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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

Building eLTER RI (ESFRI initiative)

About establishing eLTER RI as an ESFRI research infrastructure

ESFRI is the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council. ESFRI is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach, through the coordinated development of major research infrastructures.


System layers diagram
eLTER will serve many research communities

eLTER is aiming to be recognised as an ESFRI Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI). To do so, we must have the support of national governments and to submit a successful proposal (being developed by the Advance_eLTER project), placing us on the ESFRI roadmap. After that we can establish the eLTER RI, building on past and current endeavours such as the eLTER H2020 project.

Key features of eLTER RI

  • Wide scale and systematic coverage of major European terrestrial, freshwater and transitional water environments – 250 research sites selected from a wider pool of ≈ 400 sites
  • Integrated observations across the critical zone, supporting whole ecosystem science
  • Investigation of interactions between abiotic and biotic ecosystem components at multiple scales, including human-environment interactions
  • Enables research into ecosystem processes influenced by multiple drivers, as well as socio-ecological research relating to ecosystem services
  • Central Services provided by: Head office, Service Portal and thematic Topic Centres
  • Strong links with other European environmental RIs encouraging, for example, co-location of measurements
  • Embedded in the context of international LTER (ILTER).


Watch the video (courtesy of the ENVRIplus EU project)

This video was produced by the ENVRIplus project and is one of series of videos explaining established and emerging European Environmental Research infrastructures.

See also the eLTER Youtube channel.


Q. How do I pronounce eLTER?

Listen to this audio file to see how we pronounce 'eLTER RI' (eLTER Research Infrastructure). The 'e' stands for 'European', not 'electronic':

Advance_eLTER project: Advancing eLTER towards ESFRI

Following our first ESFRI proposal, eLTER RI was designated an 'emerging ESFRI'. In order to prepare for a second submission to ESFRI, we were awarded 12 months EU H2020 funding for a project called Advance_eLTER (January - December 2017). This aimed to address issues identified in our first ESFRI submission, enabling us to start building the key components needed for a full ESFRI infrastructure. A second eLTER RI proposal was submitted to ESFRI in 2017 and we expect to hear the outcome by June 2018.

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