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

eLTER RI on European ESFRI 2018 Roadmap

9 September 2018

We are pleased to announce that the pan-European eLTER Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) has been included on the ESFRI 2018 roadmap. This is a significant achievement for the European ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological research communities. It paves the way for the further development and formalization of eLTER RI. The eLTER ESFRI process is led by the German Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in close cooperation with the Environment Agency Austria (EAA) and with support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 17 countries supported the ESFRI application politically and 161 research institutions in 27 countries signed the scientific MoU of the eLTER RI.

The formal launch of the ESFRI Roadmap 2018 will take place in September back to back with the International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2018) in Vienna.

ESFRI is the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. It was formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council, and is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach. The ESFRI mission is to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe, and to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level.

The next step in the process is to prepare a proposal for a Preparatory Phase Project (PPP), which will develop key components of eLTER RI such as the legal entity, governance structure, Head Office, Topic Centres, the standard observation programme, the physical network of LTER Sites and LTSER Platforms included in the RI and the services that the RI will offer to users. The requirements of a wide range of stakeholders will be considered in this process, for example, to take account of emerging strategies in European environmental monitoring.

When fully operational, eLTER RI will be a permanently funded and managed distributed infrastructure of field stations covering European environmental zones. These field stations will be designed to support excellent science on the functioning of our life supporting systems (a whole-system approach). It will provide a range of services to end users, including access to highly instrumented and expertly staffed sites and to their long-term environmental observation data. Additional services, such as data synthesis and modelling, support for research and technological development, and training programmes, will be provided via Topic Centres. The RI will also provide a range of outputs supporting policy and science users, such as information on European environmental trends.

Further information

  • Find further information about eLTER RI on our website or contact:

Michael Mirtl
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Ingolf Kühn
UFZ-Department Community Ecology

eLTER RI image by Stuart Perry, Chemical Design, UK