ADVANCE  –  Antarctic bioDiVersity dAta iNfrastruCture

The ADVANCE project’s goal is to create a Virtual Research Infrastructure (VRI) for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) area. This infrastructure will convert biodiversity data into data products that support research and policy. The ASO region is undergoing substantial changes in certain sections but remains relatively untouched by human activity.

The initiative addresses scientific challenges raised by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Southern Ocean Action Plan (download the plan). The VRI will enable the linking, enrichment, and valorization of heterogeneous information from diverse sources, offering insights into the responses of biological systems to climate change.

The effort expands the SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal to satisfy the ASO biodiversity research community’s rising demands. It follows open scientific concepts such as FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), TRUST (Transparency, Responsibility, User Focus, Sustainability, and Technology), and CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics).

ADVANCE works with organisations such as OBIS and GBIF to develop new biodiversity data models, improve standards, and create tools for biodiversity research. For environmental data retrieval and injection, the project collaborates with partners such as SOOS, EMODnet, and IDEA. Collaboration with non-funded partners and global communities guarantees that services and resources are scientifically sound.

By fostering free and open access to ASO biodiversity data, the VRI helps academics, companies, policymakers, and the general public. It contributes to ecosystem-based management, which is in line with the goals of the Antarctic Treaty System.