EMBRC HQ Update - N.28

 

Prepared by EMBRC HQ

 The present report covers the period from 18 March to 17 June 2022.  

Purpose: to update the EMBRC General Assembly (GA) on progress on the main items of work activity at EMBRC-ERIC headquarters (HQ).

Gambellas Campus

 

 

General activities:

  • EMBRC-ERIC expresses its uncompromising solidarity with the people of Ukraine and condemns the Russian state’s aggression towards Ukraine. We stand behind the European Commission’s decision to cease collaboration with Russia and Belarus, and support the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)’s call upon Research Infrastructures. In addition, Russia will no longer be able to participate in the ASSEMBLE Plus programme of access to biological station facilities and resources.
  • The Spanish EMBRC node, made up of UPV/EHU and the University of Vigo, was strengthened  through the addition of a new partner: the Spanish Algae Bank of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Nicolas went to meet the members of this new partner between 7 and 8 April 2022.
  • On 21 April 2022, our International Cooperation Officer, Anne Emmanuelle KERVELLA, and our ABS Compliance Officer, Arnaud LAROQUETTE, visited the EMBRC headquarters. The objective is to reach a common understanding of the EMBRC organisation and the terms used.
  • EMBRC is holding its first-ever Community Days in Faro, Portugal, from 23-27 May 2022. This internal event, destined for stakeholders working at EMBRC marine stations (eg technicians, scientists developing Joint Research activities) will provide an opportunity to cover scientific topics (EMO BON, Culture collections and Liaison Officer),  meet colleagues, foster collaboration, and more. 
  • The Communication Officer Sabrina Gaber left on 14/06/2022, HQ is actively seeking a replacement to take over this position.

Governance meetings:

  • “Committee of Nodes (CoN) 34”, Online, 20 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Scope: Roundtable of updates and INFRATECH and INFRADEV 2023 calls organisation.
  • "General Assembly X", in Heraklion, 18-19 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas Pade, Alexandra Vasic.
    • Scope: The aims were to present the Swedish delegation and the Swedish node, as well as the new budget cycle (confirmation of expenditure but not the budget cycle)  and various updates.
  • “Committee of Nodes (CoN) 35”, Online, 15 June 2022:
    • Participants: Nicolas PADE, Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Scope: Feedback from General Assembly and EMBRC Community Days. Updates on projects and Mission Ocean.

Communication:

  • Publications and related news:
    • Finalisation of the 2021 annual report: following validation of the 2021 annual report by the GA (meeting in May), the Communications Officer posted the report on the EMBRC website and social media; the document will be printed shortly and copies disseminated to select EMBRC stakeholders (internal and external).
    • The updated EMBRC general brochure and the brochure on EMBRC algae services were published online and printed.
    • The inclusion of EMBRC Sweden was officially announced on the EMBRC website and social media (learn more: https://embrc.eu/newsroom/news/embrc-welcomes-sweden-new-member-country). 
    • A newsletter was sent on 29 March 2022, read here: https://mailchi.mp/81ecbee3a6b5/embrc-newsletter-dive-in-to-find-out-about-recent-activities-events-20153533?e=25864d13ba.
    • A new ‘ABCs of using EMBRC’ video was finalised and published on EMBRC’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C-J9IK6-hA.
  • Organised Event (organisational/communications aspects):
    • EMBRC Community Days (23-27 May 2022), Communications session, Thursday 26 May, 9:00-12:30: The EMBRC Communications Officer delivered a presentation providing an overview of EMBRC communications activities, and led, in collaboration with the EMBRC Portugal Communications Manager, three group sessions focused on discussing ‘information flow’ within and between nodes, and with HQ; social media and communication about services; and developing a vision for the future of communications. This presentation, and all others, are accessible here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6ccn7n9914qmo6o/AABZtD-sNDyWK_DhILQ6z_TXa?dl=0 The EMBRC Communications Officer concluded with some tips on how individuals can further support EMBRC HQ (or ERIC) and EMBRC node communications, and the infinite possibilities available to them to act as ‘EMBRC ambassadors’!
    • 10th Algae Summit (27-28 April 2022, Reykjavik, Iceland): The Communications Officer developed several communications materials for this event. The brochure on EMBRC services related to micro and macro algae (mentioned above) has now been published online here: https://embrc.eu/sites/default/files/publications/2021%20Algae%20brochure%20web_corrected.pdf   
  • Newsletter:

The Communication Officer has compiled information for the external newsletter.

  • Gender Equality Plan:  

EMBRC supports the Gender Equality Startegy policy defined by the Von Der Leyen Commission to create a gender equal society in Europe. Executive Director Nicolas PADE approved the Gender Equality Startegy, drafted by Chief Financial & Administrative Officer Alexandra VASIC and Communication Officer Sabrina Gaber, and will be implemented in early July 2022.

