EUROPEAN JOINT CALLS
In tandem with its coordination and strategy work, BiodivERsA aims to establish itself as a source of regular funding with the launch of one joint call a year - 3 calls have been already launched for close to 30M of euros.
The challenge of coordinating research programmes was first addressed by a large, pan-European joint call for proposals in 2008, through which 12 projects were funded for a total of €14.2 million. These included BioMarks, a project that aims to assess the significance of marine protists, which play a major role in global ecology by reallocating oxygen and carbon. In August 2011 BioMarKs published its first findings in the journal Nature detailing the sensitivity of a particular phytoplankton to ocean acidification – as well as entirely new forms of protists that redefine the fungal tree of life.
The plan since 2010 is that BiodivERsA will launch annual calls for research proposals on key topics, with funding budgets of several million Euros per call. The joint calls for proposals of November 2010 and November 2011 focused on 'biodiversity and ecosystem services and their valuation' (9.6M€), and on 'biodiversity scenarios, identifying tipping points and improving resilience' (8.8M€), respectively. The latest call, launched in November 2012, addressess "Invasive species and biological invasions" and has a tentative budget of over 7M€. The collaborative structure of BiodivERsA's joint calls not only facilitates effective transnational research projects, but also allows national agencies to close gaps in certain areas of expertise, as well as avoid the kind of wasteful overlaps in project content that can occur when national teams work independently.
Photo Banner: Karl Grigulis, July 2010, Col du Lautaret - Hautes Alpes, France