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

eLTER Interim Council delegates gathered in Berlin for the sixth Interim Council meeting

8 November 2023

The sixth eLTER PPP Interim Council meeting was held from 24 - 26 October 2023 in Berlin, Germany with the charismatic chairing of Kevin Bishop (SLU, Sweden). This hybrid event brought together around 50 participants – 28 attended in person in Berlin and 20 joined online. Among the attendees were the national Interim Council delegates from 17 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom) and eLTER PPP partners. 

The meeting delved into decisions on various strategic aspects of eLTER RI, including potential scenarios for its development, risk management and core services as an ERIC infrastructure. Key topics discussed also included the eLTER RI design, financing,  legal and governance issues, as well as considerations related to the impact of eLTER RI. Major activities since the last IC meeting included expanding the eLTER partnership to incorporate essential expertise, exploring suitable methods, and raising additional funding for several linked activities, including the extension of the Horizon Europe projects eLTER PPP and eLTER PLUS

During the meeting, the unique approach of eLTER, with its diverse sites covering the whole of Europe and the comprehensive long-term observations in the relevant realms, supporting the whole systems approach and holistic ecosystem science, was acknowledged by the delegates. Participants agreed that while eLTER’s uniqueness is evident, it is essential to find its place within the RIs landscape.

Highlights from the meeting:

  • The IC adopted the proposed core services as part of the overall scenario, and acknowledged the outcome of the first Expression of Interest for hosting the core services, rolled out in summer 2023.

  • The IC adopted the scenario SRI_12 (Skeleton RI with 12 Member countries) as “most likely, realistic-conservative Skeleton eLTER RI” as an indicative dimension of the RI. It was noted that this target is achievable and there is hope for even more countries to join. In the end, participants agreed to refer to it as SRI_12+ to encourage future enlargement of the RI. 

  • The IC endorsed the eLTER Service Portfolio team to continue with the service specification of ‘other services’ within the overall perimeter of the RI in the adopted scenario. The IC was also keen on supporting the process of finding and nationally endorsing service hosts and supporting initial work with candidate host institutions.

  • Participants agreed to adopt the Risk Management Plan as a guideline and reference for the principles on how risks associated with eLTER RI will be identified, analysed, monitored and managed, for the implementation and the operation phases of eLTER RI.

  • The IC agreed on several paragraphs of the Statutes.

  • Discussions about the funding model options benefited from the adoption of a clear scenario, and the funding team of eLTER PPP will continue searching for a common ground for making decisions on the Host contribution and Membership fee calculation principles.

The next IC meeting is scheduled for 25-26 June 2024.