The execution and management of the project will be determined by the Grant Agreement with the Commission as well as the Consortium Agreement (CA), which will be finalized during the contract negotiations. In this CA the management structure, procedures and regulations will be laid out.
The HighNoon project consortium will comprise nine principal contractors who will operate within eight work packages (WP), including WP8 for Management and Coordination. The parties, Universities and Research Organisations are selected on basis of their depth of previous experiences and commitment in recent and ongoing projects, their publication records and their long-term strategic interest in the project topics.
This Project establishes a well structured, robust organisation and coordination mechanisms, which are based upon the highly effective and successful structural elements and our experiences in former EU projects and will be executed according to the ISO 10006 international management standards.
The operational management of HighNoon will be jointly realised by the coordinator, the Management Board (MB) and the General Assembly (GA). They will be supported by an Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). For administrative and financial topics the management of HIGN NOON will be supported by the Administrative Services.
Figure: HighNoon management structure and organisation
General Assembly (GA)
The General Assembly, as the consortiums highest decision making body will be in charge of the overall direction of HighNoon. The GA comprises one authorised representatives of each partner which has one vote. Each representative will have a named deputy. Any member of the project and the Advisory board and other qualified persons may be invited to attend meetings of this council as a advisor without vote.
The General Assembly will be chaired by the coordinator or a chosen representative. The chair sets the agenda for meetings and secures the implementation of decisions taken by the GA in the MB. The chair can convene meetings of the GA by request of the MB and upon request of 1/3 of the representatives with vote of the GA. The GA will oversee all activities related to publishing and exploiting project results, guided by the MB and advised by the IPR.
The GA will decide amongst others about consortium budget shifts and financial allocations and may authorise by unanimous vote minus the concerned partner about an exclusion of a partner in case of severe malpractice. In this case, all members with a vote must be present or represented. In other cases, a majority of two thirds of the present or represented member will allow a binding decision.
Management Board (MB)
The Management Board (MB) is responsible for the integrative management, and as such the main decision making instrument of the regular project management. It is formed by all WP-leaders. The MB will be chaired by the coordinator. The chair will set the agenda for MB-meetings. The Management Board advises the PC and the General Assembly in handling all matters related to the coordination and managing of the project, and will be consulted by these two in case of deviations. The MB provides strategic scientific management to solve problems that lie within the remit of the HighNoon project. It will agree on the proceeding of the work plan and modifications if these are caused by unexpected deviations.
Meetings of the MB will be held on a regular basis as felt appropriate and necessary, but at least one meeting every six months. To reduce travel expenses use will be of teleconferences next to face to face meetings. If possible the latter will be combined with the GA and Scientific Advisory Board meetings.
It is intended that the MB will reach decisions by consensus but where this is not possible decisions will be reached by a simple majority, the project coordinator having a casting vote. In case of absence of a member, the partner may choose a representative as proxy. Decisions require a quorum of at least five out of eight MB members.
The documentation of alignment with the work plan is prepared by the WP Leaders and presented in the frame of the MB. In case of necessary modifications, the WP Leaders will discuss and agree on a proposal for future modifications. This proposal will be presented to the General Assembly. In case of emergency situations the coordinator is authorised to take preliminary decisions which then have to be validated by the General Assembly.
Work Package Leaders (WPL)
Each of the work packages will be coordinated by a work package leader with a related scientific background matching the WP-topic to ensure the performance and progress of the work package with regard to the deliverables and project milestones. Each WP Leader will mange the relevant WP according to the ISO 10006 project management principles. The WPLs will report to the MB via the PC.
The WPLs will be responsible for:
- Coordinating the WP tasks including technical and management activities
- Monitoring the progress of the WP against time and budget allocations
- Ensuring that the work package fulfils the objectives listed as milestones and deliverables, alerting in case of delay or default
- Delivering the required information about the work package for the preparation of all plans and reports and timely transmission to Coordinator
- Preparation of interim and annual consolidated WP reports
- Maintaining contact with all WP participants, and ensuring the flow of information both inside and outside of the WP. Stimulation of and interaction with the information flow to other WP’s
Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) will overview the scientific activities of the project and will act as a constant review panel expressing its opinions on research related decisions, reports and any issue on demand by the project coordinator, MB or the GA. The SAB will meet at least twice during the life of the project: envisaged at the beginning and at the mid-term of the project activities, but the members of the Board may be contacted at any time, whenever their expertise or their advice is needed on specific questions. The meetings will be scheduled according to meetings of the General Assembly or the Management Board.
The SAB comprises the additional external specialists in topics related to the research issues of HighNoon. The external observers and stakeholders are an open panel of experts from the scientific community, many of them leading international projects in related or similar fields to achieve the best integration of HighNoon with other projects and activities.
Additional experts may be called to this panel for consultation as the need arises. These will support the project through their advice and give an outside view of the project progress during evaluation processes. Selected representatives will be invited for oral presentations at the project meetings and conferences.
The Management Board will propose a chair person from the members of the Advisory Board to chair the SAB. This chair person has to be validated by the SAB members.
Intellectual Property Right Committee (IPR)
The IPR is an Advisory Board on Intellectual Property Rights, Access Rights, Confidentiality and Liability and Indemnification. It will be composed of one specialist of each HighNoon WP Leader Organizations and will work in close relation to IRP-Helpdesk. These topics will be regulated in the Consortium Agreement (CA) and will be managed in accordance with the regulations in the EU contract. In case of mixed ownership of project results between HighNoon partners and third parties, within reason the more restrictive publication policy will be a applied, although for further participation in HighNoon the relevant WPL, in consultation with the PC, will negotiate terms of usage that are close to those in the CA.