Second consortium meeting, 13-15 April, 2016, Matera, Italy
The 2nd annual Consortium Meeting starts on april 13th, 2016, with the Administrative Board Coordination meeting. It is a meeting aimed to discuss and review the administrative procedures, and make the point of the situation about project finance and administration. Coordinated by Roberto Linzalone, University of Basilicata Representatives from partner institutions clarify and discuss on administrative issues. Dr. Linzalone collected before the meeting issues and questions (via email) from the memebers, so to have an effective Meeting. Roberto Linzalone provide a presentation, regarding the most important rules for project administration, and in particular addressing issues of interest for the administration of BAEKTEL. During the presentation the attendees have discussed around the issues and deliberate a common solution or approach to them
Linzalone's presentation dealth wit: General advices and regulation, EACEA’s guidelines, Baektel Internal rules, how to organize supporting documents on SP portal. Administrative and financial “State-of-art” of the project is a topic that is anounced to be presented in the session WP8, of the meeting day 2 (14/04/2016) Also the following issues have been discussed: Administrative closure, Supporting documentation, Cover letter for 'Equipment, Printig&P., Others costs' docs. Among many administrative topics, have been discussed also on: for which reason might be costs ineligible, what is maximum authorized budget for staff cost, how to calculate the hourly rate from the reference daily rate, issues regarding VAT and other taxes, exchange rate.
One important clarification has been provided by Danijela Milosevic, regarding the 10% flexibility of the actual costs occured repect to the project's budget. In particular she argued that the 10% flexibility among the budget headings is allowed for the Project at the end, respect to the initial budget; so the 10% rule it is not at the level of single Partner's budget, as intended by some attendees. The attendees then take a look to the TEMPUS guidelines, and actually verify Prof. Milosevic's punctualization. Accordingly, the attendees agree on the need for controlling the flexibility among budget headings till the end of the Project. This managerial activity is to be carried on by USB, that will report periodically to the partners about the Project's overall costs occured, and the margins of expenses in order to respect the 10% rule. Also the Partners agree on the possibility for move their budget freely, unless their movement create an overcoming of the 10% at the Project level. The Partners agree then to inform/ask the Coordinator in case they want to move budget over the 10% of their own original budget, that might infring the 10% at the project level.
On april 14th, 2016, at 9.15 a.m. Prof. Giovanni Schiuma, the project coordinator, opens the Meeting day and addresses the welcome on behalf of Prof. Aurelia Sole, the Rector of the hosting Institution, and Coordinator of the Project, University of Basilicata. Prof. Schiuma, as Project coordinator, then Introduces the Meeting with an Introductory note.
At 9,30 o'clock, the Meeting enters into the operative analysis of the state-of-art of WPs. One by one, in numerical order, all the Work Packages of the project Baektel, are presented by the Work Package's Leader, and discussed by the whole Assembly. In particular presentations starts from WP3. WP1 and WP2 are skipped because are already closed.
Each Partner outlines the 'state of art' of the WP it is leading, highlighting strategic and operative issues, progress. Roberto Linzalone, takes the word as Moderator of the session, introducing the presentations, and promoting analysis, discussion, comments after each presentation. Prof. Linzalone informs that the Partner University of Tuzla does not attend the Meeting; the Partner, namely the contact person Prof. Adila Nurić, informed the Coordinator and Hosting institution via email, some days before. Prof. Linzalone communicates, on behalf of Tuzla's contact person Prof. Nurić, that University of Tuzla apologizes for not being, and agrees to the decision taken by the Project Management Board. Also the Partner University Mediteran is not represented. The Contact person, Prof. Scepanovic, informed the Coordinator some days before the meeting, of the impossibility to attend the meeting.
Prof. Linzalone introduces the presentations of the first slot, regarding the WP3, led by University of Belgrade. Nikola Vulović takes the floor. About dev. 3.1 he states that of OER procedures and guidelines through development of BAEKTEL nodes in WB PC, has been implemented. Also new Equipment has been acquired by UB (2 Servers, 2 Switch, 1 Storage) . According to the Conceptual map of BAEKTEL network, he explains the use of the mentioned equipment. About dev3.2 "Common BAEKTEL portal for indexing all available OER and other supporting TEL content", some statistics are provided: 21 Courses on edX, 18 Described on Meta.portal, 6 Youtube videos. New metadata descriptions, new serbian interface, have been implented so far.
