Our this year´s annual meeting ABOL4 took place on October 20th, 2017 under a number of lucky stars! Firstly, good news from the Federal Ministry of Research, Science and Economy came just in time: The coordination of ABOL is going to be funded for the next three years! Thus, co-ordination of the numerous currently running projects, filling of the reference networking among research groups can go on, as well as the acquisition of new funds for DNA barcoding projects. Secondly, looking back at the pilot phase revealed that the vast majority of aims was achieved and even surpassed in many aspects. Thirdly, all contributions and discussions at the meeting were instructive and constructive, inducing all in all an optimistic mood.
Except for two public talks ABOL4 was held in English. We had the great pleasure to hear contributions from the growing number of international partners. The plenary lecture was given by Sujeevan Ratnasingham, chief architect of BOLD, the international DNA barcoding data base. We likewise could hear about the first achievements of CROBOL, our sister initiative in Croatia. Already from the start we have a fruitful cooperation, which hopefully will grow in the following years. Being held in English ABOL4 opened up also to international members of Austrian research institutes.
The meeting was restricted to a single day to avoid conflicts with simultaneously held events. During the preparation of the meeting we were confronted with the pending decision regarding the financing of the ABOL coordination. Fortunately, our optimistic way to look into the future payed off and four days before the meeting we received a positive decision.
We again want to acknowledge the back-up from the Natural History Museum of Vienna. Together with our sponsors, it allowed for planning this 4th annual meeting. Our main thanks goes to the 130 participants of the meeting. You were the brightest among all the good stars. Thanks for coming and we are looking forward to see you again soon!