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Kick-off Meeting Brussels February, 2011

COST Action ES1004
Minutes from the Kick-off Meeting (KOM), Brussels 28 February, 2011
Prepared by M. Kaasik (7.03.2011)


For the start, the meeting was chaired by the science officer from the COST Office: Stefan Stueckrad. Representatives from 12 countries were present, but so far 16 countries have officially accepted the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
See details on:

The parties accepted the proposed agenda.

The representative of the COST Office presented the status of COST and the modalities. The COST administrative officer Kent Hung presented the financial rules in the grant holder system.
KOM Action #1: All participants are encouraged to get acquainted with the necessary information on COST procedures (reimbursements, procedures short-term scientific missions, etc.) at:
KOM Decision #1: The Meeting accepted the internal rules of procedures for the Management Committee (MC) of the Action.
Then the participants were asked to nominate the chair for the MC of the Action.
KOM Decision #2: Alexander Baklanov (AB) from the Danish Meteorological Inst. was proposed and elected unanimously.
KOM Decision #3: Heinke Schluenzen (Meteorological Inst., University Hamburg) and Sylvain Joffre (Finnish Meteorological Inst.) were proposed and nominated as co-vice chair of the Action, in order to better support the chair and cover the various aspects of the Action.
KOM Action #2: to identify the domain of responsibility of the co-chairs
COST Office (CO): administration costs for the grant holder are maximum 15% of actually spent amount (not budget). To ensure against underspending, the expected percentage is 13.5% of budget. N. Moussiopoulos assured there will be no difficulties to follow COST rules for his institution the ˝International Helenic University“ to hold the grant.
KOM Decision #4: on proposition of the Greek delegate Nicolas Moussiopuolos, the International Hellenic University is designated as the Grant holder for Action ES1004
KOM Action #3: the International Hellenic University will sign a contract with the COST Office at earlier convenience, with a 13,5% overhead to the benefit of the grant holder.
KOM Decision #5: the International Hellenic University will also take care of the website of the Action and receive an annual grant of 2000 euros. Initial website installed by end of March.
KOM Action will be the domain name of Action website.
After consultation with Carine Petit it was ascertained the Action will start April 1. Budget plan to be submitted by March 12.
CO: we need to choose two financial Rapporteurs from the MC.
KOM Decision #6: Financial rapporteurs are Christian Seigneur (CEREA, École des Ponts, France) and Nicholas Savage (UKMO, UK). 


AB made a general scientific presentation of the Action, listing the various intended goals, challenges and tools of the Action.
The main objective of the Action is thus to set up a multi-disciplinary forum for online integrated air quality/meteorology modelling and elaboration of a European strategy for a new generation integrated ACT/NWP-CLIM modelling capability/framework. One of the first tasks will be to try identifying priorities for online coupling based on where the best gain can be obtained.
Discussion about the process to plan the Action: Expressions of Commitment (EoC), Expert Group and Core Group meetings before the summer holidays (see §4 below) in order to launch the Action, with final tuning and finalization at a MC in fall 2011.
In order to help the planning of the Action’s activities, based on the expertise and interest of the Action participants, all participants will have to prepare a EoC. AB will distribute a template of EoC.
KOM Decision #7: EoC should be sent to the Chair and everybody else by March 28. All participants will have to indicate to which WG they want to contribute.
AB: we have to focus on online European models. WRF-Chem is included, as it is used in Europe. Consider models that are developed and/or used in Europe. We will write an overview paper.
Sokhi: from COST 728 there was a paper prepared in very early stage on integrated models – do that overlap?
AB:  think there is almost no overlap. The new one is completely outside the previous study. Online coupling was only slightly touched in COST728 and entirely outside the scope of the COST ES0602 paper.
KOM Decision #8: To write an overview paper. First draft/structure by Baklanov by end of March. Those who react will participate in writing as co-authors. It is desirable the Core Group members are active in this task.
CO: WG leaders must be identified at this KOM.  On the other hand, since not all potential participants are present at this KOM and the MC might be willing to identify and invite additional experts and/or institutions, R. Sokhi suggested the WG leaders are spotted for interim period until next MC meeting for final confirmation. Based on voluntary expressions of interest and involvement in the preparation of the Action’s MoU:
KOM Decision #9:  the WG leaders are: WG1 – Peter Suppan, WG2 – Michael Gauss, WG3 – Christian Seigneur, and WG4 – Heinke Schluenzen
KOM Decision #10: The WG leaders are supported by co-leaders as follows: WG1: Jose Baldasano, WG4: Dominic Brunner and Pavlos Kassomenos.
KOM Decision #11: The Core Group (CG) is composed of the Chair, vice-chairs, WG-leaders and Grant-holder.
KOM Decision #12:  The CG can make executive decisions for allocations up to 5000 EUR per year.
A discussion to establish the draft budget for the first year of the Action was engaged. It was decided to have a couple of CG meetings, 2 MC meetings, 4 STMSs, a publication and support for attendance to training schools. Due to current uncertainty in overall COST funding, only 65 keuro is allocated to the Action for the first year. The draft Action budget agreed at the meeting is grossly in balance with this overall sum. Provided COST will get promised additional funds from the Commission FP7 budget, the overall funds of the Action might be increased later this spring.
KOM Decision #13:  The draft budget was agreed (see attachment to these minutes)