Around 10.30 o'clock Prof. Danijela Milošević,University of Kragujevac, provide a presentation on the WP4. "Development of initial domain specific OER content repositories". She firstly announce that in 2016 an open book, authored by Nenad Stefanovic, Danijela Milosevic, will be published and available. The book, whose title is "Innovative OER model for technology enhanced academic and entrepreneurial learning", is based on the BAEKTEL project and insights. The she reminds the workplan of the WP, and the partners involved. She then analyses in depth the dev. 4.1 "Preparation of educational and expert materials for OER repositories through cooperation between A&EI". She then reminds the planned OER from proposal (4-5 courses per partner). About DEV 4.2 Full functioning BAEKTEL network is at http://edx.baektel.eu/, where 27 courses in total are available: 23 described by metadata, 4 without metadata description. Danijela provides a demonstration of 2 OERs (video) produced. Then Prof. Milošević, makes the point about the DEV 4.3 Recruitment of a representative group of students and employees from enterprises. Each institution will create a representative learner group whose members will be students and junior employees. The results of the group, with results of questionnaire, will offer information about the value of published materials and the overall impression and experiences students got from attending this type of courses.
The foreseen presentation of the Partner University Mediteran is skipped, due to the absence of representatives. Then it is the turn of the update on the WP7 "Sustainability"; the WP is led by University of Niš. Prof. Zoran S. Nikolić takes the floor. In the beginning he introduces the themes and topics regarding Sustanability. “A project is sustainable when it continues to deliver benefits to the project beneficiaries and/or other constituencies for an 4 extended period after the Commission’s financial assistance has been terminated” (European Commission Handbook).
Prof. Nikolić presents a Sustainability road map for Baektel. He also supports the idea of some tasks to be performed. Develop relationships/partnerships that foster collaboration. Take steps to be visible, Modify the project based on evaluation and feedback, Share resources, Share expertise, Share successes. Prof. Nikolić then enter into the specific analysis of DEVs. About 7.1 Sustainability strategy, some general statements are provided. Then a sustainability analysis is brightly presented. Most relevant factors are: relevancy, acceptability issues, Environmental Sustainability, Implementation and Monitoring strategy, Post implementation operation and maintenance. Also some critical factors for the success of sustainability are exposed. Regarding DEV 7.1 Prof. Nikolić concludes that at this moment the synchronization of most activities within already realized WP's is already done, which was a crucial task from the perspective of sustainability of the BAEKTEL project: selection of the edX platform, development of the methodology for creating OER's (also in video and audio formats!), development of common methodology for generating metadata. All these results (especially the BAEKTEL platform) suggest that most of conditions for BAEKTEL sustainability are already fulfilled.
About DEV 7.2 Building Capacity for Inflow of OER’s, he reminds that at every institution a committee will be formed whose members will be devoted: to provide training, technical and organization support, to ensure continuous inflow of adequate OER’s. A list of Capacities of Baektel platform are discussed, as well as advantages. Some priority actions are the addressed: BAEKTEL teams from universities must start with public (more aggressive) promotion of BAEKTEL platform and own methodologies for creation of OER’s. They have to talk about it at National Council meetings, at national rectors’ conferences, at universities, with researchers, etc. Some recommendations are provided at the end of the analysis of the DEV 7.2.
In the final part of his presentation, Prof. Nikolić talks about the WP7.3 Anticipations on the start-up of BOER. A broader regional Balkan OER network – BOER would be a logical next step in the process of interconnecting and sharing of OER’s and best practices for their implementation and development with other Balkan countries and their universities. Networking is an important dimension of academic life. In this context, there must be formal programs that promote networking across universities. BAEKTEL still does not have such program and should soon define it. BOER should be understood as a collaborative BAEKTEL initiative for dissemination of already created OER’s taking into account the diverse nature of regional and local features of Balkan countries. How to create a BOER network is then faced by the presenter. BOER should be created step-by-step, on the base f a 3-steps methodology, in the simplest way: As a network with nodes based in partner's institutions, As a network with sub-networks within partner's countries (if they are relevant to the national educational and/or research interests and priorities), Global network across Balkan. The purposes, structures and functions of the wider Balkan OER network are presented.
