EMBRC HQ Update - N.27 17 December – 18 March 2022

Prepared by: EMBRC HQ

The present report covers the period from 17 December to 18 March 2022.
Purpose: to update the EMBRC General Assembly (GA) on progress on the main items of work activity at EMBRC-ERIC headquarters (HQ).

General activities

  • On 4 February, our Scientific Officer & Project Manager, Sidonie Gras, left for a new role. We welcome Alice SOCCODATO who replaced her on 7 March.
  • The ISIDORe project has started. "Integrated Services for Infectious Disease Outbreak Research" was launched on 24/02. Pandemics such as SARS-CoV-2 have shown us the need to pool resources to combat epidemic-prone diseases. This EU-initiated project, coordinated by One Health, aims to study these diseases and to put the different ones to work.
  • During the third week of March, our International Cooperation Officer, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA and our ABS Compliance Officer, Arnaud LAROQUETTE, visited the offices of EMBRC HQ.
  • Gender Equality Plan: EMBRC now has a first draft of its Gender Equality Plan (GEP); this was developed by the Communications Officer and the Chief Financial/Administrative Officer; it is now being reviewed by the (external) EMBRC lawyer to ensure alignment with French employment law and current gender provisions. Once finalised, the document (which concerns HQ only) will be disseminated internally and posted on the website; a critical first step will then be the organisation of gender training with an external consultant to explain the importance of the GEP (beyond eligibility for EU funding as of 2022), explain key concepts, and incite any necessary cultural change (as relevant). The Communications Officer is participating regularly in ERIC Forum teleconferences related to GEP development (including one on 20 January 2022 and another on 11 March 2022). 

Governance meetings

  • “Committee of Nodes (CoN) 33”, 17 February 2022 :

− Participants: Nicolas PADE, Davide DI CIOCCIO, Sabrina GABER, Gemma GIMENEZ, Wiebe KOOISTRA, Georgios KOTOULAS, Tatiana TSAGARAKI, Deborah POWER, Jan VANAVERBEKE, Jaap VAN RIJN.

− Scope: The meeting was focused on the value proposition and the key messages to share in the EMBRC communication strategy. The main document reporting the details of the strategy is updated by the communication officer.


  • Communications KPIs : In December 2022, the Communications Officer developed an internal report on communications KPIs for the 2021 year. Feedback was provided by the EMBRC Access Officer, with whom she is coordinating KPI definition and tracking for 2022 and beyond.
  • Publications and related news :

− Drafting of the 2021 annual report: development of graphic design specifications, review/editing of author contributions, content development, project coordination. The document will be given to the GA mid-March, feedback incorporated by early April, and graphic design initiated at that stage. We are thus on schedule for publication in May.

− Communications strategy: The strategy was discussed by both the Communications Working Group (see below) and the CoN (17 February 2022); input has been requested on the key messages in particular, in order to improve our ‘pitch’, making it more relevant to our current and anticipated communications activities.

− The EMBRC general brochure was updated to include Sweden as a member country, and the new Italian, Spanish and Swedish sites.

  • EMBRC-HQ is awaiting the greenlight for official communication about the inclusion of Sweden. EMBRC Spain will be announcing the official inclusion of its third partner early April (at which stage EMBRC HQ will also make this information public on its communications channels.
  • Organised events (organisational/communications aspects) :

− EMBRC Community Days (23-27 May 2022, Faro, Portugal) : Information regarding this event has been added to the EMBRC website, and communicated internally; the event will bring together up to 5 participants from each node (potentially more, if senior members come, TBD) to discuss scientific topics, exchange ideas, and build community. Ongoing support is being provided to the Organising Committee, which is meeting regularly to plan for the event.

− 10th Algae Summit (27-28 April 2022, Reykjavik, Iceland) : The Communications Officer revised all materials for the event programme, to include Sweden and update the number of EMBRC marine stations (our general description was also revised to enhance flow/content). We will have a stand at the event, and for this purpose, various materials are now being finalised/developed: a roll-up, a general brochure (pending validation by Executive Director), and a brochure specific to our algae activities. Other goodies such as USB sticks may be created, subject to budgetary approval.

  • Social media/website campaigns :

− Marine Scientist Monday : Ibon Cancio (EMBRC-ES) contributed the final piece of this series (https://embrc.eu/newsroom/news/jacques-loeb-engineer-life-manipulating-marine-living-machines), one year exactly after the campaign was launched. The Communications Officer will begin compiling the series into a book format summer/fall 2022.

− LinkedIn articles and service highlights: nodes continued to provide support for these communications efforts, providing texts for December 2021, and January, February, and March 2022.

− Regular updates were made on social media platforms and the website (including relevant events)

  • Newsletter : The Communications Officer is compiling information for the next external newsletter, which will be sent early April (TBC).
  • Communications Working Group: “The Communications Working Group meeting”, 13 January 2022 :

− Participants: one or more representatives from each node.

