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European Conference on Research Infrastructures

Final Report Summary - ECRIUK (European Conference on Research Infrastructures)

The ECRIUK project was an accompanying measure action to support the organisation of the Third European Conference on Research Infrastructures (first in Strasbourg, 2000, second in Trieste, 2003) and was aimed at facilitating the circulation and maintenance of information that would be relevant to policy makers and other stakeholders in view of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) in the domain of research infrastructures.

The purpose of the ECRIUK project was to promote, organise and manage an international conference that had prime objectives of:
- clarifying the long-term scientific needs in relation to European research infrastructures;
- clarifying how a research infrastructure can generate impacts not only on scientific issues but also on socio-economic and policy development.

The project was divided into seven main tasks, as follows:

Task 1: management of AM
Objectives:
- To ensure that the programme is technically and financially well managed, the staff involved in project activities work as a team, implementation plan deliverables and milestones are reached on time, and that communications are effective and secure.
- To report progress at project meetings against the defined schedule in the implementation plan.
- To coordinate supply of external services to the conference.

Task 2: definition of programme and sponsorship
Objectives:
- Support the definition of the conference agenda and the social programme.
- Definition of sponsorship package.

Task 3: registration and secretariat (attendees)
Objectives:
- Develop database for attendees; administer interactions with venue management and other, external service providers.
- Produce delegate information packs.

Task 4: registration and secretariat (speakers)
Objectives:
- Develop database for speakers.
- Obtain abstracts of presentations and personal biographies.
- Obtain final speeches / presentations.

Task 5: web development and IT support
Objective:
- Develop and update conference website incorporating registration, abstracts, presentation programme and logistics information.

Task 6: marketing and advertising activity
Objectives:
- Secure sponsorship for the various external cost elements associated with the conference.
- Identify and acquire the contents of the delegate bag.
- Ensure effective coverage of event by local and national media.

Task 7: evaluation of impacts and reporting
Objectives:
- Obtain feedback from delegates that their objectives have been met;
- Identification of future actions and recommendations;
- Deliver final report.

The aims of the project were achieved and this has been demonstrated by the high degree of satisfaction that was expressed in a survey of representatives of the 350 delegates that attended the conference. The conference programme itself was structured to include plenary presentations by internationally-renowned figures from the research arena and parallel sessions that covered scientific, socio-economic and policy themes. The opportunity to elicit feedback from the delegates was taken both by review presentation given by rapporteurs allocated to each of the parallel sessions and by a 'round table' discussion conducted as a conclusion to the conference.

The conclusions have been widely disseminated to policy-making and interested scientific communities e.g. to EC Commissioner Potocnik, MEP Buzek, all the Member State Science Ministers (via Lord Sainsbury), and other European organisations e.g. ESF, ESFRI members and have been placed on the ESFRI website / CORDIS. The proceedings of the conference have been disseminated to delegates and other stakeholders via the conference website (please see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ecriuk online) that will be maintained for the foreseeable future. Dissemination to the wider public has been effected by publications associated with the journalists that were invited to the conference and given access to a press briefing session.

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