For the upcoming calls for Horizon 2020 research funding, the European Commission has said that it would prefer bids from open, collaborative consortia rather than the competitive bids seen in previous funding programmes. To this end, the organizers of 18 European biodiversity informatics projects agreed at a meeting in Rome last month (see go.nature.com/jouct9) to the overarching goal of predictively modelling the biosphere (see D. Purves et al. Nature 493, 295–297; 2013).
This goal is arguably more complicated than climate modelling, for example. Working out the first steps to take during the Horizon 2020 funding period will hinge on researchers forging links among a wide range of disciplines, including ecology, microbiology, agriculture, socioeconomics, remote sensing, taxonomy and molecular biology.
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Hardisty, A. A call to forge biodiversity links. Nature 502, 171 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/502171d