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Network Activities

The SYNTHESYS Networking Activities (NAs) are an integrated package that support and develop the natural history infrastructure in Europe. The greater integration that will result from these activities will enhance the experience of Access users and other visitors.

The NAs aim to raise awareness of best practice in handling and sampling collections by offering guidelines for the care, storage and conservation of collections and will ensure usability of collections is enhanced by increased adoption of common standards and protocols. It will create an integrated European resource; bringing together the biological and geological collections held by major natural history museums and other institutions.

SYNTHESYS 3 (2013-2017)

SYNTHESYS is continuing its work into improving access to and management of natural history collections, with a particular focus on the issues relating to modern technology and the digital data this produces. The SYNTHESYS3 NAs will provide a coherent, integrated and sustainable management approach to virtual and new physical collections that will enable institutions to meet the demands of both current and future Users. Outputs will include collection management policies, protocols and best practise guides.

Under the current SYNTHESYS3 contract (FP7) there are two technical NAs and one management NA, led by the Natural History Museum, London.
If you would like more information about the technical NAs, please click on the links below or email:

NA 2 – Improving collections management and enhancing accessibility

Development of collection management policies and strategic priorities for open and flexible access to virtual and new physical collections.  NA 2 will also be continue to operate the Collections Self-Assessment Tool that was developed under SYNTHESYS 2.

NA 3 – Innovation, Impact and sustainability

NA3 will ensure that SYNTHESYS3 outputs are utilised by the broader research and development community and that benefits created continue beyond the life of the project.


SYNTHESYS 2 (2009 – 2013)

NA 2 – Collections Management Standards

NA 3 – Consolidating the Information Network of European Natural History Collections


SYNTHESYS 1 (2004 – 2009)

Under the previous SYNTHESYS contract (FP6) there were five technical NAs. If you would like more information on the outcomes of these email

NA B – Complementarity
NA C – Collections Standards
NA D – Developing and maintaining databases
NA E – Collections management for New Types of collections (i.e. Molecular)
NA F – Implementation of Novel and Physical Analytical Methods in collections