parker, Hilary Hanahoe, Trust IT Services

Better management of our planet's living resources, from aquatic ecosystems to plants and living creatures, is one of our greatest challenges. Achieving this goal requires deeper knowledge of biodiversity and the interaction of species on the genetic level, with each other, with their environment and with humans.

LifeWatch is a high-end Research Infrastructure with a mission to make research smarter, better, faster and – which is most important – more collaborative. By providing researchers with 'Virtual Labs', LifeWatch is driving a new paradigm of research. It will interlink a wide variety of research stations, databases, monitoring equipment and scientists across Europe. On top of this network, LifeWatch installs new services and tools to help the researchers communicate, share and integrate data, analyse results, create models, test model scenarios, and manage projects.

The iMarine hybrid data infrastructure is a powerful tool that acts as a ‘system of systems’, providing capacities for the efficient and elastic provision of computational and storage services, scaling up and down to meet demand, as well as data management facilities as a service capable of tackling a rich array of data types. Virtual research environments offer flexible and secure web-based, community-centric platforms, so researchers can work together on common challenges. By facilitating data discovery, exchange and harmonisation for scientists and practitioners, iMarine makes it possible to exploit massive data volumes ensuring a Community of Practice that supports the ecosystem approach to marine living resources.

Data sharing across the disciplinary and geographical boundaries, enabling data to be transformed and enriched in different contexts, is crucial to generate richer, better quality and timely science-based knowledge. LifeWatch and iMarine have joined forces to take stock of different but complementary approaches to promoting data interoperability on a large scale. The iMarine and LifeWatch workshop on 28 October 2013 at the EUDAT conference will explore major interoperability challenges, sharing experiences gained by the two initiatives, highlighting the impact of data sharing and enrichment. It will also offer a springboard for Calls to Action for the data and research infrastructure developers and the scientific communities they support.

iMarine experiences come from its collaborative approach to open data access and interoperability, by supporting marine and biodiversity specialist communities to unlock knowledge and support science policy decision making. The showcase from LifeWatch focuses on patterns of ecosystem fragility to alien and invasive species in Europe, its tools and data services. The showcase has collected and shared data from existing research provided by some of the participating universities and institutions. The data includes about 11570 species from 314 different terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Workshop: Data Sharing and Enrichment: iMarine and LifeWatch Solutions and Experiences
Date: 28 October, 14:00-18:00, EUDAT conference, Rome
Contacts: iMarine – Donatella Castelli, ISTI CNR -
          LifeWatch – Nicola Fiore, Univeristà di Salento -