The MoU includes reference to a Young Scientists Summer School (YSSS) in Odessa, Ukraine already in July 2011 (see: It involves lecturers from FMI, DMI, University of Helsinki, University of Copenhagen, JRC.  How we can support the local organisers?
CO:  Difficulty is that Ukraine not a COST country so needs special approval from COST Office. Help from the fact that is mentioned in MoU.  Normally, we cannot organise it there, but we can send some students there. We can send a person as STSM. If we are going to support organisation of event, we have to ask advice from Carine Petit.
Schlünzen: we must make a MC decision on principal support to Odessa summer school. Then we can ask Carine Petit, otherwise we have no background.
Kaasik: In ultimate case it is possible to move the summer school from Ukraine to Estonia.
AB: Unfortunately, it is too late to change the venue.
KOM Decision #14: To wait for decision of COST Office and then, if allowed, reimburse for lecturers, invited speakers and local costs.
A second training school to be organised during the last year of the Action.


AB: At the EGU General Assembly in Vienna next April 2011, a session AS4.25 related to this Action topic has been convened by AB. See: An expert meeting or CG meeting could be organised there. AB asked who will participate to EGU. Since not all the CG members were going to attend EGU, an Expert meeting will be arranged there. AB asked whether invited speakers could be supported by the Action.
KOM Decision #15:  To arrange the expert meeting during EGU General Assembly in Vienna, 6-7 April. AB to distribute a draft agenda. For those key participants, for whom funding is critical, Action will reimburse the costs.
KOM Action #5:  Try to reimburse the April expert meeting costs to external experts Mark Jacobson (Stanford University), Yang Zhang (North Carolina State University), Johannes Flemming (ECMWF).
H. Schlünzen suggested another event, which could be used for an expert meeting: The UAQCC (Urban Air quality and climate change workshop) in Hamburg, Aug. 13-16. But, not many participants intending to attend.
Kaasik: or during the 14th International Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes (HARMO), Kos island, Greece, 2-6 October. But, not many participants intending to attend.
KOM Decision #16: Potential participants to the Hamburg (August) and Dubrovnik (May) workshops, can have an informal discussion about the Action organisation and work.
Brunner: we have to start sooner than June, in order to do anything at EGU General Assembly.
AB: that is OK. At the end of year we have to make second MC meeting. Or sooner, in September?
Suppan: perhaps 2-3 months after the start.
After the Expert meeting at EGU, and compilation of the EoCs by the CG, it is suggested to have a formal CG-meeting before summer holidays to wrap up all these inputs and start preparing a work plan for submission to the MC in early fall.
KOM Decision #17:   The CG will convene a meeting before summer holidays (June-July), preferably in Brussels at the COST Office in order to have guidance and inputs from the COST Office.
Finalisation and agreement on work programme to be settled in early fall. One possibility is the EMS in Berlin (12-16 Sept.). On the other hand, the programme is rather full with many sessions so that it might be difficult to schedule a concomitant MC meeting satisfying everybody. 
AB: if not many people, it is manageable.  In addition, to avoid too many passive MC members and secure maximum of active people, one option would be to invite only one MC member from each country.
CO: for MC meetings, two are reimbursed by rules. Country should decide, which one of two MC-delegates would come, if budget is limited.
KOM Action #6:  Next MC in early autumn but date to be specified later (Options: EMS/Berlin, HARMO/Kos, Brussels, Copenhagen).
Joffre: Should we aim at a MC2 meeting in February-March 2012 to review advances and plan further period?


Baklanov: it would be good to allocate external experts to WGs: e.g. Georg Grell in WG1, Yang Zhang  in WG2. Greg Carmichael in WG3, T.S. Rao in WG4, since the US have strong expertise and experience with online modelling.
Suppan: that is very-very important.
KOM Action #7:  To try to involve external experts as co-leaders of WGs, where necessary according to suggestions above.
AB: non-cost participants or external experts: US, J. Kaminski from Canada. From Russia RSHMU, RHMC (Moscow). Egypt and Ukraine are also willing to join. Perhaps we have to involve Japan, Australia and China. Some (US, Canada, Japan) should participate with their own funding on a permanent basis, or be funded if invited as expert on an ad-hoc basis. RU, UA, Egypt can have direct support from COST neighbouring programme, while Australia from the reciprocal agreement.
KOM Action #8:  Action suggests to write to these institutions and send them the forms for non-cost participation.
AB: cooperation with international organisations should be sought for with WMO, ECMWF/MACC, JRC, EEA, and EUMETNET. They should participate with their own funding, or be invited by COST on an ad-hoc basis.
KOM Action #9:  To contact them and ask for their willingness to participate to and/or follow the Action. Several experts from international organisations are already included in the Action proposal.
AB: On gender balance and ESRs, we should build visiting programs for young scientists. ESRs should be a priority for reimbursement. ESRs should be stimulated to use STMSs.
The gender balance in the Action is rather biased. Thus, further extension of the MC should try to balance this and WG-participants (additional to MC-members) should also aim at a better gender balance.
It was suggested to produce a newsletter. As a start the Action can be promoted in Newsletters of other projects (e.g. MEGAPOLI).