− Scope: the main topic of discussion was the communications strategy. Extensive feedback was provided on the key messages in particular; it became apparent that there are different visions and expectations of what EMBRC can do/achieve. The next meeting will take place end March or early April (TBC).


Access and benefit-sharing (ABS)

  • The ABS Compliance Officer has promoted the implementation of the biological resources passport for suppliers to systematically distribute to users of collections in order to inform them of the necessary "due diligence" / risks associated with ABS, including not being compliant with regulations....
  • Access and benefit-sharing Meeting and Working Group :

“Meeting with EMBRC biological resource providers on the implementation of a system of passports associated to biological resources”, 23 February 2022 :

− Participants (HQ): Arnaud LAROQUETTE (and members of the ABS WG)

− Aim: To explain how supplying users with information related to ABS when supplying biological resources. Do users have the right to use the resources provided? Are providers allowed to distribute their resources ?

  • "ABS webinar on the preparation of the CBD Open-Ended Working Group 3rd session on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework", 23 February 2022 :

− Participants (HQ): Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA (and members of the ABS WG).

  • “ABS Working Group”, in Paris, 17 March 2022 :

− Participants (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO, Guillaume DUSPARA, Sabrina GABER, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA, Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Alce SOCCODATO, Alexandra VASIC.

− Aim : Training session on the ERIC organisation for the Secretariat.

  • The 5th EMO BON Sampling Event took place in February 2022. The 16 EMO BON observatories continue the long-term sea samplings to access the marine biodiversity.
  • In January and February 2021, the second shipment of EMO BON samples took place. Samples were transported from the 16 observatories to the EMBRC HQ. There, the samples were collected, catalogued, and packed and send to the French National Sequencing Centre - Genoscope for analyses.

EMO BON events

  • “The 5th EMO BON Operational Committee (OpCo)” meeting took place, 28 January 2022 :

− Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA, Ioulia SANTI,

− Scope: Participants discussed the updates and the next steps of the project.


  • New projects approved :

− AgroServ (Integrated SERVices supporting a sustainable AGROecological transition):

 The overarching mission of AgroServ is to support research and innovation by providing customised and integrated RI services in view of achieving a sustainable and resilient agriculture and supporting agroecological transitions.

− AI4LIFE (Artificial Intelligence for Image Data Analysis in the Life Sciences) :

 The aim is to build an open, accessible, community-driven repository of FAIR pre-trained AI models and develop services to deliver these models to life scientists, including those without substantial computational expertise. Our direct support and ample training activities will prepare life scientists for responsible use of AI methods, while contributor services and open standards will drive community contributions of new models and interoperability between analysis tools. Open calls and public challenges will provide state-of-the-art solutions to yet unsolved image analysis problems in the life sciences.

− canSERV (Providing cutting edge cancer research services across Europe):

 The overarching mission of canSERV is to make cutting-edge and customised research services available to the cancer research community EU wide, enable innovative R&D projects and foster precision medicine for patients benefit across Europe.

− FAIR-EASE (FAIREArth Sciences&Environment services) :

 The overall objective of FAIR-EASE is to customize and operate distributed and integrated services for observation and modelling of the Earth system, environment and biodiversity by improving the TRL of their different components implemented in close cooperation with user-communities, the European Open Science Cloud and research infrastructures in their design and sustainable availability.

  • The 9th call of the Transnational Access programme of ASSEMBLE Plus call was launched on 13 January 2022 and closed on 14 February 2022. More than 130 applications were received, an all-time-high compared to allprevious calls. The access officer will communicate the results of the awarded projects at the beginning of April.
  • DOORS Task 7.1 workshop was decided to be postponed to the spring to host an in-person event.
  • EOSC-Life Meeting:

“EOSC-Life” in Hackathon, on 7 February:

− Participants: Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Ioulia SANTI, Ibon CANCIO, Maria HUETE.

− Aim: The event was dedicated mainly to technical experts from EOSC-Life infrastructures who have ESFRI-related data sets or workflows that they want to deploy onto the cloud in the mid- to long-term. Marc Portier presented EMO BON as a use case to explain the provenance data flow, and a checklist of data to be managed at each step of a such initiative. (Maria Huete, Ioulia Santi, Ibon Cancio and I were there just in case there were questions about the provenance data).

  • “EOSC-Life General Assembly” in Brussels, on 23 March:

− Participants: Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Ioulia SANTI, Ibon CANCIO, Maria HUETE.

− Aim: This event will focus on building the EOSC-Life community, Metadata, context and EOSC interoperability framework but also Future funding for projects similar to the WP3 open calls.

  • ERIC FORUM Meeting:

“ERIC Forum Annual Meeting”, on 26-27 January:

− Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Davide DI CIOCCIO, Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA, Alexandra VASIC.

− Scope: The meeting raised developments and objectives of the projects and further addressed the long-term sustainability of ERICs and their role in EU R&I arena. Another theme was working collaboratively for the ERIC Forum partners and addressing key challenges.

