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Infrastructure for the Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE)

Launched in November 2012, the AnaEE project is funded by the European Commission under the FP7 capacities programme as a "Preparatory phase project".


AnaEE will provide Europe with a distributed and coordinated set of experimental, analytical and modelling platforms to analyse and better predict the response of the main continental ecosystems to environmental and land use changes. AnaEE will consist of:

  • In natura long term experimental platforms will be distributed across the main types of climate and land use (arable land, grassland, forest, wetlands). Main experimental treatments will refer to land management, climate and biodiversity changes and will be applied for a long term when needed
  • Highly-instrumented ecotrons will allow better understanding of interacting processes by testing specific combinations of forcing variables and assessing retro-action of living organisms. Enclosed in environmentally controlled chambers, ecosystems can be synthesised de novo or sampled in plots of the experimental platforms for a detailed analysis of the impact of in natura long-term treatments
  • Analytical platforms at the cutting edge of technological development are needed to adapt to the new investigative capabilities and applied to samples of soil, water, organisms or air to help better understand and quantify the complex interactions between the different bio-geochemical cycles, ecological states, fluxes and compartments
  • Databases, models and a European modelling platform will consist of a toolbox of numerical models, sharing concepts between disciplines, which will evaluate and predict the effects of climate and land use changes on ecosystem processes

AnaEE will also provide data access for research and education, provide training and will contribute to innovation by taking forward integrations on leading-edge techniques across the various AnaEE infrastructure components.

AnaEE will be a key instrument for the implementation of forthcoming national and joint programming initiatives notably the JPI "Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change" (FACCE-JPI) which BBSRC run the secretariat for jointly with INRA (France).


There are currently 13 partner organisations from 10 different countries.

  • Belgium – University of Antwerp
  • Czech Republic – Global Change Research Centre
  • Denmark – Technical University of Denmark
  • Finland – University of Helsinki
  • France – CNRS, INRA (coordinator), INRA Transfert
  • Italy – Fondazione Edmund Mach
  • Norway – BIOFORSK
  • Sweden – UMEA University
  • Turkey – Istanbul Technical University
  • UK – BBSRC, Rothamsted Research


AnaEE is structured into eight work packages (organisation in brackets denotes the lead):

  • WP1: Coordination and Management of the AnaEE Preparatory Phase (INRA, France)
  • WP2: Implementing the AnaEE vision (CNRS, France)
  • WP3: AnaEE Technical Development Plan (DTU, Denmark)
  • WP4: Access to AnaEE infrastructure and data and links with the wider community (Rothamsted Research, UK)
  • WP5: Innovation (FEM, Italy)
  • WP6: Legal and Governance (BBSRC, UK)
  • WP7: Financial and human resource planning (UHEL, Finland)
  • WP8: Communication, networking, education and training (INRA, France)

Our role in AnaEE

BBSRC lead the AnaEE Legal and Governance Work Package which will:

  • Establish and run a Legal, Governance and Finance Advisory Group which will aim to engage ministries, funders and other stakeholders for all matters regarding the development of sustainable legal, governance and funding models for AnaEE
  • Identify and document the specific legal issues related to the activities of the future AnaEE infrastructure, to understand the challenges/issues associated with establishing long-term governance and to test options for legal models that address these challenges
  • Outline possible viable scenarios so to allow rigorous testing of the robustness of the proposed governance
  • Identify complementarities, overlaps, synergies with existing and upcoming European infrastructures particularly with other ESFRI projects, and with relevant Joint Programming Initiatives
  • Invite expressions of interest from possible candidate sites to be able to identify national nodes and representation of suitable infrastructure sites.
  • Develop an interim governance structure with associated legal requirements, milestones and a timescale for implementation
  • Establish a long-term governance structure for AnaEE taking into account mission statement, common vision, terms of reference for management and advisory boards, structure, business plan and timeline for implementation

There are also interdependencies between the work packages meaning we also contribute to:

  • The development of the AnaEE vision and roadmap
  • Input on technology transfer guidelines
  • Estimate on running and construction costs of proposed research infrastructures
  • AnaEE Steering Committee

UK agri-ecosystems activity

Given the increase of scientific activities with the UK agri-ecosystems communities, it is timely to consider how current UK capability in agri-ecosystems can enable UK scientists to respond to current and future research demands for changes in ecosystems due to environmental change.

A first UK workshop was held in May 2013 and was an initial step to explore UK capability for agri-ecosystems science. Outcomes from the workshop will work towards helping define UK participation in AnaEE. The workshop brought together a small group of of the UK agri-ecosystems communities including funders (such as the Natural Environment Research Council), research institutes/centres (Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and academia.

A second workshop is planned for early 2014 with wider participation to take forward thinking from the first workshop.