At mid-term of the first funding phase, the BonaRes Centre drew up an interim balance. The scientist of the BonaRes Centre met at the nunnery St. Marienthal near Görlitz at the beginning of March,1st-2nd 2017 to talk about the state of the art of their works and to exchange and discuss plans for the year that has already started.
After 1.5 years of collaboration, the different working groups were able to present some highlights to their colleagues. The concept of the web-based ‘Knowledge Portal’ was one example. It is a knowledge database which helps not only to structure knowledge on scientific connections and functions of soils that are available in literature but also to bundle and edit it in order to make it researchable. hence, connected analysis and findings are presented clearly and intuitively. The Knowledge Portal will soon be programmed and after a short test phase during funding period 1, it will be made available for public in the middle of 2018.
The working group ‘Assessment & Governance’ and colleagues of BonaRes’ Modul A Projects have worked intensively on a toolbox for sustainability assessment. Moreover, a foresight study, which puts BonaRes’ objectives into a context of political and technical developments, was largely completed. The foresight study is the base for a mutual BonaRes research agenda which should help to suit activities within the funding initiative to current social trends. The group has also dealt with so called ‘Governance Questions’. A review article on the role of soil governance on its way to a sustainable bioeconomy was published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.
The BonaRes Data Centre could successfully fulfill the first milestones: an essential infrastructure for a shared soil data base was set up and the programming of the Data Portal as first part of the BonaRes Web Portal is in progress. A special area will capture data from agricultural long term field experiments – BonaRes offers a platform to not only save collected data within this shared infrastructure, but also to exchange it and make it accessible for a professional public. An online map of German long term field experiments is now available – for a German version see: https://b-web-e.bonares.de/uebersichtskarteDFV/.
In addition, a new version of the BonaRes Portal (www.bonares.de) has been online since February 2017. It will be extended with further contents of the BonaRes funding initiative and its related environment.
There were lively discussions on interdisciplinary topics such as the usage of indicators for soil functions at the interface between science and socio-economy as well as the question of how those two approaches can be integrated best. Another topic was the linking between models and data and which data the BonaRes Data Centre needs to provide for modelling. Further, it was talked about ideas on tools and decision making tools which the BonaRes Centre could contribute for the Service Portal as part of the Web Portal.
All in all the scientists of the BonaRes Centre yielded positive results from the intermediate status of the first half of the project phase and left St. Marienthal with plenty of motivation for further tasks.