Sunday, July 21, 2013

VOA3R 2nd review meeting

Carefully checking the slides of the presentation
The VOA3R 2nd Review Meeting took place in Brussels, on 18/7/2013 at the premises of European Commission. Almost two months after the end of the project, WP leaders and some of the partners participated in the review meeting in order to present the progress of the project since the previous review meeting. I was also participating to the review meeting as the GRNET representative, being the WP5 leader (WP responsible for the content population processes of the project). Miguel-Angel and David (UAH), Christian (UDE), Sylvie (ACTA Info) and Tasos (TEI Ath) were also there, along with Nicola from CINECA.

In the train from Leuven to Brussels
During the previous two days (16-17/7/2013), the partners had the opportunity to meet at the premises of the Innovation & Incubation Center of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where the rehearsals of the presentation took place. The location was ideal for the purpose, being located outside the city of Leuven in a really quiet location. During the rehearsals, the draft version of the review meting presentation was heavily revised and various issues were identified and fixed. An effort was made towards including all significant achievements and outcomes of the project. We also got an unexpected but really welcomed visit from Marc (UHasselt) during the second day of the rehearsals, during which we managed to finalize the presentation and prepare each partner's part. Both Nicola and Marc managed to provide some really useful last-minute feedback which affected the presentation of some slides.

Too many hours in the rehearsals did not allow us to go sightseeing around Leuven (at all...) but I have the feeling that I will get to visit Leuven in the next months :-)

The review meeting itself went pretty well; Both reviewers and our new project officer were in a really good mood and this helped things a lot. Despite the fact that they agreed that the project have made a great progress since the previous review meeting and that their comments from their meeting were apparently taken into consideration and addressed in the meantime, some issues were identified by the two reviewers and interesting conversations for uptaking specific approaches took place during the presentation. There are still some things to be revised and updated (according to the reviewers' comments) but everything will be included in the report provided by the two reviewers before we start taking actions.

The last VOA3R family photo, after the 2nd review meeting - outside EC offices
The perfect end: After the meeting and before going back home, Christian shared with us his favorite place in Brussels for the famous Belgian fries. We all felt so relaxed after three stressful days that we managed to enjoy the fries along with an icy-cold beer before going to the airport and returned home.

These three days have been a big lesson for me, as I got to work next to two really experienced people like Miguel-Angel and Christian (as well as the rest of the participants) who made everything possible with their experience and hard work - for me it was only my 2nd Review Meeting (the 1st one being the previous VOA3R one). Big thanks should go to all participants for their contribution and hard work during these three days, as well as to the whole VOA3R project consortium for ensuring that everything promised in the project's DoW was finally implemented in the best possible way. The VOA3R project has been a big experience for me and it leaves a lot of things to be done as well in this direction.

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