Swedish Biodiversity Data Infrastructure


From 2021-01-01 the two existing Swedish biodiversity research e-infrastructure consortia Biodiversity Atlas Sweden (BAS) and Swedish LifeWatch (SLW) are expected to merge and form the Swedish Biodiversity Data Infrastructure (SBDI). The evolving SBDI is designed to provide data and analysis services that offer rich opportunities for innovative, interdisciplinary research on biodiversity and ecosystems. SBDI will consist of eleven consortium partners:

The infrastructure is based on open, international standards and open-source software that are widely used in the biodiversity informatics community for data, metadata and exchange protocols. This ensures robust and reliable operation of core systems and services of importance to the biodiversity and ecosystems research community, and it includes infrastructure for long-term storage, mobilization, analysis and visualization of biodiversity data.

While developing services among consortium partners, maintained participation as national node within the GBIF community – linking to the widely acknowledged Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) technology platform – during 2018-2020 BAS and SLW will jointly plan the move of functionality from the current SLW infrastructure to the new platform. A significant number of countries outside Australia has started national ALA-based portals and the SLW infrastructure will be supported and maintained until the new ALA-based platform is in place and fully operational.

The BioAtlas Portal

The BioAtlas portal is under development but a lot of functionality is already available. You can read more about the available functionality in our ‘How to use the BioAtlas’-guide. We currently present data from Swedish natural history collections, biodiversity inventories and citizen science observation systems, but we further aim to broaden the evidence base of the portal to include systematic monitoring data, tracking and sensor data, molecular biodiversity data and data on microbial diversity. Progress in these areas will open up exciting new possibilities for integrative analyses of biodiversity and ecosystem services nationally and internationally.

SBDI Organization and Governance

SBDI Governance and Organization

BAS and SLW will continue to exist as legal entities with separate (but similar) consortium agreements and governance structure until the end of 2020. Already from late 2018 the BAS and SLW Steering Committee (SC) has governed both e-infrastructures jointly. The Steering Committee is responsible for overall strategic issues and financial planning and is further tasked with overviewing the development of BAS and SLW and the ongoing merger of the two consortia.The Steering Committee consists of the following Swedish and international representatives with extensive experience from research, research infrastructures, bio- and biodiversity informatics, and public management authorities:

  • Michaela Barth, PDC Center for High Performance Computing, Royal Institute of Technology
  • Anders Finstad, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Jo Judge, National Biodiversity Network, UK
  • Mark Marissink, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Eva Stensköld, The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Lars Westerberg, Linköping University
  • Anna Wetterbom, CEO, Sweden’s Young Academy (Chairperson)

Furthermore in 2019 an assembly of consortium member organization´s representatives including principal organizations (CMO) will be initiated, with annual meetings expected.

The Steering Committee appoints and may seek advice from a Scientific Advisory Committee (SciC) composed of five internationally recognized researchers with extensive knowledge or interest in biodiversity informatics. Tasked with following up and advising on the partie´s cooperation with regard to scientific and international developments in the area the committee, which will meet at least once a year to review the scientific development of the consortium consists of:

  • Hanna Koivula, Senior Researcher at Finnish Environment Institute. Previous GBIF node manager in Finland.
  • Helen Roy, Ecologist at Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council, UK. Experienced in organizing citizen science infrastructure projects, e.g. as chair of ALIEN CSI, an International exchange of citizen science information on Alien Species.
  • Francesco Hernandez, Data Center Manager at Flanders Marine Institute and leader of Belgian LifeWatch.
  • Bente Edvardsen, Professor at the Section for Aquatic Biology and Toxicology, University of Oslo. Involved in a national biodiversity infrastructures.
  • Alexandre Antonelli, professor in biodiversity at Gothenburg University Sweden, incoming director of research at Kew Gardens, UK.

In addition two senior experts may be called upon to support the SCA:

  • Cynthia Parr, Technical Information Specialist at USDA.
  • Donald Hobern, GBIF Executive Secretary until February 2019).

With an advisory function a National Coordination Group (CG) consisting of representatives from all consortia partners will meet at least twice a year to discuss the implementation and jointly plan the activities of BAS and SLW, and the ensuing SBDI.

Technical development of SBDI is overlooked by a Technical Working Group (TWG) of system architects and senior developers representing all teams contributing to the technical development and operation of the infrastructure. The TWG gives advice to the ExO on technical aspects of the operation and development of the infrastructure and communicates closely with work package teams to ensure a smooth operation and development within SBDI. The TWG also oversees the SBDI development contributions to the GBIF and the Living Atlas (LA) community.

SBDI executive matters are handled by the Executive Office (ExO), consisting of the Director and Project Coordinator, both located at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and by the Deputy Director and one Communications Officer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.