Communications Working Group

  • “The Communications Working Group meeting”, 31 March 2022:
    • Participants: one or more representatives from each node.
    • Scope: The main topic of discussion was the communications strategy.
  • “The Communications Working Group meeting”, 9 June 2022:
    • Participants: one or more representatives from each node.
    • Scope: This meeting is the opportunity for the members to assess accomplishments since the group’s creation two years ago, and to see how to delegate tasks to keep up communications following the Communication Officer’s departure 14 June 2022.

Services:

Access and benefit-sharing (ABS)

  • In the EMBRC Community Days in Faro has met the liaison officers in two thorough and intensive sessions. The topics discussed were: “Updates on the access workflow of EMBRC”, “Evolution of the services: towards an integrated set of services to respond to societal challenges”, “Key Performance and Key Impact Indicators for EMBRC”.

Access and benefit-sharing Meeting and Working Group:

  •  EMBRC Community Days, ABS, 23-27 May 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 ?

The EMBRC Community Days workshop in Faro (Portugal) was divided in 2 sessions:

  • The first session was about launching a common catalogue for accessing marine bioresources. It was welcomed, provided that the system does not impair the nodes’ organisation, does not include a centralized ordering system at ERIC level and the added value is there.
  • The second session was about the implementation of best practices for management of bioresources. The session discussions shown that nodes’ services were not in contact with their operators’ relevant departments regarding implementation of EMBRC ABS recommendations, while they have no ABS policy/procedure in place to deal with this legal and ethical issue. 

 

  •   The European Venom Network”, 31 May 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Arnaud LAROQUETTE, Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA.
    • Aim: The management of ABS through a research infrastructure and in projects was presented to the European Venom Network.
EMO BON Logo
  • The 6th EMO BON Sampling Event took place in April 2022. The 7th EMO BON Sampling Event, taking place in June 2022, marks one-full-year samplings. The EMO BON observatories continue the long-term sea samplings to access the marine biodiversity.
  • With the inclusion of Sweden in EMBRC, 3 new observatory stations were added in EMO BON. The Umeå Marine Sciences Centre, the University of Gothenburg, and the Linnaeus University, now part of EMO BON, bring the operational observatory stations up to 19.
  • EMO BON participated in the EMBRC Community Days 2022 (23-27 May, Faro, Portugal). During the event, the participants in EMO BON session performed a sampling calibration exercise and discussed key strategic issues for EMO BON. The participants had a chance to meet and exchange in person.
  • The European Marine Omics Biodiversity Observation Network (EMO BON) published its Data Management Plan (DMP) in April 2022. The document describes the life cycle of all the data and metadata produced in EMO BON. Many experts in EMBRC were consulted for its preparation and it has been approved by the EMO BON Operational Committee.

EMO BON events:

  • “The 6th EMO BON Operational Committee (OpCo)” meeting took place, in March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Ioulia SANTI, Arnaud LAROQUETTE.
    • Aim: The OpCo members discussed the updates and the next steps of the project.
ESFRI Logo
  • The ESFRI 20th anniversary conference: European Research Infrastructures at the heart of scientific discoveries, Online, on 25 March:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Anne-Emmanuelle Laroquette.
    • 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”.
  • Joint Commission-ESFRI Workshop: R&I needs of Research Infrastructures, Online, on 30-31 March:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA, Alice SOCCODATO, Davide DI CIOCCIO.
    • Aim: The meeting has seen the participation of different stakeholders (RI managers, EC members) and aimed to discuss the needs of the European Research Infrastructures in order to address the investments of funders (EC, national and regional).
  • “ESFRI Workshop on Monitoring of Landmarks, online, on 30 March:
    • Participants (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO.
    • Aim: During the meeting it was discussed how the monitoring process of Landmark EU RIs will be performed by ESFRI. EMBRC will be one of the first RIs which will go under through this monitoring process. Further updates will be released in fall 2022.
  • “ESFRI Workshop”, Online, on 5 April:
    • Participants (HQ): Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA.
    • Aim: The aim was to exchange processes and best practices of IR projects.
    •  

Projects:

 

AgroServ:

  • The Grant Agreement has been signed and the project will officially start in September with a Kick-off planned for 17-18 October in Prague as a satellite event of ICRI. EMBRC will participate with 6 nodes dedicated to transformative ecological and sustainable agriculture and aquaculture.

