Minutes of APARSEN General Assembly Meeting Thursday 16 May 2013


  • Simon Lambert (STFC)
  • Juan Bicarregui (STFC)
  • David Giaretta (APA/STFC)
  • Krystina Giaretta (APA)
  • Barbara Bazzanella (UNITN)
  • Veronika Praendl-Zika (ONB)
  • Maureen Pennock (BL)
  • Rene van Horik (DANS)
  • Maurizio Lunghi (FRD)
  • Stefan Proell (SBA)
  • Mariella Guercio (CINI)
  • Heikki Helin (CSC)
  • Eefke Smit (STM)
  • William Kilbride (DPC)
  • Ash Hunter (Tessella)
  • John Lindstrom (LTU)
  • Gerald Jäschke (GLOBIT)
  • Izaskun Lacunza (LIBER)
  • Herve L’Hours (UESSEX)
  • Barbara Sierman (KB)
  • Matthias Hemmje (FTK, also representing Inmark and ICT)

The meeting was chaired by Juan Bicarregui (STFC).

1. Minutes of previous meeting

JB proposed acceptance of the minutes from the last meeting and these were formally accepted as a true record of the meeting.

2. Coordinator's Report

SL distributed a copy of the Coordinator's report to the group and ran through the Powerpoint presentation attached to the agenda.

Review and deliverables

  • The second review meeting took place on the 25-26 March
  • 15 deliverables were submitted for consideration at the second review
  • The overall assessment was good progress
  • There are three deliverables which are not yet accepted and need to be revised
  • Two further deliverables were approved contingent upon minor revisions
  • 15 more deliverables are due in the third year, most at Month 36 and some before, and we need to ensure that they are delivered on time as the Project Officer will not accept any delays.

Revision of the DOW

  • Amendment No. 2 is on the point of being finalised
  • Amendment No. 3 is expected to follow later this year

Periodic reporting and cost claims

  • Payments against the first year cost claims have been made by STFC
  • Second year cost claims may be entered into the on-line NEF system when the session is opened by the EC, after the contract amendment is finalised
  • There is a possibility of introducing electronic only signature and transmission of Form C and submission of certificates on financial statements

Effort booking

  • Effort booking has been reported to the EC and will be entered onto the online system for the cost claims.

WK asked about the status of IKI-RAS and their effort. SL said they are still formally in the project and the intention is that they would work on the project up to the end of the second year and then stop, after which they will be removed in the next contract amendment. The understanding reached is that IKI-RAS would spend their pre-financing only, and they will not be paid any more money.

The issue of the performance of ESA and Airbus on the project was raised, and needs to be addressed with them. ES suggested we should set in motion the first warning steps according to the agreed procedure. It was formally noted that ESA and Airbus were singled out at the review for underspending and there is concern that they will not be able to catch up with their spending as there is approximately 5/6th of their budget remaining unspent on the project. The project partners would like some feedback from them as to what their intention is and if they intend to contribute more strongly, or else give an estimate of the amount of effort/budget they intend to spend on the project. SL will write to them and give them a deadline for the reply.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
SimonLambert 2013-06-07 WP51 : write to ESA and Airbus about their under-spend on the project and give them a deadline to respond. 2013-06-03 SimonLambert   edit

Management issues

William Kilbride has resigned and will be replaced as leader of Stream 1. WK said he is happy to discuss the role of Stream 1 with anyone who is interested in taking on this position. There were no other changes to management structures, though it was announced just before the meeting that Veronika Praendel-Zika will be leaving ONB in July and thus a replacement as Stream 4 leader will also be needed. The members of the GA thanked William and Veronika for their efforts over the last year.

3. Election of new Stream Leader for Stream 1

Two nominees were proposed but further discussions have to take place before the position can be confirmed. Conversations will continue about the replacement for Veronika Praendl-Zika. JB asked anyone who is interested in taking over in Stream 4 to contact the PMB.

4. Contract amendments completed and expected

Contract amendment No. 2

This amendment is very near to finalisation. It arose from the aftermath of the first review and had the following motivations:

  • A general re-focussing and rationalisation of effort
  • Adjusting the timing of the deliverables
  • Substituting to the extent needed for the departure of Philips and Microsoft
  • Strengthening the management structures of the project

SL showed a breakdown of the budget released by Philips and IKI-RAS and how this has been distributed in the paper he circulated.

The status is that the amendment has been delayed due to various administrative matters such as changes in organisation at STFC. SL now believes he has provided everything that the Commission requires and, as soon as the contract is approved, the cost reporting system will be opened.

Contract amendment No. 3

Another minor contract amendment is expected later in the year to cover the following:

  • Formal withdrawal of IKI-RAS
  • Minor correction to costs of ONB
  • Possible introduction of electronic reporting

Electronic reporting is not mandatory and the project is free to decide to adopt it or keep the current procedure involving signatures on paper. In discussion it was felt that the benefits are not clear, and that it would require unanimous approval by all partners. The decision was deferred to be settled later.

