Associate Members

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KeyToNature is ready to collaborate with other projects and organisations to exchange data or ideas.

The KeyToNature consortium is looking for active collaborations with public and private institutions and organisations involved in the field of environmental education, to enlarge and improve the critical mass of educational contents that can be provided to the end-users (teachers and students).

The aim is to:

  • Create a community of stakeholders with clear and viable plans to facilitate further re-use and exploitation of the data,
  • Bring into the project additional content which could be enriched, improved, and reused.
  • Collaborate in dissemination activities.

Associate Members


Species 2000 Europe Species 2000 is a "federation" of database organisations working closely with users, taxonomists and sponsoring agencies. The goal of Species 2000 is to create a validated checklist of all the world's species (plants, animals, fungi and microbes). This is being achieved by bringing together an array of global species databases covering each of the major groups of organisms. The programme in partnership with the Integrated Taxonomic Information system (ITIS) of North America currently produces the Catalogue of Life. Species 2000 supports KeyToNature by providing access to the Catalogue of Life as a clearing mechanism for the taxonomic component of the identification databases. The identification data and tools of KeyToNature aare envisioned as a useful and needed future information facility. Species 2000 would like to work in a partnership with KeyToNature to enhance species information services to a broad forum of users.
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EDIT Europe The European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) is the collective answer of 28 leading European, North American and Russian institutions to a call of the European Commission, issued in 2004, for a network in «Taxonomy for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research». EDIT is collaborating with KeyToNature on several issues concerning identification tools.
Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe (BHL-Europe) Europe The Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe (BHL-Europe) is a 3 year project, involving 28 major natural history museums, botanical gardens and other cooperating institutions. The libraries of the European natural history museums and botanical gardens collectively hold the majority of the world’s published knowledge on the discovery and subsequent description of biological diversity. However, digital access to this knowledge is difficult. The objective of the BHL-Europe project is to make available Europe’s biodiversity information to everyone by improving the interoperability of European biodiversity digital libraries. The taxonomic literature digitised by BHL-Europe has a lot of images and protologues of living species. BHL would like to make this information available to KeyToNature to enrich the identification keys and provide links to the original literature.


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Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz Austria The Institute of Plant Sciences is recognized in taxonomy and stress biology of plants. The subdivision of Systematic Botany is specialised in cryptogamic systematics, with focus on lichen symbioses. The Institute intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the joint development of keys to lichens and vascular plants for Austria, and their testing.


Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium Belgium The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) is a leading research institute on the biodiversity of living species in natural environments of Africa. Scientific experts of the Museum are using and producing taxonomical keys. They can test and give feed-back on the existing keys in the KeyToNature project and on longer term contribute with Keys concerning taxa of their domain expertise. RMCA can thus be a relevant networking facilitator and promote the products of the KeyToNature project, also as a member of Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG). The identification keys (especially those for Smartphones) will be used and tested during the next EDIT Summer School 2010.


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Department for Information and In-Service Training of Teachers, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" Bulgaria The Department was established in 1953 by a Decree of the Council of Ministers as “Central In-Service Teacher Training Institute” – an independent legal teacher training institution. Since then, its main scope of activities has been postgraduate in-service training of teachers, headmasters and other specialists working in the pre-primary to upper-secondary education. In 2001 the Institute was transformed without changing its legal status into Department for Information and In-Service Teacher Training at Sofia University. The Department has recognition as the most respected educational institutions supporting the professional development and qualification of educators. More than 10.500 teachers participate annually in its different in-service teacher training programmes.

The Department will collaborate with KeyToNature in spreading the use of interactive identification tools in the Bulgarian primary and secondary schools. It will do this by encouraging interested teachers to integrate the developed keys and tools in their teaching, and by including special topics about the educational use of the keys in teacher training courses. Contact person: Mrs. Nadezhda Raycheva, Chief assistant professor, PhD.

Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Sofia Bulgaria The Faculty of Pharmacy has been part of the Medical University of Sofia since 1995 and is the only one in the country to offer higher education in pharmacy. The Faculty of Pharmacy in Sofia celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2001. It has seven departments four of which teach pharmacy-oriented fundamental subjects, among which the Botany is one of the central subjects. Closely related to the aims and activities of the KeyToNature project is the Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany.

The Faculty of Pharmacy will contribute to the KeyToNature project through its scientific expertise for the Bulgarian flora, as a training center for using the keys – during the field course and during the laboratory exercises with higher education students, and through popularization of KeyToNature among the Bulgarian biological scientific community.

