AMBER – Kick-off Meeting at Otto-von-Guericke Universitaet Magdeburg (June 2017)
The Otto-von-Guericke Universität in Magdeburg was founded in 1993 and is one of the youngest universities in Germany. It is named after Otto von Guericke who is famous for his experiments with the Magdeburg Hemispheres. The AMBER Kick-off meeting took place in the Informatiks building on the 21st and 22nd of June.
It was the first opportunity to get to know the industrial partners and for them to find out more about the project. The meeting was also useful in reviewing the current recruitment situation and ensuring that everything is in place for the ESRs to start work, and to review and finalise the deliverables due for submission at the end of June and explore the long-term strategy of the project.
The first day started with a welcome address by Richard Guest, the coordinator of AMBER, which was followed by each organisation present introducing themselves and describing their role in the project. Both, academic beneficiaries and industrial partners offer a broad range of expertise which should provide the ESRs with a rich learning experience.
The remaining time on Day 1 was taken up exploring the role of the partners within the project, governance of the ITN and its expected outcomes and impact and a look ahead at the years to come.
The day was rounded off with a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant
During the second day more detailed discussions regarding the training plan and dissemination took place. Both these issues are of utmost importance to the project: training the ESRs is the central objective of the project and includes not only scientific / research training but also transferrable skills training to ensure that the ESRs experience a diverse education enhancing their employability. Dissemination will occur on several levels: academic – publication of papers, attendance at conferences etc., industrial – exploitation of project outcomes, and public and government and end-users through direct engagement with the public and participation in Standards groups.
Further issues discussed were plans for the upcoming meeting in Canterbury (6th – 8th November), the need to establish an advisory board (all partners were requested to suggest members for this board), and the need for excellent communication between partners and with the ESRs once they have arrived at their place of work.
All in all the face-to-face meeting was extremely useful for the consortium. Firstly, meeting the industrial partners provides a good basis for collaboration when it comes to the secondment of ESRs and even though beneficiaries know each other quite well, real (as opposed to virtual) meetings provide a much more direct platform for communication.
AMBER Launch Meeting (January 2017)
The AMBER launch meeting took place on the 18th of January 2017 at the Brussels offices of CSIC and was attended by principal investigators of all beneficiaries and the Project Officer. Discussions focussed on ESR recruitment, the plan for training events and the plan for dissemination.