AI4Life:

  • The Grant Agreement has been signed and the project will start officially in September. The Kick-off is planned for the 25th of October in Heidelberg.
Assemble Plus
  • The 9th call of the Transnational Access programme of ASSEMBLE Plus call has gathered interest of more than 130 researchers all over the world. The awarded projects that received funding were less than expected because of financial constraints. The TNA programme of ASSEMBLE Plus is going towards its conclusion: access to facilities of the partners will be possible until the end of July 2022.

ASSEMBLE Plus Meeting:

  • “The ASSEMBLE Plus Conference 2022 - Marine biological research at the frontier" is taking place online from 13-24 June 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO.
    • Scope: During the meeting it was discussed how current socio-economic impact (SEI) evaluation practices and methodologies are able to capture the Research Infrastructure value, how to best to support the SEI assessment process during the RI lifecycle.

AtlantECO:

  • “The General Assembly”, in Cape Town, on 25-29 April:
    • Participants (HQ): Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Scope: Event combining also events of science communication to the general public and young students at the city waterfront quarter where Tara schooner was docked for the occasion. The event was a success and there are a lot of requests for an EMBRC training course curricula accessible for African young students.

BiOcean5D:

  • The Grant Agreement has been signed and the project will start officially in December with a kick-off planned for early January.

BlueRemediomics:

  • The Grant Agreement signature is underway and the project will start officially in October. A pre-Kick-off meeting will be organised in Paris on the 20-21 of September 2022.

CanServ:

  • The Grant Agreement has been signed and the project will officially start in September with a kick-off meeting planned on the 15-16 of September in Brussels.
DOORS logo
  • The General Assembly and the International conference on the Black Sea were held in Burgas on 7-11 of June. EMBRC organised also a workshop as part of the General Assembly event where stakeholders were invited to contribute to the survey and to the report and analysis on capacity building for specific training on ocean skills in the Black Sea region that EMBRC delivered as part of his tasks. Due to the current geopolitical situation in the region impacting future field activities planned for the project, mitigation strategies have been discussed. Support for Ukraine was always iterated. 

DOORS Black Sea Meeting:

  • “H2020 DOORS Week”, on 07-10 April:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE., Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Scope: Exchange on the different levels of the DOORS project.
EOSC Life logo

EOSC-Life Meeting:

  • “EOSC-Life General Assembly”, 22 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE, Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Aim: Take stock of the year 2021.
EOSC Future
  • EOSC Future consortium has recently published a new cascade funding call to support Maintenance Facilities.

EOSC-Future Meeting:

  • “EOSC Interoperability Framework consultation”, Online, on 25 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO.
    • Aim: During the meeting it was discussed a draft proposal for the Interoperability Framework developed by the EOSC Future project, focused on implementation of a governance process for accepting and using EOSC interoperability guidelines. 
ERIC FORUM Logo

ERIC FORUM Meeting:

  • ERIC Forum Policy Seminar on the socio-economic impact of ERICs, on 26-29 April:
    • Participants (HQ): Davide DI CIOCCIO, Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA, Alice SOCCODATO.
    • Scope: During the meeting it was discussed how current socio-economic impact (SEI) evaluation practices and methodologies are able to capture the Research Infrastructure value, how to best to support the SEI assessment process during the RI lifecycle.

FAIR-EASE:

  • The Grant Agreement signature is underway and the project will start officially in September and it will have his kick-off on the 20-21-22 in Paris.

ISIDORE:

  • The ISIDORe consortium has recently launched its first calls to support research on SARSCOV2as well as the emergency call to support research on the Monkeypox virus. The large-scale consortium (154 partners) provides free of charge access to more than 300 services from ISIDORe’s integrated portfolio of cutting-edge research services dedicated to epidemic-prone disease research.

MARCO-BOLO:

  • EMBRC will coordinate this new 4 year project on marine and coastal biodiversity long term observation. The Grant Agreement preparation for Marco-Bolo is underway, with a planned start date for the 1st of December. EMBRC just received notification that our UK partners won’t be eligible for EU funding therefore they will be part of the project as Associated Partners and will be funded by the UK government guarantee scheme.
RI-VIS Logo
  •  The Communications Officer presented the RI-VIS deliverables: Communications guidelines for engaging with stakeholders in Latin America and African countries (two separate documents) at the review meeting with the European Commission on 10 May 2022; one of the texts, the one for Latin America, was rejected due to the bias in survey respondents (largely from life sciences and a majority from Nicaragua). The EMBRC Communications Officer has thus updated the document to address these issues, and to explain the methodological shortcomings, and why the Organising Committee did not think this would impede the document findings/insights. 