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Faculty of Natural Sciences, Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen Bulgaria The Faculty of Natural Sciences, Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the following fields: a) enrichment of educational and methodological practices related to the use of identification tools, b) testing of the educational resources developed by KeyToNature during lessons and teachers' qualification/re-qualification courses, c) integration of the identification tools produced by KeyToNature with e-learning practices.
[Center for Creative Training Association] Bulgaria The Center for Creative Training Association (CCTA) is a non-profit association with the aim of working for a change in the field of education and training – a change to practical education which effectively masters key competencies and helps learners to enhance their potential for successful professional and social realization. CCT activities are focused on lifelong learning and youth activities, as well as on introducing a holistic approach in general education. CCTA has developed its own activity database, especially in the field of Nature Sciences. Target group of CCTA are students from primary to upper secondary schools, science teachers and also IT teachers. CCTA cooperates closely with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ training centre, for development and implementation of alternative tools for teaching science. It has a keen interest to the new identification tools of KeyToNature
Faculty of Biology – University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ Bulgaria Biological sciences become part of educational and research programs at Sofia University with the founding of the Department of Botany in 1891 and of Zoology in 1893. Today the Faculty of Biology has 13 Departments and 3 independent structures. The Faculty of Biology intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in testing the educational resources, including them into teaching practices, and integrating them with e-learning practices in Bulgarian language.


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Eurouniversity Estonia The EuroUniversity was founded in 1997. Later, in 1999 Eesti Euroinfo Ühing, a non-profit organisation was entrusted with running the University. It is collaborating with KeyToNature in several educational projects, the main one being the production of an interactive guide to the vascular flora of Estonia.
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Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences Estonia The Estonian University of Life Sciences was founded in 1951 (under the name of the Estonian Academy of Agriculture) as an independent university. In 2005 the Academy was re-named and re-organized; now ca 4600 students commit their studies in the University. Today teaching and research is carried out in five institutes , incl. the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences is already collaborating with the KeyToNature Project by contributing to the production of the interactive guide to the vascular flora of Estonia (Estonian eFlora). The short descriptions of species in Estonian and distribution maps of plants which are presented on the taxon pages of the key (e.g. Trees and shrubs of Estonia) have been compiled by the co-workers of this Institute.


Pfalzmuseum für Naturkunde, Bad Dürkheim Germany A Natural History Museum founded in 1840. Activities focus on a wide range of events: permanent and special exhibitions, library, scientific collections, nature protection, collaboration with other organisations, pedagogy. Nearly all of these activities are relevant to KeyToNature. In addition special educational projects are permanently developed in the museum itself and in cooperation with the surrounding schools.


