A Network of national funding organisations promoting pan-European research that offers innovative opportunities for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity
Biodiversity scientific research has demonstrated that the loss and degradation of ecosystem services are accelerating at an unprecedented rate and at a global scale. These damages impact not only the natural world but also human society. It is therefore imperative that biodiversity science receives the support it needs to offer practical solutions to these major problems. BiodivERsA comes in response to this need in building a dynamic, sustainable platform to identify the most pressing strategic issues for biodiversity. It supports and promotes excellence in biodiversity research that is relevant to biodiversity policy and management, at a European transnational scale. BiodivERsA is funded until 2014 by the FP7 European Research Area programme (ERA-NET) which supports collaborative research projects across Europe.
Since Biodiversity does not know national borders, BiodivERsA focuses on cross-borders scientific collaboration. It supports scientists working collaboratively from different countries on topics that require to be studied at an international scale. This principle was at the core of BiodivERsA's mission and activity at its initial launch in 2005. 20 partners from 13 European countries lead the initiative. In November 2010, at the start of its second phase, BiodivERsA welcomed new partners, and currently works with a network of 21 of the most significant national funding agencies in 15 European countries. The Network provides the funding, focus and networking opportunities for biodiversity researchers to work efficiently on a variety of projects that contribute to the understanding of biodiversity dynamics. It also explores innovative solutions for the use, conservation and sustainable management of biological resources. The driving objective of BiodivERsA is to develop a sustainable mechanism to promote strategic cooperation among those working in biodiversity research and related disciplines, at a European scale.
Funding excellent scientific research based on an updated rolling commun agenda
Every year, the Network determines its own research agenda based on already existing national, European and international agendas, ensuring that the most relevant topics are prioritised. Based on its common agenda, BiodivERsA launches calls for research proposals emphasizing scientific excellence and policy relevance. Fundings for biodiversity research projects are awarded on a competitive basis. BiodivERsA is directly funded by the European Commission for networking costs only, with a budget of €2M over four years. The Network acts as a powerful financial lever to encourage national agencies to collectively fund research projects on a pan-European scale. Its ambition is to fund research for €35M over 4 years.
Policy management resources
In addition to supporting scientific research, BiodivERsA's goal includes a commitment to cooperation, dissemination, and sharing of best practices. It is currently working on publications that result from this endeavor. BiodivERsA is also creating and maintaining a database that provides biodiversity research managers and coordinators with access to information on current and past European funding programmes, allowing them to analyse funding trends and set future priorities.