First meeting of the Management Committee

The first official gathering of the COST Action’s Management Committee took place in Brussels on 28 April 2014 by invitation of the COST office. The primary aim was to make all participants familiar with the rules and procedures of the COST framework, and to define the first steps towards successful collaboration in the Action. This was the first time that many of the Action members had had the opportunity to meet in person.

Before addressing the items on the agenda, the Science Officer Dr. Luule Mizera and the Administrative Officer Valentina Vignoli welcomed all the participants: a total of 31 participants from 21 Parties attended the meeting. After the formal recording of the timetable for the Action, all participants introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of their professional background.

Prof Howard Hotson (UK) and Dr Thomas Wallnig (AT) were unanimously elected as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Management Committee. After the election, the Science Officer handed the meeting over to the newly-elected Chair. As the University of Oxford was quickly elected as official Grant Holder, the agenda went on to a general presentation of the action.

Professor Hotson outlined the work plan for the implementation of the COST Action (based on the Memorandum of Understanding). He noted that 21 countries were currently represented and asked members of the Management Committee to suggest additional members and to spread news of the COST Action IS1310 both nationally and inter-disciplinarily. A provisional timeline and a modus operandi was agreed and steps were taken towards the establishment of the Working Groups, with Leaders being elected at the meeting. The work plan was established for the first year was to set up the Working Groups, building up to an omnibus meeting in 2015 which would include the first annual conference, working group meetings and a training school. The next MC meeting in October 2014 was to finalise membership and draft the agenda for the 2015 meeting. Another priority should be the building of the website of the COST Action: Howard Hotson reported that this would probably be hosted by the University of Oxford and would be designed as a virtual working space for Action Group members. Finally, Dr Vanda Anastacio (University of Lisbon) was elected as Co-ordinator for the Action’s Short Term Scientific Missions.

The next item on the agenda was the work and budget plan of the first grant period (of one year), which was presented by Thomas Wallnig and agreed on by the Management Committee.

The date of the following Management Committee meeting, as well as the first meeting of the Core Group, were scheduled for early October.