Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

INCOLAB Conference Prague

The Czech partner was responsible for the 1st INCOLAB international conference organisation. After discussions with regulatory bodies, accreditation institute and typical industry representatives some conference topics were proposed. During the 2nd Steering Committee meeting in Delft project members agreed that conference has to emphasize the topics which are interesting to the Czech audience (it will form the majority of attendees) but there have to be also topics interesting for other countries. Project members also agreed that the conference topics should address industry, regulatory bodies and testing laboratories. Based on the discussion and agreement between members of the steering committee, a preliminary conference program was developed and agreed by the project co-ordinator. Project members decided that conference duration will be 1 day.

The conference took place at Prague, 4 December 2004. It was open to all interested parties, in particular, those involved with the implementation of the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). The objective of the conference was to support measurement and testing (M&T) laboratories and related infrastructures in Newly Associated States (NAS) for full implementation of LVD. Equally important was to enhance their interrelations with regulatory and administrative bodies and with related industries. Particular emphasis of the INCOLAB project is to enable and facilitate mutual recognition agreements and the ability for competitiveness and this aspect was also taken in account.

The lectures were given mostly in English, only some of them in Czech. Simultaneous interpreting was available. Conference proceedings were printed and distributed. The complete number of attendees was 74 from all vertices of an institutional triangle, 32 of them from abroad. The conference was welcomed by the President of the Czech Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing and conclusions were formulated by the project co-ordinator Janko Drnovsek and by the General Director of the CMI Pavel Klenovsky.

Given presentations covered all the topics selected by the Steering Committee. Selection was made with respect to the fact that this conference has to tackle results and experiences of different project partners and participants connected with the problems concerned after the first year of the project. Of course a scope of topics must be rather broad in such case. A few topics were very challenging (software testing, financial and economic impacts, evaluation of measurement and test results, infrastructure problems, comparison of different directives).

Conference attendees expressed their satisfaction that exchange of knowledge and expertise between the project members and between partners in an institutional triangle has started. Also good and new international relations were established. Presentation of software testing at the first glimpse didn't fit to the program, but it was extremely important and interesting at the same time, because also testing is more and more related to the software issues and requirements related to the characteristics of software. A very appreciated example was also the presented dilemma, where there is one appliance to which more than one directive is applicable.

Some experience has been gained that could be used for the next conference organisation:
-·Conference organizer should focus on how to attract more active participation of attendees and more space should be given for discussions.
-·A broad scope of topics, which basically addressed most of dilemmas in the scope of the project, does not allow going into more detailed discussion. The next limitation is given by the fact that attendees are coming from various reasons and from different vertices of an institutional triangle.
-·It will be useful to provide attendees with opportunity to evaluate the level of their satisfaction of the conference by completing of a simple but well structured questionnaire.
-·Another remark was made on a broad agenda and lack of time for discussion. More general plenary session in the morning and a few parallel sessions (workshops) in the afternoon were proposed for the next conference.

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