Then it is the turn of the presentation of the WP8 "Project Management". Roberto Linzalone on behalf of the Coordinator University of Basilicata takes the word to presents some update on the state of art of the managerial aspects of the Project. 5 In the beginning he refreshes some of ECEA’s recommendations regarding the management of the Project. Key rules and guides are reminded with particular regard to: Responsibilities, Budget and Co-financing, Budget change and Co-financing, Pre-finance of the Balance payment, Submission of Final report. After this introductive notes, Linzalone analyses the "time" dimension of the Project. He shows the Gantt Chart of the project, with evidence of the progress of each activity against the expected execution. Then he reports some indicators obtained as elaboration of Project's managerial data, like the Performed work. Then "Costs and financial flows" are analyzed. Original budgeted costs and Actual costs (AC) incurred (according to the recorded costs, update april 10, 2016) are compared. Then indicators of "Progress on Cost (Expenses)" are shown, break downed by Partner and Budget Heading. Financial flows and Money transfer are also summarized in tables and graphs.
A further important topic is then taken into account: cofinancing. Cofinancing rate, by Parter, up to November 30th, 2015, is reported. As well as the Budget available to spend (until the end of the project) is shown, in a table where the budget is break down by partner and by heading. Very important is the budget 'still to spend' on Travel and Stay. This give the input to talk about budget flexibilty, and the possibility of moving budget from one line to another.
At 15,00 the Consortium Meeting takes place again. According to the agenda the Industrial partners are invited to address strategic and operative issues to the Academic Partners/Project Developers, highlighting their fulfilled expectations and unfilled ones, in order to provide elements for improvement.
Irena Rajlić, for Arcelor Mittal Prijedor, opens the session. She presents her company, stating that ArcelorMittal promotes Education, Health, Constant development. Then she reminds the rationale behind the Project, and the activities in which AMP has been involved. She also remarks value added of AMP to the project: to enrich the academic curricula with professional practice and experience and support it with industry background, to provide case studies, expert presentations, practical guides, demonstration of software implementation. Actually AMP provided so far in the project: Expert consultancy in fields of: Mining, geology, mine safety, maintenance, economy, finance; Life skills; Creation of OERs. Other activities have been performed, as well as contribution for the Quality Report.
Specifically on OERs, the Available OERs produced with the contribution of AMP are: CASE STUDY - Short course related to geostatistcal estimation of ore deposits – in cooperation with Faculty of Mining and Geology Belgrade (partner University Belgrade) Upcoming OER with the contribution of AMP are: BEST PRACTICES – High Dams Stability and Regulations – in cooperation with Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering Banjaluka (partner University Banjaluka)
She conclude her presentations reminding that “Entrepreneurship and education are two such extraordinary opportunities that need to be leveraged for developing the human capital required for building the societies of the future” (World Economic Forum, 2009).
The second Industrial partner taking the floor is Nis Petroluem Industry of Serbia. Dr. Mia Jesic reminds del Dev. in which the company is involved, that is 4.1: Preparation of educational and expert materials for OER repositories in our area of expertise through cooperation with universities. In particular 3 corporate interviews with international experts on subject of leadership, strategy and choaching are published on BAEKTEL Platform. She then outline the planned activities for the 2016.
At the 15.30 o'clock the presentations of the state of art of the project ends. Then the "Project EXECUTIVE PLAN and Agreement on future 2016 activities" starts. Thi is an open discussion on future activities, meetings, actions, mobilities, risk management, and otherissue, that is moderated by: Ivan Obradović, University of Belgrade; Roberto Linzalone, University of Basilicata.
The Meeting day n. 3 starts at 11.30 after the PMBoard Meeting. The first session is focused on "Assessment and discussion on the state of art of BAEKTEL". The discussion, based on a self assessment aim, takes the form of a Plenary and open discussion, on the state-of-art of the project. The attendees share ideas, and reflections for the Project development and improvement. The moderator of the discussion is University of Banja Luka, and Roberto Linzalone.
Around 12.30 the 2nd BAEKTEL Consortium meeting closes. Prof. Obradovic and Prof. Linzalone summarize and remark the main issues come up during the Meeting.
Photo gallery is available on official facebook page [link].