Developing research infrastructures has long been in the focus of the European Research Area and European Union’s science politics. The work is lead by a strategy forum ESFRI aiming for European wide services creating a high level research environment that will attract scientists globally. ESFRI has last updated its Roadmap for research infrastructures in 2010, when AnaEE became part of it as a new distributed EU infrastructure for ecosystem research.
ESFRI has also pushed national research infrastructure processes forward and many European countries have delineated the national core research infrastructures they will support and develop with a long term perspective. Usually these are also connected at least with European wide infrastructures. AnaEE has been included in the Finland’s Research Infrastructure Roadmap, updated by the Academy of Finland in 2014 (Suomen tutkimusinfrasturktuurien strategia ja tiekartta 2014-2020, not available in English yet). On the Finnish Roadmap AnaEE is part of INAR (Integrated Atmospheric and Earth System Science Research Infrastructure) and it has received funding from the Finnish Academy in 2014.
AnaEE will be a distributed European research infrastructure including both in natura research stations and modern in vitro ecosystem manipulation platforms. Ecosystem manipulation experiments allow simulation of various environmental factors and their joint effects in controlled conditions. Network of in natura field stations will cover natural as well as managed terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from all climatic and vegetation zones in Europe. AnaEE will provide and develop harmonized research equipment and modelling and analytical services.
AnaEE is needed to coordinate experimental research around big research challenges of our time. The productivity of agricultural, forest and aquatic ecosystems is an essential question for the future of our earth. To secure the ecosystem services and to develop bioeconomy we need research on how the climate change, declining biodiversity or land use change affect these ecosystems. With the knowledge increase from analyses, modelling and predictions enabled by the AnaEE research infrastructure the society can make informed decisions regarding the sustainable development of the ecosystems.
Currently AnaEE is the only ESFRI infrastructure enabling research on sustainable agriculture. To develop European agriculture in the changing world we need predictions on future conditions for production of food and bio raw materials. Making the most of European wide infrastructure, researchers can benefit from the climatic gradient by repeating the same research all over Europe. AnaEE will develop and sustain communication channels for the needs of various stakeholders and enhance connections between researchers, entrepreneurs, decision makers and citizens.
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