Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Breaking New Ground: The University of Bucharest's eLT(S)ER-Romania and LifeWatch-Romania Platforms Project

16 February 2024

The University of Bucharest hosted the closing conference for the project “Consolidating the capacity for ecosystemic research and biodiversity of the University of Bucharest through e-science and technology”, co-financed by the European Union via the European Regional Development Fund through the Operational Programme Competitiveness 2014-2020.

The event, which took place in “Ioan Mihăilescu” Hall of the Rectorate building, reunited members of the UB administrative board, representatives of the research centers in UB, as well as officials of the Romanian Government, among which: Andrei Alexandru, State Secretary in the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalisation; Dan Chiru, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests; Marisanda Pîrîianu, chief for the European Union Funds Management Division within the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests; representatives of the Romanian National Meteorological Administration and the National Administration Romanian Waters, as well as those from the “Marin Drăcea” National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry.

Professor Marian Preda, PhD, the Rector of the University of Bucharest, opened the conference along with professor Carmen Chifiriuc, PhD, vice-rector for Research, and professor Lucian Ciolan, PhD, vice-rector for Development Projects, Lifelong Learning and Educational Infrastructure. In their speeches, they emphasized the importance of the infrastructure developed for the research activity at the University of Bucharest.

Special guests of this meeting were Christos Arvanitidis, Michael Mirtl and Werner L. Kutsch, coordinators of the European LifeWatch networksLifeWatch, E-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, respectively eLTER and ICOS. The guests underlined the importance of including the infrastructure developed at UB in the European infrastructures already in existence, as well as the strategic role that Romania has in researching biodiversity and associated ecosystemic services.

In addition, many UB researchers and doctoral students attended the final conference of the project. The organizers highlighted the results obtained, the efforts made throughout the three years the project was implemented, as well as the career opportunities created through the newly developed infrastructure.

Creating a high performance calculus network and infrastructure distributed by data generators

In the manner it was conceived, the project responded to the necessity to align Romanian research infrastructures to European ones in regard to technology. The main objective of the LifeWatch  project was to consolidate the research capacity of the University of Bucharest’s facilities situated along the Danube (in Orșova, Brăila, Sfântu Gheorghe), as well as the zoological center in Sinaia, by developing new laboratories or updating existent ones with new equipment.

The main result of the project consisted in creating open research entities that would allow the association of the University of Bucharest with the research infrastructures which are now being developed – eLTER – or, as is the case of LifeWatch and ICOS, have already been developed in Europe.

The infrastructure developed through the project offers advanced capacities for analysis, inter- and transdisciplinary integration and modeling, thus supporting: the development of knowledge in what concerns the complex and dynamic relations between biodiversity/natural capital, and social and industrial metabolism; the elaboration of development scenarios and the establishment of strategies and policies for sustainable development throughout large spaces and time frames.

The project, with a cumulative value of 50,8 million lei, unreeled between November 2020 and December 2023, and was financed though the POC/488/1/1/Large RD infrastructures, Division F  2017-2018 – Research infrastructure projects for public RD institutions/universities, call code POC/448/1/1/ Large Research Development infrastructures, financing contract 327/390003/06-11-2020

Total value of the project: 50.806.529,42 lei

Total eligible value: 50.652.305,42 lei

Non-refundable eligible FEDR: 43.054.459.61 lei

Non-refundable eligible value from the National Budget: 7.597.845,81 lei

For more details on the project, you can access the University of Bucharest website, or the webpages dedicated to the project: here and here.

Photo from the event.