Designing the NoK prototype

Based on the mapping of biodiversity knowledge landscape in Europe, we have now developed BiodiversityKnowledge network prototype.

Over several steps in the project team, and with input from our regional workshops in Budapest, Copenhagen, Aix-en Provence, but also from workshops in Brussels, Wageningen, Glasgow, Ghent, Paris, Peterborough as well as to the BiodiversityKnowledge conferences in Brussels in May 2012 and Berlin, September 2013, we have now two major documents explaining the NoK approach:

The NoK narrative

gives you an overview in a set of powerpoint slides with explanatory text about the NoK prototype might operate to answer requests fm decision makers posed to the NoK. The main procedure would be a stepwise approach with elements rom general consulting but also borader assessment experiences.

The steps are:

  1. a preparation step which includes a scoping stage (type and quantity of knowledge available, identity of experts), a dialogue with requesters to clarify expectations and scope, and a preliminary protocol established with some key experts providers in order to set up the methodology of the synthesis, its validation by peers to ensure objectivity, transparency, efficiency and equity of each project.
  2. a conduction step where a team/working group (of identified experts) carries out the assessment on the question following different possible methodologies as agreed and detailed in the previous stage.
  3. a finalizing step which includes a pluridisciplinary peer-review and feedback with the requester as well as dissemination strategy and evaluation of impact.
  4. The rights, rules and allocations of roles accompanying the prototype are treated in a separate document  

To set up such a process, trying to reach out and engage a wide variety of knowledge holders, faces of course some big challenges, including 

  1. Ensure proper Networking and exchange
  2. How to ensure a proper governance of the process
  3. How to ensure that request are properly identify between requesters and the network
  4. Procedures to ensure high scientific quality when answering a request
  5. Communicating properly

The NoK prototype narrative follow these main challenges - so take a look and feel free to comment. 

Comments on the NoK should be sent to


 The White Paper


The final version of the complete White Paper is now available for download.

This White Paper provides in a detailed but still concise manner a concrete concept for the NoK, including its context, its functions, overall objectives as well as the practicalities of the NoK through the lessons learned from three demonstration cases carried out in the last year. The paper also elaborates on governance issues, rules and procedures. Finally, some concrete design options for the implementation of the NoK are presented at the end of the paper.

Major elements that have been revised in comparison to previous versions:

  • better reflect needs for capacity building
  • reflect more on involvement of different forms of knowledge (and according partners)
  • better outline different kinds of requests and how they can be tackled by different methods of analysis and assessment
  • develop governance structure proposal based on institutional feedback

This final White Paper will be presented to policy makers in Brussels on April 1st 2014.