Michel Cosnard, President of INRIA was elected President of ERCIM at the last ERCIM Board of Directors, held in Brno, Czech Republic, 4 November 2010. Michel Cosnard took office as ERCIM president 1st January 2011 for a two-year term. Michel succeeds Keith Jeffery who served as ERCIM President from January 2005.
For some time, the Strategy Task Group (an elected subset of the Board of Directors) has been discussing the future of ERCIM. Indeed there is some pressure from more organisations to join ERCIM (the current construction is one member per country) and the current structure of an EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping) of seven members plus thirteen associates is now inappropriate for the mission and objectives of ERCIM.
“ERCIM - the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics - aims to foster collaborative work within the European research community and to increase co-operation with European industry. For more than 20 years, ERCIM has a leadership position for cooperating for excellence in research and is a recognized expert in Information and Communication Technologies which are now a worldwide research and innovation priority”, said Michel. “Its impact on society is tremendous and the number of key players has increased exponentially. To maintain its position, remain THE recognized expert in Europe, and increase its impact on European strategy and policy, ERCIM has to evolve in particular its membership by attracting the best research performing organizations.”
“ERCIM has been also the European host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The evolution of Web standards is key to maintain an open Web and to lead it to its full potential. Transforming the consortium into a more long term international standardization organization is a challenging objective”.
At the recent Board of Directors meeting the following plan was approved:
- form a non-profit association open to any suitable organisation based on criteria of excellence and with an executive elected from the membership
- retain the EEIG of seven members to look after the W3C Europe host and office with legacy project responsibilities at least for some years.
Three new Vice Presidents (VPs) were also nominated:
- Jan Karel Lenstra, General Director, Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI), The Netherlands becomes Vice President with responsibility to advance the activity for the creation of the non-profit association.
- Andreas Rauber, Professor at Vienna University of Technology, Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems and President of the Austrian Association for Research in IT (AARIT), Austria becomes Vice President with responsibility for attracting new members.
- Keith Jeffery, Director IT and International Strategy of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK becomes Vice President for external relations.
The plan is to form the association by June 2011 when there will be elections for the President and VPs for the new organisation. At this time the relationship of the EEIG to the new ERCIM will also be determined.