Forum Natura Mediterraneo Italy The Forum Natura Mediterraneo is a no-profit organisation which provides all keys in Italian produced by KeyToNature with an access to a lively community of experts and amateurs.
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Associazione Nazionale Musei Scientifici (ANMS) Italy The National Association of Science Museums (ANMS), founded in 1972, represents museums, botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums and interactive centers of scientific interest in Italy. It promotes excellence in the development of museums, encouraging communication and collaboration, the training of professionals, the adoption of quality practices. Currently ANMS represents 170 institutional and 290 individual members. It will collaborate with KeyToNature in spreading the use of interactive tools for identification in the science museums of Italy.
Società Botanica Italiana, Gruppo di Lavoro per gli Orti Botanici Italy Founded in Florence in 1888, the Italian Botanical Society is the largest botanical organisation in Italy. The Working Group for Botanical Gardens is interested in collaborating with KeyToNature in developing and testing original identification tools which could be used for educational projects, and in disseminating among the associated Gardens the activities of KeyToNature.
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Società Lichenologica Italiana Italy The Italian Lichen Society has an active group devoted to education: they will collaborate with KeyToNature in activities centered on the identification of lichens carried out by schools, and in the creation of tutorials for the identification tools devoted to lichens.
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Museo del Fiore Lazio, Italy The Museo del Fiore (Acquapendente, Viterbo) will support the educational activities of KeyToNature in the region of Lazio (Italy), by co-ordinating a regional network of Scientific Museums.
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Laboratorio Permanente di Educazione Ambientale del CIRDA di Ivrea Piemonte, Italy The Laboratorio Permanente di Educazione Ambientale CIRDA-Ivrea (LabCIRDA Ivrea) is a center for research and education open to teachers, students at all levels and citizens. Since 1992, is part of the Center for Research and Teaching (CIRD) of the University of Turin. It has developed a project on ‘Lichens and Environment’ and intends to work with KeyToNature in the development of teaching tools supporting the interactive keys.
Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Saint Pierre (Aosta) Valle d'Aosta, Italy The Museum of Saint Pierre will support KeyToNature in carrying out experiences with schools in the Val d'Aosta region (NW Italy).
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Orto Botanico dell'Università di Camerino Marche, Italy The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Camerino (nearly 1 hectare) is the botanical garden of the University of Camerino, province of Macerata, Marche, Italy. The Garden is actively collaborating with KeyToNature in the generation and testing (with several schools) of identification tools to vascular plants and mosses.
Orto Botanico dell'Università di Ferrara Emilia-Romagna, Italy The main activity of the Botanical Garden of the University of Ferrara is centered on education, connected to both Botany courses for university students and those of science in secondary schools. The Garden also offers important support for scientific research carried out in the University. It intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the creation, testing and enrichment of interactive identification tools.
Museo Botanico Università di Siena Toscana, Italy The Botanical Museum of the University of Siena (Tuscany, Italy) consists of the Botanical Garden and the Herbarium, and is managed by the Department of Environmental Sciences of the University. The Botanical Garden is visited regularly by schools and by the students of the University. It intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the creation, testing and enrichment of interactive identification tools to plants.
Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia Emilia-Romagna, Italy The Department of Animal Biology of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the production of new web-based keys for arthropods, incl. one to the the main orders of insects. Furthermore, a e-learning module could be developed as an introduction for teachers and students to insect morphology and biology. Further modules can be developed on e.g. urban insects in specific cities or areas, or for applied entomology (e.g. forensic entomology).
Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy The Tridentine Museum of Natural Science is a public body that operates in the field of natural sciences, with particular attention to the Alpine region of Trentino. In its halls, the museum offers exhibits on natural history. The Museum promotes scientific culture with the aim of making it accessible to the general public, and pays particular attention to its educational role. The Museum has developed a network of museums and research centers spread throughout the Trentino region, pursuing innovation in teaching , dissemination and methodologies for lifelong learning. It intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the construction and use of keys to the local flora and fauna.

Comune di Foiano della Chiana Toscana, Italy The Municipality of Foiano della Chiana (ca. 10.000 inhabitants, Prov. Arezzo, Tuscany) can contribute to KeyToNature WPs 8 and 10, user experience and dissemination and exploitation, respectively, by involving end-users in the use of educational products related to the identification of organisms; implementing pilot projects in formal education context involving schools, teachers and students; evaluating the didactic efficiency of each category of product; providing input for the construction of an evaluation database; providing input for the improvement of the existing educational products, as well as identifying a strategy for ensuring evolution of the project as a sustainable initiative, identifying the most suitable dissemination means for the needs and goals of the project; raising awareness and stimulating organisation innovation in environmental education; identifying methods for integrating, consolidating and strengthening the new data providers. Finally, the Municipality will promote a shift from paper-based educational methodologies to interactive, multi-lingual and creative educational environments.

Comitato Provinciale AICS di Bologna, Sezione Ambiente Emilia-Romagna, Italy AICS (Italian Association for Culture Sport) was founded in 1962 as a national institution for promoting sport, and over the years has expanded its activities to the areas of culture, social policy, tourism, environment protection and education. The Provincial Committee of Bologna was established in 2006. The Environmental Section, consisting of agricultural scientists and naturalists, works mainly on environmental education. It intends to work with KeyToNature in the creation of educational tools for the identification of biodiversity at the regional scale.


State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow Poland The school was created in 1998, and today offers a variety of academic courses. The main aim is education, and close cooperation with schools and local educational authorities. It intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the production of identification tools written in Polish, promotion of KeyToNature via its institutional web page, testing of KeyToNature tools in formal courses and promotion events, as well as giving access to educational materials created within several research projects.


Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa Portugal Laid out between 1858 and 1873, the Botanical Garden of the University of Lisbon hosts one of the largest collections of subtropical vegetation in Europe. The Garden promotes knowledge, innovation and research on plants and fungi, their biodiversity, monitoring, conservation and sustainability. It is a reference to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, integrating different international networks, contributing to the study of the flora, and participating in botanical expeditions worldwide. The Garden carries out intensive educational activities with schools, and intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the development of new interactive identification tools in the Portuguese language.


Botanical Garden 'Alexandru Borza' - Cluj-Napoca Romania The “Alexandru Borza” Botanical Garden in Cluj is a valuable research resource for students and researchers, having connections with 450 similar institutions in 80 countries. It acts as a didactic basis for students in biology, horticulture, pharmacy and environmental sciences of the University of Cluj. The Garden intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the development and testing of new identification tools to plants written in the Romanian language.

