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SYNTHESYS at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.

The SYNTHESYS initiative.

SYNTHESYS is the European Union-funded Integrated Infrastructure Initiative grant. This five year project which began in February 2004, comprises 20 European natural history museums and botanic gardens, aims to create an integrated European infrastructure for researchers in the natural sciences. SYNTHESYS is split into two activities: Access and Networking Activities.


To gain access to the collections, facilities and expertise held by the 11 national Taxonomic Access Facilities (TAFs) researchers must enter a competitive call for applications. If successful, SYNTHESYS will cover their research and living costs while at the TAF.

Network Activities (NA)

SYNTHESYS is setting standards for collection management and databases, and aims to raise scientists’ awareness of best practice by offering improved training and workshop opportunities, and guidelines for the care, storage and conservation of collections. The Project will also provide new policies on emerging technologies for storing collections, such as DNA samples or tissue banks.

SYNTHESYS in the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA)

The RMCA is actively involved in both the Access and the Networking Activity part of SYNTHESYS. We welcome many scientists within SYNTHESYS Access, studying RMCA's unique specimen collections. We are working on the further exploitation of our extensive datasets, with their strong historic component, in the SYNTHESYS NA-D 3.7 "Itineraries" project. Closely related, RMCA developed a Generic Query Tool for use with the biological data server protocols such as DiGIR, BioCase and TAPIR.