  • The RI-VIS project officially ended January 31st, 2022; leading up to this, the Communications Officer supported communications efforts regarding the two guideline documents for international engagement that she co-developed (Latin America: https://zenodo.org/record/5793657#.YdMEKS2ZPYU; African countries: https://zenodo.org/record/5793442#.YdL4lC2ZPYU).

The documents were disseminated to a large group of EMBRC internal and external stakeholders, and project stakeholders (eg ERIC Forum, RI-VIS consortium). Following the dissemination of these documents, Inmaculada Figueroa (Vice Deputy Director General for the Internationalisation of Science and Innovation, General Secretariat for Research Ministry of Science and Innovation) contacted the Communications Officer to see if the project stakeholders would be interested in presenting at the AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022 (https://aueusummitscience2022.sched.com/). RI-VIS seized this opportunity and presented at the event.

  • RI-VIS Meeting:

“RI-VIS Final Meeting”, 17 January 2022:

− Participants (HQ): Sabrina GABER, Sidonie GRAS.

− Scope: The meeting presented the developments from International Symposia and Whitepapers to ARIA Sitebuilder and the Communications Toolkit. In addition, the meeting covered a range of kickstarter projects and panel discussions.

Other recent events

  • “The EGERIC (Commission expert group to assess the implementation of the ERIC Regulation and identify best practices and potential recommendations, see here), 17 January 2022:

− Participants (HQ): Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA.

− Aim: To present its Report and Recommendations to the ERIC Forum community.

  • “The 17th meeting of the e-Infrastructure working group of EMBRC” took place, 19 January 2022:

− Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Sidonie GRAS, Ioulia SANTI.

− Scope: The topics discussed during the meeting were the upcoming project proposals, the EMBRC participation in the IMBRSea annual event and My EMBRC Image.

− Participant (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO.

− Scope: During the meeting, the Open Science and FAIR policy agenda, as well as the vision for the future, were discussed. The event focused on the current state of EOSC and how the thematic RIs and ESFRI clusters will fit into this developing landscape.

− Participants (HQ): Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA.

− Scope: The main topics addressed during this conference come within the framework of the transformation of the research and innovation ecosystem in Europe.

− Participants (HQ): Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA,

− Aim: “The One Ocean Summit aims to raise the level of ambition of the international community on maritime issues and to translate our shared responsibility for the Ocean into concrete action”.

− Participants (HQ): Sidonie GRAS, Ioulia SANTI.

− Aim: The event described and discussed the biological observation initiatives in West Pacific Ocean and in the Indo-Malaysian Sea.

− Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Ioulia SANTI.

− Aim: The event discussed the Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) within the context of a Global Ocean Observation System.

− Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE.

− Aim: First in-person meeting since kick-off in Ocotber 2019. The meeting provided an update on project activities as well as a chance to disucss how to better integrate Norway and her partners into EMBRC activities.

Upcoming events

− Aim: “The conference will bring together key stakeholders, including policy experts, facility managers and leading researchers, to explore the drivers behind the development of the rich European research infrastructures landscape and to discuss emerging trends and the challenges for the future”.

− Aim : Four speakers and guests and take time to discuss quality-related issues in biobanking, biomedical research and development that arise in the community.

− Aim: Rassembler les différents acteurs scientifiques politique et industriels afin d’identifier le potentiel des technologies à émissions négatives et le développement des connaissances encore nécessaires.

− Aim : « This internal event, destined for stakeholders working at EMBRC 'operators'/marine stations will provide an opportunity to cover scientific topics (EMO BON, Culture Collections, Liaison Officer daily activities, Access and Benefit-Sharing and communications), meet colleagues, foster collaboration, and more. »

− Aim : “The Marine Organism Taxonomy (MOTax) core facility has launched a series of International Summer Schools (BENTACS - BENthos TAxonomy CourseS) focused on the taxonomy of the main groups of zoo-benthos from soft-bottom communities in the Mediterranean Sea.“


− ASSEMBLE PLUS: https://www.assembleplus.eu/

− DOORS: https://www.doorsblacksea.eu/

− EMBRC: https://www.embrc.eu/

− EMBRC partners: https://www.embrc.eu/partners

− EMO BON: https://www.embrc.eu/emo-bon

− EOSC LIFE : https://www.eosc-life.eu/

− ERIC FORUM : https://www.eric-forum.eu/

− EUROMARINE: https://euromarinenetwork.eu/

− OpenAIRE: https://www.openaire.eu/

− RI-VIS: https://ri-vis.eu/network/rivis/home

Social networks

− EMBRC campaigns: https://www.embrc.eu/campaigns

− EMBRC Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/embrc

− EMBRC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EMBRC.eu/

− EMBRC Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChjMOuNlWb_R4kb1ojt8t4A

Thank you to all our collaborators and supporters of EMBRC projects.

The next HQ Update will be available by Friday 17 June 2021.

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