Zoological Museum of Cluj-Napoca Romania The Zoological Musem is integrated in the Faculty of Biology and Geology of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. In terms of scientific value and number of preserved items the Zoological Museum occupies the second place in Romania, after the famous Gr. Antipa Museum in Bucharest. The Museum intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in making available to its visitors the interactive tools developed by the project, with a high dissemination potential towards a large spectrum of users, from pupils to researchers. It also intends to provide a space for showing and demonstrating the on-line interactive tools of KeyToNature and is ready to share its own gallery of digital photos to develop new specific tools.

Green Revolution Association Romania Ecological education represents the means through which Green Revolution intends to contribute to a durable change in the way people interact with the environment. The Association’s goal is the creation of an active ecological community in a sustainable urban environment. Green Revolution organises events that promote corporate social responsibility and sustainable development as well as ecological education. Green Revolution is actively involved in the educational activities for different age levels. Green Revolution through its media partnership with Green Report, cooperation protocols and strong relationships developed with key officials, NGOs, Central and Local Authorities, a.o. addresses a nation-wide audience and promotes ecological education. Green Revolution will provide support in disseminating the e-Learning tools developed in the Key to Nature project through Green Report’s media channels and publications, and through its events. Also, it will use the e-Learning tools in its ecological education projects as “Future grows green” developed for the schools in Bucharest and will promote them to other educational facilities. The Association can add value by providing scientific support through its biodiversity expert(s) and will facilitate the introduction of e-Learning tools to the Romanian school community, educators, specialised institutions (e. g., Ministry of Education).

Ahead International Romania Through its products: magazine, website, TV program, Ahead International is the largest media channel specialized on environmental issues aiming awareness raising and public education. The organization has a special section on Biodiversity on the website, updated permanently with the latest info and also develops thematic articles in the magazine. The content of Ahead International products is flexible intending to cover all aspects of interest in environmental related fields. The Association can therefore develop special articles, files or news for the Key to Nature products or related projects. Information regarding the Key to Nature project can be disseminated and its products promoted through the magazine, website and TV program. The three Green Report products are targeted to achieve a high level of environmental awareness of Romanians.

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Biological Research Institute, Iasi Romania The Biological Research Institute of Iasi is a branch of the National Institute of Research-Development for Biological Sciences of Bucharest. It carries out scientific research in three departments: Microbiology, Cell Biology, Ecology & Biological Control. The Institute intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the development of tools for the promotion of the importance of protected areas and in their dissemination.


Triglav National Park Slovenia The Triglav National Park is the only Slovenian national park. The park was named after Triglav, the highest mountain in the heart of the park, which is also the highest summit in Slovenia (2864 m). The Park extends along the Italian border and close to the Austrian border in the north-west of Slovenia, in the south-eastern section of the Alps. The park covers 880 square kilometres, 3% of the territory of Slovenia. The principal task of the Triglav National Park is nature protection, but it also carries out educational activities and scientific research. The park intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the testing and joint development of digital identification tools.
Univerza na Primorskem-Università del Litorale, Koper-Capodistria Slovenia The Faculty of Education of the Koper University is specialised in educational studies and in the training of teachers. The creation and use of identification keys is a part of the subjects of Natural Sciences (Study Programme Pre-school teaching and Primary school teaching). The Faculty intends to collaborate with KeyToNature not only in testing the already existing identification tools, but also in creating new tools, specifically devoted to marine organisms of the upper part of the seashore of the Adriatic sea.

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Park Škocjanske jame Slovenia In 1986 the Škocjanske jame caves were included in the UNESCO list of world natural and cultural heritage. The Park Škocjanske jame intends to collaborate with KeyToNature in the creation of new keys specifically devoted to organisms occurring in the Park. It will furnish pictures and adequate descriptions from its database, and will test the keys with visitors and schools, organising demonstration workshops, and field activities with schoolchildren and adult rangers of the park. It also intends to promote KeyToNature in the UNESCO, MAB programme, EuroMAB network.


Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Valencia Spain The Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBIBE) of the University of Valencia (Spain) is an interdisciplinary institute for research, devoted to the study of biodiversity and evolutionary biology with a multidisciplinary approach. The Institute is actively collaborating with KeyToNature in the development of identification tools devoted to lichens.

