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Naturalis Biodiversity Center has a strong track record as an initiator, leader and participator in projects in which ICT and digital media play a key role.

We have the in-house capabilities to efficiently and effectively manage all facets of complex projects, from the conceptualisation and financing stages through to the production phase and final reporting.

As a museum and research institute, Naturalis is often an early adopter of new technologies that can boost the collection, linking, enrichment, and dissemination of data, multimedia, and knowledge about biodiversity and heritage. We continuously investigate how we can use innovative concepts and translate these into concrete digital products, services, and infrastructures for our target groups.

We nearly always do that in a project context together with other museums, knowledge partners and innovators from the creative industry. In recent years, this has led to a diverse portfolio of projects in which we have collaborated with a wide range of partners from the Netherlands and abroad. Just a few examples are:

Pro-iBiosphere (2012-2014)

In this recently completed European project, technical and policy frameworks were developed that must lead to a European system for open knowledge management for the biodiversity sector. One of the most important results from this project led by Naturalis is the Bouchout Declaration to facilitate open science within the natural sciences. With this the public accessibility of research data is encouraged. Pro-iBiosphere was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.

OpenUp! (2010-2014)

In this European network project with 23 participating natural history museums and botanic gardens from 12 different countries an infrastructure was developed to collect digital media and to make these available to Europeana, the European aggregator of digitised heritage. Since the start of the project the OpenUp! infrastructure, which is based on the BioCASE toolkit, has grown to become the third biggest content provider of Europeana, with more than two million multimedia objects. Naturalis participated in various work packages and made more than 100,000 objects available.

Dierenzoeker (Animal finder) (2011-2013)

In this joint project with the Dutch children's TV program Het Klokhuis and EIS-Nederland Naturalis developed a digital identification key for primary school children. Using the key, which is available as a smartphone app and online, children and their parents can identify the common animals that they find. The Dierenzoeker, which runs on Linnaeus NG won the Nationaal Groenfonds Natuurprijs (National Green Fund Nature Prize) in 2012.

Nederlandse Soortenregister (Dutch species register)

In this ongoing project, which falls under the program Nature of the Netherlands. Naturalis is working with more than 100 Dutch knowledge organisations and individual experts to bring current, validated species information together about all of the animals, plants, and mushrooms found in the Netherlands. Nederlandse Soortenregister.

STERNA (2007-2010) 

The Semantic web-based Thematic European Reference Network Application (STERNA) was one of the first practical applications of Web 3.0 standards and techniques. The project initiated by Naturalis was funded by the eContentplus program of the European Commission. In STERNA 15 partners from 10 countries collaborated on bringing together and linking similar information about birds in different languages. During this links were made to multilingual taxonomies and other knowledge organization systems.

Naturalis is currently developing various large and small national and EU projects in the area of ICT infrastructure and digital knowledge dissemination. These will ensure that the Dutch and European natural history heritage, and the knowledge emerging from this about past and present biodiversity, will be better integrated and can be made available to everybody interested in it. Furthermore, Naturalis is always keen to participate in projects where our knowledge, facilities and collection can have an added value.

Do you have an idea for such a project? Then please contact Maarten Heerlien, maarten.heerlien@naturalis.nl