Friday, 20 April 2012

Meetings in Copenhagen


This week there was a series of three consecutive meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark, all of which discussed EISCAT and EISCAT_3D -related issues.

Meeting of Host Organisations

First, on Monday, 17th April 2012, representatives of the organisations, which host EISCAT facilities, met for discussions on how to proceed with application for funding EISCAT_3D. The host organisations are the University of Tromsø (Tromsø site, EISCAT Svalbard Radar), the Swedish Institute for Space Research (IRF; Kiruna site, EISCAT Headquarters), and the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO), which is part of the University of Oulu (Sodankylä site).

The motivation for this meeting came from a recent meeting of the Nordic (Norway, Sweden, Finland) research councils on how to fund EISCAT_3D. The representatives of the research councils gave the indication, that co-ordinated applications for funding should be sent to all three research council. These applications will then compete with other applications and will be evaluated according to their scientific merit separately in each country. Deadlines are anticipated to be autumn 2012 (NO), April 2013 (SE), spring 2014 (FI), and autumn 2014 (NO). However, it is important to note that these proposals will be co-ordinated not only within the Nordic countries, but naturally with all EISCAT associates including China, Japan, the UK, and other interested countries. It is anticipated that a discussion on this can be held with representatives of all partners during the upcoming EISCAT_3D User Meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 23-25 May 2012.

The reason for this timetable might be that the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has begun to review its Roadmap projects. Therefore it is timely to make the first steps towards construction in a manner suggested by the application deadlines of the Nordic research councils.

General Assembly Meeting

Secondly, on Tuesday, 18th April 2012, the General Assembly (GA) of the FP7 Preparatory Phase Project EISCAT_3D met. The GA is the highest decision-making body of the project. Only the GA can make decision on allocation of funds between partners of the project. In this sense, this meeting was very important, because the first project funding and auditing period of 18 months (1st Oct 2010 to 31st Mar 2012) is now complete, and it was time for a general review. Also, the GA decides on responsibilities regarding work packages. Below the GA, which meets typically twice per year, the Executive Board (EB) is responsible for more rapid decision making, which happens during the EB's weekly telephone conferences and during their quarterly physical meetings. We will report more on this meeting later.

Council Advisory Group

While the first two meetings this week centred around EISCAT_3D, this last meeting was an EISCAT meeting. The Council Advisory Group (CAG) consists of members of the EISCAT Council, which is the highest decision-making body of EISCAT. The CAG advises the Council and meets typically twice per year before Council meetings. In our mini-series of project internals, we will introduce the various committees of EISCAT and EISCAT_3D in due course.

With a photo of sunny Copenhagen, taken on Monday before the Host meeting, we wish all of you a very nice weekend!

Photo: Thomas Ulich.

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