United Kingdom

Cothill Educational Trust UK The Cothill Educational Trust consists of five leading preparatory schools in various parts of the UK, as well as the Chateau de Sauveterre in SW France and the Old Malthouse on the isle of Purbeck in Dorset. The Trust's central aim is to provide first class education to children between ages of 2 and 13 and to inspire a lifetime interest in and love of learning. The collaboration with KeyToNature is centered on a project in which pupils will be given the opportunity to spend a week at the Old Malthouse Centre learning how to gather, identify and upload information about at least an individual tree. They will be taught techniques of traditional identification and the principles of DNA barcoding, prior to dispatch to the Natural History Museum of London for sequencing. This opportunity to make an unique contribution to an international scientific endeavour will be offered to as many children as possible.
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Open Air Laboratories Network UK The Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network is developing a wide range of local and national programmes to encourage people from all backgrounds to get back in touch with nature. The project will also generate valuable scientific data concerning the state of our environment. By bringing scientists, amateur-experts, local interest groups and the public closer together, lasting relationships will be formed and environmental issues of local and global relevance explored. OPAL began in 2007 and will run until the end of 2012. The five year programme will bring scientists and the public closer together, allowing environmental issues to be explored which have both local and global relevance. A total of 15 partners are working together to deliver a total of 31 projects. The entire OPAL portfolio is headed by Imperial College, London. OPAL is already using keys and e-learning modules produced by KeyToNature as resources for its projects.

Procedure for admittance of Associate Members

Organisation and institutions can become Associate Member of the KeyToNature Project on request. The interest may be expressed by e-mail, fax or standard mail to the Coordinator Project Office. Associate Members participate in agreed KeyToNature activities, however with no EC financial support. The KeyToNature co-ordinator may decide on a case-by-case basis whether a representative of an Associate Member will be supported financially as an Invited Expert.

The procedure to admit Associate Members is as follows:

  • Proposals to add Associate Members to the network can come from specific organisations, or by present members of the network. Any proposal has to be sent to the co-ordinator of KeyToNature, and must include:
    1. The status of the organisation.
    2. Its activity programme relevant to KeyToNature.
    3. A justification of the added value for KeyToNature.
    4. A brief description of how the potential Associate Member will contribute to the objectives of KeyToNature, and to which KeyToNature work package(s).
  • The Chairperson of the End-users Advisory Board and the involved WP Leader(s) will be asked for advice. They will have to define - together with the proposer - the task(s) of the potential Associate Member.
  • The advice will be discussed in the KeyToNature Project Steering Committee.
  • After hearing the KeyToNature Project Steering committee (PSC), the Co-ordinator will decide about the admission of the proposed Associate Member.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding will be drawn up, and signed by the KeyToNature co-ordinator and the authorized person in the Associate Member organisation.
  • The European Commission, and all KeyToNature members, will subsequently be notified about the Memorandum of Understanding.

The association of a new Member will be discussed by the PSC within 30 days since the arrival of the request to the Co-ordinator of the project. The association can be revoked at any time.

The role of Associate Members

Associate Members are included in internal discussions and have access to reserved areas of the project portal. They are expected to have an active involvement in the project, even if not at the same level of a Project Partner. Associated Members are request to partecipate by:

  • trying to adopt common standards and solutions for the usability and interoperability of educational contents,
  • providing new contents to the Project,
  • developing ontologies with the partners,
  • conducting tests on existing educational tools, and reporting the results,
  • collaborating in dissemination activities.

The admission of new members will not affect the KeyToNature budget allocation. There will be no financial obligations or benefits for Associate Members. However, they could apply for reimbursement for project-related travel and subsistence costs to Project Partners. These reimbursements must be agreed upon among the parties before any travel and project-related activities take place.
Associate Members do not have voting rights at the PSC.

Benefits of being an Associate Member

KeyToNature will provide Associate Members with:

  • The opportunity to access learning resources developed for European schools in the framework of the project.
  • The use of the KeyToNature logo for their activities
  • The access to a critical mass of educational resources provided by selected, no-profit, public or commercial content providers.
  • Free advice and support, including attendance to national and international workshops.
  • Regular feedback on biodiversity educational resources in terms of popularity, annotations and ratings by teachers.
  • The participation in the KeyToNature educational community for finding, using, authoring and sharing learning resources.
  • The opportunity to collaborate in defining some of the future directions biodiversity education will follow.
  • The possibility to participate in future projects devoted to the same fields of interest.
  • The access to expertise on the pedagogical use of digital content for learning.

Expression of Interest form

Expression Of Interest Form

Expressions of Interest (EoI) must be addressed to:
Project coordinator
Prof. Pier Luigi Nimis
Department of Life Sciences
University of Trieste
Via Giorgieri 10
34127 Trieste, Italy
+39 040 5583884