Other recent events

  • “EOOS Operations Committee Meeting”, 21 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim:”The mission of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) is to be a stakeholder driven framework that integrates Europe’s ocean observing communities and facilitates coordinating the multiple organisations operating, supporting and maintaining ocean observing and monitoring infrastructures”.
  • “Blueinvest Day 2022”, 28 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim: “BlueInvest Day 2022 will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and enablers in the Blue Economy”.
  • “DSI - Geneva sessions - GBF OEWG, COP15 - CBD (COP15 preparatory negotiations)”, 29 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA.
    • Aim: “Following 15 days of negotiation in Geneva, world governments have produced a strong basis for a post 2020 global biodiversity framework to safeguard the health of the planet, scheduled for final agreement at UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China this year”.
  • Anna Panagopoulou (ERA Director) talks with European R&I stakeholders - by NTNU Brussels office”, 30-31 March 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA.
    • Aim: Boosting Europe's competitiveness through a re-launched European Research Area (ERA): implementation status and upcoming initiatives.
  •  “Gender Equality Plan Workshop”, 8 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Alexandra Vasic.
    • Aim: The aim was to share knowledge on gender equality with members of the European Commission.
  • Centre for the study and sustainable exploitation of Marine Biological Resources (CMBR)”, 13 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Ioulia SANTI.
    • Aim: The meeting summarized all the work performed in the framework of CMBR and the future and next steps of this RI were discussed.
  • “10th European Algae Industry Summit”, in Reykjavik, Iceland, 27-28 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim: “The conference will once again bring together key players within the algae industry including leaders from food, feed, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics across the globe to gain a deeper understanding of recent industry developments and economically viable applications and benefit from excellent live networking opportunities. This edition will focus on improving production methods, both from an efficiency and a sustainable perspective, with case studies from key players of each segment bringing forward their experience”.
  • “Sahel Coalition Seminar” by LIFEWATCH-ERIC, 6 May 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Anne-Emmanuelle KERVELLA.
    • Aim: “To discuss research, innovation and related synergies between research institutes and third-level institutes in the region, and those in West African nations”.
  • “The Virtual Lab Environment for Plankton Genomics” by BlueCloud, 13 May 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Ioulia SANTI.
    • Aim: The webinar presented tools and other e-products to analyze genomic plankton data.
  • “Antarctic Marine Biodiversity” organized as part of the Marine Biodiversity Networking Friday by the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) and the AIR Centre, 13 May 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Ioulia SANTI.
    • Aim: The event discussed the monitoring of biodiversity in Antarctica, the importance of the annual cycles and weather condition for the ecosystem and the work conditions in such extreme environment.
  • “Harnessing Marine Microbiome & Biotechnology for a Changing World” organized by the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum 2022, 3 June 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Ioulia SANTI, Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim: During the event, recent progress on marine microbial research were discussed, as well as insights regarding the connection of the marine microbiome to environmental change.
  • “Ocean Decade Co-Design Workshop (UNESCO, GOOS): Exemplar Marine Life 2030, Building global knowledge of marine life for local action”, 7-9 June 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Ioulia SANTI, Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim: This event was part of the Ocean Decade Actions and aimed to consolidate the whole ocean community on the develop of the global marine life observation.
  • “RESAVER meeting”, 10 june 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Alexandra Vasic.
    • Aim: Réunion avec des membres de la CE. L’objectif était d’expliquer le fond de passion RESAVER pour les chercheurs. 
  • “10th European Algae Industry Summit”, in Reykjavik, Iceland, 27-28 April 2022:
    • Participants (HQ): Nicolas PADE.
    • Aim: “The conference will once again bring together key players within the algae industry including leaders from food, feed, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics across the globe to gain a deeper understanding of recent industry developments and economically viable applications and benefit from excellent live networking opportunities. This edition will focus on improving production methods, both from an efficiency and a sustainable perspective, with case studies from key players of each segment bringing forward their experience”.

Upcoming events

  • Nordic Biobank Conference – “Current trends and challenges in the Nordic countries”, in Mässans Gata, 6-8 September 2022:
    • Aim: The 1st Nordic Biobank Conference is a unique opportunity to meet representatives in the area of human biobanking as well as other scientific experts from healthcare, academia, and industry! Come and listen to the latest news and current trends in human biobanking, while networking with professional colleagues.
  • “ICOS Science Conference 2022”, in Utrecht, 13-15 September 2022:
    • Aim: Seven themes under the overarching conference theme of  "Tracking progress to carbon neutrality: Marine and aquatic carbon cycling, Fluxes from local to regional scales, Policy, research infrastructures and society, Monitoring, validation and verification, Trace gases and Extreme events.
  • BENTACS - BENthos TAxonomy CourseS13, 24-28 October 2022:
    •  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”.

Links

Social networks

 

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

The next HQ Update will be available by Friday 23 September 2022.

Sabrina Gaber
Communication Officer

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