From the President

This is the first issue of the Internal News Bulletin (INB) aimed for wide distribution in the ERCIM community; previously it was restricted to Directors, Executive Committee, Task Groups and Working Groups. I hope this wider circulation helps to keep the ERCIM family intercommunicating even better than before.

The content is testament to ERCIM's continuing evolution; with an office in Brussels and a strong presence at ICT2008, ERCIM is becoming more visible at European level. I had a very successful short meeting with Commissioner Verheugen at Sophia Antipolis and he is extremely interested in ERCIM's approach to innovation in ICT and Applied Mathematics. The launch of the ERCIM Innovation magazine gives everyone notice of our intentions in that direction while ongoing discussions with potential new members (specifically Slovenia and Cyprus) indicates that ERCIM is very much an attractive proposition from an outside point of view.

Our relationships with the EC continue to improve; we have many contacts with EC officials both from the ERCIM Office and from project leaders. I am currently leading for the EC an expert group on Professional Societies in ICT in Europe. I have just attended the European Conference on Research Infrastructures (ECRI) in Versailles where I spoke on e-infrastructure; this is increasingly being seen by all - but especially the EC - as the key to the knowledge society. There are opportunities for ERCIM to team up with large research organisations in Europe, especially with our Working Groups (WGs) on GRIDS/P2P/SOA, Data and Information Spaces, Trust and Security and SERENE (although other WGs are also relevant). Similarly, there are opportunities for ERCIM to strengthen the existing relationship with euroCRIS (http://www.eurocris.org) which has standardised CERIF (Common European Research Information Format) and CERIF is increasingly used in research-funding and research-performing organisations. ERCIM already has a policy on open access to research information but we could usefully cooperate with the PARS Alliance (Alliance for Permanent Access to the Records of Science) whose members work on digital preservation and curation.

The Autumn meeting of the BoD in Porto was a special occasion as our hosts rejoined ERCIM after an absence of some years. For me personally it was an honour to be re-elected for another two years. As we approach the festive season, I wish all readers a period of peace and recuperation at this special time.