Name of the organization/project in the original language: 
LifeWatch Italia
Name of the organization/project in English: 
LifeWatch Italy
Please select the type of your organization/project: 
If other, please specify below: 
Please indicate the mandate/goals/activities of your organization/project.: 
LifeWatch gathers together about 28 Italian institutions (universities, national institutes, associations), leader in biodiversity research, dissemination. Developing ICT tools and resources to enhance management and communication of information, LifeWatch establishes a model to study biodiversity and ecosystems, meant as a common good belonging to citizens, and is engaged in the enhancement of ecological culture and introduce young generations to scientific research. LifeWatch offers to its users an ICT research environment, services and tools to develop activities aimed at: » Strengthening our knowledge and current understanding of biodiversity and its relations with ecosystem services and societal benefits; » Raising awareness on the importance of preserving biodiversity through an integrated approach to citizen science initiative able to involve citizens also in the process of identification of research priorities; » Optimising the use of public research funding and increase Italy's competitiveness; » Identifying knowledge gaps in the IT platforms for biodiversity, integrating knowledge arising from focused research programmes; » Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem health; » Supporting crucial sectors of the national economy and social security system; » Supporting environmental policy and the development of national strategies to cope with climate change, energy generation and waste management. Many the spin-off projects born from LifeWatch Italy, among those: the FP7 Projects BioVel and CreativeB, GLOBIS-B and LINK-D; LIFE+ ECMON and BUGS-LIFE (the second currently under evaluation) the strategic project INTERREG BIG, the PON infrastructure project BIOforIU, and several regional and local ones, such as the Living Lab SED or the ‘Trova Piante di Villa Torlonia' project. Many other initiatives directly related to LifeWatch have been promoted by different members of the JRU and those funded are available on its website .
How are you performing research on Citizen Science, taking part in Citizen Science activities and/or supporting Citizen Science?: 
LifeWatch has a working group devoted to Citizen Science organisation and, with the support of its Service Centre, is carrying on some initiatives and participating to the planning of new ones. In particular, LifeWatch Italy is very active in the field of school related activities, and is present with a Serious Game on the scientific method applied to biodiversity research and is currently working on a new edition (new contents, graphics and technologies) linked to a school competition to be launched in spring 2016. In this context, LifeWatch also supports "EcoLogicaCup", a national competition for school on ecology, which has now reached its 9th edition. In parallel, LifeWatch has officially stated its interest in supporting the LIFE Environmental Governance and Information proposal "BUGS-LIFE (Bugs for biodiversity and ecosystem services: raising awareness on the importance of small-size organisms - LIFE15 GIE/IT/000832)", recently submitted, providing the communication and ICT competences of its Service Centre, since the application phase, and ensuring its commitment for both project implementation and after life. In the national landscape, LifeWatch has supported University of Salento, National Academy of Sciences, and the National Association of Scientific Museums in the application for Ministerial Funds to establish a "BioHub", an ecosystem of knowledge and competences for students, teachers, museum personnel, and citizens, an access point, both virtual (platform) and physical (Faro della Palascia), where experiences, competences, knowledge and best practices on the ecological culture will converge. In this framework, LifeWatch provided its support in the application, thanks to its communication and ICT competences, from proposal drafting and activities planning to the establishment of the partnership (all connected to LifeWatch). Both BUGSLife and BioHub are currently under evaluation. Last but not least, LifeWatch Italy has been participating to a series of wide public initiatives, i.e. EXPO 2015, Cammini LTER, Fiera del Levante, Festival dell'Innovazione, the candidature of Lecce as European Capital of Culture, introducing citizens to science, raising awareness on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
Name of Citizen Science Project: 
The European Scientific Research Game Project
Project URL:
Brief description of project: 
‘Research Game’ is a game produced in a Lifelong Learning Programme-Comenius Project (The European Scientific Research Game) which aims at motivating secondary school students through the experience of the excitement of scientific research. The project proposes practical and didactic works which combine theoretical activities with ICT, in order to introduce students to the scientific research. Students collaborated internationally across Europe, to build hypotheses, carry out research, test the validity of their hypothesis and finalize a theory based on their findings. On the project platform ( teachers and students registered, created a team, interacted on a forum space, played and learned science in a new innovative way. Here, the students shared their research findings with other groups of all Europe; finally competed online playing a serious game and showing to be able to apply the scientific method. Although the pilot project has been completed, both serious game and supporting materials are available online for teachers and students.
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