Antarctic bioDiVersity dAta iNfrastruCture (ADVANCE)

New project aims to build biodiversity data products for research and policy


The SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal ( has received funding from the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) for its activities until the end of 2026 to develop an Antarctic bioDiVersity dAta iNfrastruCture (ADVANCE). Within this timeframe, will work towards improved coordination and interoperability of a host of diverse tools and facilities that operate worldwide and turn Southern Ocean and Antarctic biodiversity data into research and policy relevant data products.

This project will be a collaboration with the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), the Australian Antarctic Division, EMODnet and WoRMS, as well as GBIF and OBIS, in order to create a Virtual Research Infrastructure (VRI) for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) region that will convert biodiversity data into research and policy-relevant data products.

It will support the publication of all elements of the research cycle in accordance with the open science principles including the FAIR and TRUST and CARE principles) Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR), Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability and Technology, (TRUST) Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics (CARE).

By expanding a well-established online data platform (the SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal, to meet the growing needs of the Antarctic and  Southern Ocean biodiversity research community to access high-quality data, services, protocols, standards, workflows, and software/applications that integrate biodiversity data with environmental data from diverse sources and create research and policy-relevant outputs.

A key component will be the development of applications that allow building data products based on Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs), Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), and ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables (eEOVs).

A key component will be the integration of these products with SOOS and SOOSmap. Within the SCAR community the project will work closely together with the Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics.

One of the first activities of the project is the Essential Variables Workshop organised in conjunction with the SOOS Symposium.

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Figure 1. Conceptual representation of the different components of an integrated system for the SO centred around Essential Variables (EOVs, EBVs, and eEOVs) and linked to the FAIR Principles
News article 20/July/2023 by Anton Van de Putte (Project Manager, Antarctic Biodiversity Portal)