Cover ERCIM News 56

This issue in pdf
(64 pages; 8,7 Mb)

Cover ERCIM News 55
previous issue
Number 55
October 2003:
Special theme:
Machine Perception

all previous issues

Next issue:
April 2004

Next Special theme:
Games Techlology

About ERCIM News

Valid HTML 4.01!

< Contents ERCIM News No. 56, January 2004

Tribute to Gerard van Oortmerssen

On 31 December, 2003, Gerard van Oortmerssen completed his term as President of ERCIM, after five and a half years of distinguished service to the organisation and its member institutions. In May 1998, Gerard van Oortmerssen succeeded Cor Baayen and Dennis Tsichritzis to become ERCIM's third president, and was re-elected for a second term in 2001. In November 1999, Gerard hosted and presided over ERCIM's 10th Anniversary celebration in Amsterdam, a memorable event whose success was characterised by a high-level symposium celebrating ERCIM's significant contributions to European research.

Gerard van Oortmerssen
Gerard van Oortmerssen was ERCIM's President from May 1998 to December 2003. He has left CWI as managing director as per 1 May 2003. He is now director of TNO Telecom.

During Gerard van Oortmerssen's presidency, ERCIM expanded its membership and geographical coverage to Slovakia, Ireland, Austria, Norway, Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium, with the joining of SRCIM (May 1998), Trinity College (May 2000), AARIT (October 2001), NTNU (January 2002), FNR (July 2002), SpaRCIM (July 2003) and FWO-FNRS (December 2003) respectively. Furthermore, Gerard actively pursued stronger ties with the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and the US National Science Foundation in order to promote ERCIM's role as a distributed think tank in information and communications technology and applied mathematics, as well as a de facto premier Network of Excellence in Europe and throughout the world. In pursuit of the same goal, Gerard adopted a proposal made by the then President of INRIA and Manager of ERCIM, Bernard Larrouturou, for ERCIM to become the European host of W3C, which came into effect in January 2003. Within ERCIM, Gerard established the Strategy and Human Resource Management Taskforces, which have become instrumental in strategic planning within ERCIM and in promoting the sharing of information and experience among ERCIM member institutions on the mobility of researchers and the management of human resources.

Gerard van Oortmerssen leaves ERCIM a stronger organisation and an important player in the emerging European Research Area. Under his leadership, ERCIM has taken important steps towards becoming an open ICT network in Europe and bridging the gap between the research community and industry. This was achieved through its strong relations with startup and other spin-off companies affiliated with its member institutions. Gerard has undoubtedly put his mark on ERCIM, and I am certain that I speak on behalf of the entire ERCIM community when I say he will be missed.

Stelios Orphanoudakis, ERCIM President