Concerning effort reporting, VP-Z suggested that instead of producing monthly reports for the WPs, which has not been very successful, that it should be changed to quarterly and made mandatory. This was agreed.

5. Report on the second review and response to it

All deliverables were accepted except: D14.1, D21.1, D42.1 – work to bring these into line is in hand.

There are nine recommendations, in summary:

  • Recommendation 1: requires the document describing the methodology for the common vision to be submitted by the end of April (this was done).
  • Recommendations 2 & 3: the project team must produce a description of the VCoE by the end of Year 3, and produce a strategy for the launch of the VCoE and establish a dedicated task force to put the strategy into action.
  • Recommendation 4: regular discussions with other Centres of Competence.
  • Recommendation 5: accommodate contributions from the wider communities to the deliverables throughout the duration of the project and present evidence of this at the 3rd Year Review.
  • Recommendation 6: the reviewers felt that some deliverables contained a lot of surveying and not enough analysis.
  • Recommendation 7: relates to the formal qualifications work package and particularly 42.1 and the reliability of the evidence presented.
  • Recommendation 8: the preservation services deliverable needs to be improved and regularly updated.
  • Recommendation 9: the risk register must be taken more seriously and regularly updated.

The PO does not require a detailed reply but would just like to know if the project team disagrees or is unclear about the statements in the recommendations.

A discussion took place about the various recommendations

Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 relate to the VCoE

  • The Common Vision methodology has already been delivered and we have until Month 33 to produce some results on the Common Vision. Definition of the VCoE is required by Month 36, plus a plan for how we launch it. HL'H suggested a "soft launch" initially to implement the VCoE within a limited scope prior to the main launch at the APA conference in the Autumn of 2014 to the wider community.
  • The task force needs to consider a "soft launch" i.e. engaging with other projects, producing the business plan etc.
  • Set a target date by which it will be possible to join the VCoE and definition of the function and legal documentation for the VCoE.
  • HL'H would like the timelines to be coordinated between the Common Vision and soft launch of the VCoE.
  • JB suggested that everything should be in place by April 2014 for new members to join in the summer with a hard launch at the APA conference in the Autumn. This proposal was agreed by the GA. We also need to set a date by which new members can join the VCoE.
  • A task force has to be created to work on the launch of the VCoE - "soft launch" for January 2014 followed by main launch in Autumn 2014 at the APA conference. Members can join and be in place prior to the main launch in Autumn. The timetable and contents for the VCoE and names of the people responsible should be combined with the timelines for the Common Vision as the two are interconnected.

Recommendations 4,5, and 7 are about consultations with others outside the project

  • MG suggested the organisation of an open or closed seminar about what we consider to be the important elements of what the VCoE should consist of.
  • Identify the communities and scientific research institutions and how they can be involved.
  • ML suggested a signed cooperation agreement with other Centres of Competence. He also suggested allowing members to join the network free of charge.
  • DG said we need to ensure we can assess the revenue streams and the costs involved in maintaining the VCoE.
  • ES said that "nearly ready" deliverables should be sent out for review to outside parties.
  • JB said we need to do a gap analysis to ensure we have coverage in all the different areas and thinks that we should send out completed deliverables for external review rather than incomplete ones at least one month before the deliverables are due, in order to obtain feedback from people outside the project.
  • VP-Z said that we should, as a matter of course, ask one internal and one external reviewer for each of the deliverables and agreed with Juan that they should be sent out at least one month before the deliverables are due.
  • WK said he is happy to use the membership of DPC as a form of peer review/consultation. He suggested he and JL should get together to run some joint APARSEN/DPC events.
  • DG noted that it is not just documents but databases that need updating and we need a process for making sure that those components of the deliverables are updated from outside the project. This can be done through the web site by contributing ideas from outside. JB said this will help us in meeting Recommendation 6.
  • MP said we rely upon people coming to the APA and APARSEN websites but there are other forums that we could use to draw people in like the OPF blog and staff exchange at the libraries. She also drew attention to the digital heritage roadmap for digital preservation – this is a project where there is an opportunity to engage with them. DG advised the group that he has already been in contact with this project and there will be a joint presentation at ICT2013.
  • WK suggested that WP leaders should take the lead and use the opportunity to use tools like blogs to engage with a wider community.
  • ML suggested drafting a cooperation agreement with other organisations and that it would be a way of formalising what we are already doing.

Assigned to Due date Description State Closed Notify  
TWikiUsers 2013-06-07 WPxx : WP leaders to produce a list of projects and forums that we should engage with to provide evidence of external engagement with other projects and add to this page 2013-10-10 edit
TWikiUsers 2013-06-30 WPxx : WP leaders with deliverables that are due should get in touch with WK and JL for peer review/consultation. WP leaders should consult a wider audience prior to deliverables being submitted. 2013-07-03 SimonLambert   edit

6. Any other business


7. Date of next meeting

Not discussed.

-- SimonLambert - 2013-05-26

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