Coordination and organisation

The origin of the Action lies on the active collaborations already established among research groups, which belong to different areas of expertise. Once identified additional possible links within the whole COST Action, the Action appears as a powerful tool to coordinate the intermixing for improving the collaboration and generating new ideas and products. Thus, organisation will basically focus on boosting relationships between those participants that have not collaborated so far and improving those that already exist. The cooperation of partners with complementary expertise should result in innovative ideas based on the work area. As a result, new consortia will be created to apply for and develop new projects in EU or National calls.

A Management Committee (MC), consisting of Delegates from the Signatory countries, will be responsible for coordinating all the activities within the Action. The chairperson of the Action will have overall responsibility for the timely completion and delivery of the reports to the COST Office. The MC will be supported by a secretariat or administrative office responsible for the financial issues. The MC will meet at least once every year.

The technical coordination of the Action will lie with the Steering Committee (SC), composed of the Chair of the Action, the Vice Chair, a coordinator from each Working Group (WG) and additional members, who may are beneficial for the proper implementation of the Action. The SC will meet regularly and will act as the main driving force to ensure together with the MC that the Action achieves its technical objectives. The meetings of the SC will coincide with the MC meetings, whenever feasible. During these meetings, the SC will report on the technical progress and achievements within the Action and propose new directions and strategies of the Action.

One of the main tasks of this Action will be the coordination of the potential projects, particularly those from national programmes, in which only people of a given country can participate. A Prospective Board (PB), composed of a representative from each country, will coordinate the applications to national and EU calls to harmonize objectives, consider budgets and merge results. A Dissemination Board (DB) will counsel on the advisability of either publishing or patenting the results. This committee will also be in charge of keeping the Action website updated, as required in the call. These two committees will be supervised by the MC.

The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), already mentioned, will be invited to meet at least once a year, preferably coinciding with MC meetings and workshops. The SC will keep the IAB abreast of progress and achievements within the Action. In the same way, the IAB will make suggestions to SC about the most interesting R&D topics for the companies. The IAB will also identify companies where young researchers may carry out short stays. The IAB composition will be dynamic: new companies may be invited to join depending on their involvement in Action activities.

The first milestone of the MC will be to evaluate the status of the collaborative work currently carried out within the COST Action. This will enable to be established links between these collaborations and new potential ones. This will specifically determine the working areas and short term tasks.

Simultaneously, as a second milestone, accurate information about future funding calls (including dates, budgets and objectives) will be gathered by the PB.

Short stays of researchers in other labs or companies will be the most useful method for an actual exchange of know-how and ideas. Therefore, as third milestone, the SC will schedule a plan of visits and meetings in the different research centres, once the working areas are established. Special care will be taken in setting a formation plan for the youngest researchers of the consortium (post- doc scientists, PhD students and, also, undergraduate students), including short term stays in foreign research centres of the consortium to receive training and acquire knowledge in techniques and methods that are not available in their own centres.

Workshops or summer schools will be organised simultaneously with the MC meetings to present the work in progress within each WG. Distinguished experts will be invited to participate in these events to strengthen links and interactions of the Action with research centres inside and outside Europe.

 

Working Groups

Since the different participants in the Action have own projects that require a dedicated and independent research effort, a WG structure is needed to coordinate them and to improve productivity on the basis of sharing results and know-how. Additionally, the WG structure will ease the incorporation into the Action of new research groups, which will collaborate with the participants in the Action in the future. The description of the WG can be found in the Scientific Programme section. Most participants collaborate in most of the WGs, which allows a fruitful exchange of ideas between them. Each WG will be organised by a Coordinator belonging to the SC. The Coordinator and representative researchers of the participants in each WG will meet regularly to technically manage the WG work. The Coordinator will be the link between the SC and the WG and will inform about the guidelines from the SC to the participants in the Action. He/she is responsible for collecting information of all the new relationships with other research groups and evaluating, together with the SC, the incorporation of these new groups into the Action.

 

Liaison and interaction with other research programmes

All the participants in the Action are developing R&D projects through local, national and international programmes. Most of them are related to some extent with the work scheduled in this Action. These projects are the starting point of the Action. Future projects will specifically focus on actual tasks scheduled within the Action. All participants are committed to look for funding to reinforce these research tasks; the Prospective Board will be the coordinator for all of them.

Interaction with other existing European and international research programmes dealing with related topics will be actively pursued. Likewise, the collaboration with other international research programmes and bilateral relationships with technological companies worldwide will be promoted.

 

Gender balance and involvement of early-stage researchers 

Post-doc scientists and PhD students are essential members of the research teams. Their enthusiastic attitude is a great stimulus for the research teams, in particular in universities, where the teaching activity is one of the main tasks.