Brugge, October 13, 2000.
Present at the meeting: Daniel Apollon, Dino Buzzetti, Harold Short,
Koenraad de Smedt (chairman), Eldbjørg Gunnarson (administrator
and secretary). Apologies: Maddalena Toscano.
Minutes of the sixth meeting
The minutes of the
sixth meeting are approved.
Administrative and financial status, relation to the European Commission
A coordinators' meeting was held in Brussels on Jan. 23, 2000. Information
from the Commission on its current strategies and programmes indicates
that the TNP action is continuing strongly under the new SOCRATES programme.
Year 1: Administrative and financial matters closed.
Year 2: The remainder of 7350 EUR has been received. The report has
been approved with a slightly lower sum of eligible costs (26000 EUR less
than reported), which means that the grant is 3340 EUR lower than the maximum
amount under the contract.
Year 3: The report was sent on time. The remainder has not yet been
Year 4: The contract has been signed and the advance of the grant has been
received. The financial overview shows a close balance between
income and expected total expenses under the current contract.
Report on fourth year (1999-2000) and evaluation of activities
The project report for the fourth year (1999-2000)
will be prepared in the course of November 2000. Essentially, the
content part of the report will present the dissemination results from
the working groups. All planned meetings were held (see calendar
of events). The progress of the work so far in the working groups
is as follows:
Conclusion on status quo: Most of the results from the TS&HC working
group are in a final or prefinal stage. The ALLC
and HUMBUL sites will be used extensively
to disseminate final results. All TS&HC results will also be
available from the KCL
Knowledge base: A database on institutions and courses will
be available by the end of October on the HUMBUL
bulletin board. This resource will be in the future will be maintained
and extended with continued involvement of the ALLC.
Guidelines on best practice: An advanced draft is available
and will be published on the ALLC site.
Plan for training and retraining programme: A draft is available,
a more final version will be ready by end of October, to be published on
the ALLC site.
Student awareness: Thomas Rommel is working on this task
and the results will be on the ALLC site.
Continuity: Formally agreed commitments from the ALLC
have been reached. They will be written up as a policy statement
from the ALLC in a formal letter, also
to be published in some form on the ALLC
site. Recommendations for administrators will be written up.
Conclusion on status quo: Most of the results from the CL&LE and NEL
working groups are in a final or prefinal stage and are being transferred
to the JEWELS site at HLTCentral.
All CL&LE and NEL results will also be available on the ACO*HUM site.
Knowledge base: A specification of a database on institutions
and courses is finished; the database is implemented on the JEWELS
site (at HLTCentral). A
first version of a database on materials and tools is in the process
of being transferred and reimplemented at JEWELS.
Merging of results: Joint recommendations are made and being
written out, will be published on JEWELS.
Student awareness plan: The text is ready in prefinal version,
will be published on JEWELS
and letters will be sent to all European ministries of education.
Continuity: ELSNET has
started actual implementation of maintenance of dissemination results under
the ELSNET3 project. Implementation of the
website by VDIVDE is paid for by the ELSNET
project under this cooperation.
Follow-up of the project and future proposals
Current involvement of ELSNET and ALLC
have reached a level where short and medium term continuation of at least
some activities and results is assured, while long term follow-up is probable,
depending on funding. ELSNET
will follow up on some dissemination efforts as long as the ELSNET3 project
is running. From the ALLC, a formal
commitment has been obtained for continuing to follow up on some of the
Despite the commitments of these organizations to educational matters,
it is felt that institutions of higher education should themselves continue
to pursue their interests through a next round of TNP proposals.
The European Commission expects clear institutional commitments in TNP
proposals and requires a pre-application to be part of the institutional
contract. New TNPs must demonstrate good expertise throughout the
partnership and wide geographic coverage (incl. new Central and Eastern
Although it seems that new TNPs might obtain slightly higher grants
than in the past, they will still require substantial matching funding.
It will still be impossible to achieve goals entirely based on volunteer
efforts from individuals at partner institutions. The job of coordinator
is extensive and requires strong support from the coordinating institution.
Given these circumstances, some desirable organizational characteristics
for future TNPs are the following:
As to scope of future initiatives, given the current collaboration between
CL&LE, SCS and ELSNET, it would
make sense to propose one next TNP in the area of Language and Speech,
and another one in Humanities Computing. Both new projects
would have to avoid significant overlaps with each other, but would otherwise
be open to a wide range of themes and disciplines.
Achieve synergy by fostering related, converging projects in different
EC programmes and national programmes, e.g. networks of excellence, research
Involve international organizations (ALLC,
as partners which directly and actively support the coordination and provide
their membership channels for dissemination and partner involvement.
In the area of Humanities Computing, a future network would encompass
literature, history, history of art, text encoding, formal methods, cultural
heritage, documentation science, and other disciplines and themes.
Goals and issues addressed in any future TNP should be new with respect
to previous network projects. It would be recommended to investigate
specific needs in the new eligible partner countries (Central and Eastern
Europe, Malta, etc.). The following are suggested as some possible
new issues for a future TNP on Humanities Computing (in addition to the
ones already identified at the 6th Steering Committee
At the time of the meeting, no ACO*HUM partner has taken definitive steps
towards proposing a new TNP, but plans are under way to submit pre-applications
by Nov. 1, 2000 for a bid with final selection in 2001. Harold Short
at King's College London is planning to submit a pre-application on Humanities
Computing. Mike Rosner from the University of Malta is planning
to submit a pre-application on Language and Speech. The Steering
Committee favors these plans and is in favor of direct involvement of the
ALLC in a future TNP application and
also in possible complimentary proposals, e.g. a network of excellence.
In the short term, further dissemination of current results is assured
with the current strong commitments from ALLC
IT in cultural heritage management and the humanities
Culture, esthetics and IT
XML and text coding initiatives
new methods in the humanities: neural networks, learning, expert systems
modularization issues in the wake of the Bologna declaration
The present meeting is the last meeting of the ACO*HUM Steering Committee.
The members of the Steering Committee expresses their thanks to the coordinator,
who, in turn, thanks the members for their excellent contributions.
October 16, 2000
Koenraad de Smedt