ALTER-Net, a long-term biodiversity, ecosystem and awareness research network. – Year 6. Nina report 569.
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Van Dijk, J., Ulvund, K. Terrasson, D., De Blust, G., Sier, A., Braat, L., Kanka, R., Mirtl, M., Török, K., Furman, E., Kertész, M. & Stadler, J. 2010. ALTER-Net, a long-term biodiversity, ecosystem and awareness research network – Year 6. – NINA Report 569, 78 pp. During spring 2009, 22 of the 24 partner institutes decided to maintain and further develop the Network of Excellence on biodiversity research after the end of the European financial support in April 2009. With financial support from the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, NINA hosts the ALTER-Net secretariat and two 0.5 fte positions were filled (one coordinator and one deputy coordinator) to coordinate the network activities. Year six of ALTER-Net can been seen as a transition year in which our Network of Excellence had to find its way from having the financial luxury of EU funding to a new setting in which partner institutes contributed cash and in-kind person days themselves. It is clear that the Network has to prove its added value of maintaining the network and to prove the significance of the partner contributions that have been spent on our network activities (i.e. Common Research Programme, Communication & Knowledge Transfer, Common Training Programme, Data Sharing Policy, Long Term Ecological Research - LTER, LifeWatch, InterDisciplinary Research - IDR and Multi-Site Experiment). During year six of ALTER-Net the draft Common Research Programme was approved by the ALTER-Net council and will be worked out in more detail, elaborated upon and implemented in the year to come. A new version of News and Views (http://newsandviews.ceh.ac.uk/), as communication tool on awareness, has been launched and a formal partnership between ALTER-Net and Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, has been established through the formation of a new Ecsite thematic group, the Nature Group. ALTER-Net is represented in Ecsite by CEH and also has a seat on the Steering Committee of the Nature Group. The ALTER-Net website (www.alter-net.info) has been transformed to the new situation showing our core activities and will replace the old version with all the work packages in April 2010. Work on Data Sharing Policy, LifeWatch and IDR are expected to come with visible outputs in the year to come. A Data Sharing Policy will be presented to the ALTER-Net council for approval and implementation and the case study on data exchange in the context of LifeWatch will be finished with publications. The IDR project on the Governance of Ecosystem Services will finish with an international workshop in 2010 and with publications. Although the work on LTER-Europe and ALTERNet’s support to the LTER-Europe secretariat is ongoing and has a maintenance structure the LTER activity has proven to be ALTER-Net’s key network driver. Two large EU proposals were sent in, dominated by LTER/ALTER-Net partners and several ALTER-Net partners were involved in debugging and improving LTER’s InfoBase. KEY WORDS : biodiversity, ecosystem, awareness, interdisciplinary research, research network, biomangfold, økosystem, formidling, tverrfaglig kunnskap, forskningsnettverk