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Enhancing research potential by strengthening a local network of laboratories for studying wetland ecosystems functioning, restoration and management (WETLANET)
Start date: 01 Apr 2009, End date: 31 Mar 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project aims to enhance the research potential of the Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (CLGE-BAS) by strengthening a local laboratory network for studying wetlands ecosystem functioning, restoration and management. This laboratory network includes (i) three remote field stations situated at wetlands of major ecological importance in the Lower Danube floodplain and at the Black Sea coastal area and (ii) specialised laboratory units at the headquarters of CLGE-BAS in Sofia. The objectives include: 1. Improving the human capacity of CLGE-BAS in wetland studies by the organisation of outgoing and incoming visits for exchange of know-how and experience, the recruitment by the WETLANET laboratories via employing incoming experienced researchers and organisation of training events. 2. Upgrading the technical capacity of the WETLANET laboratories by development and renewal of the research equipment and development of IT capacity, thus allowing CLGE-BAS to further improve its scientific potential and to strengthen the overall research performance. 3. Achieving better integration of CLGE-BAS in ERA by organising a conference, workshops and training courses and by exposing the research staff to international scientific environment, thus promoting research collaborations and establishment of multilateral partnership that can result in the formation of a consortium (consortia) carrying out high-level wetland research of socio-economic impact at regional and global scale (inter alia, targeting priorities of FP7). 4. Dissemination of achievements of wetland science (including recent developments in WETLANET laboratories) in the society (targeting mostly business, industry, authorities, nongovernmental organisations and educational establishments), by promotional events and publication activities, in view of increasing visibility of the research activities of CLGE-BAS and improving their response to socio-economic needs of the country.
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