NanoRem is managed and coordinated by the coordinator who is supported by an administrative project manager. To facilitate maximum management efficiency, the tasks are split based on their specific area of activity and responsibility: WP1 (Scientific Management and Coordination) is supported by WP11 (Administrative Project Management) in all matters concerning financial, legal and administrative issues. These two managers form, together with a Scientific Advisor and an Innovation and Information Manager, the NanoRem Coordination Team. Jointly the two sub-WPs:
The project advisory group (PAG) consists of external experts. They have long-time experience in the field of nanoremediation. The aims of the PAG are:
- Guarantee communication within NanoRem. Financial controlling is performed on a regular basis and project workshops and conferences are set up and conducted. In April 2014 the NanoRem 1st Annual Meeting has taken place in Vienna and Neusiedl am See, Austria (7th to 9th April 2014). Nearly eighty participants enjoyed the fruitful discussions and multi-cultural exchange. The 2nd Annual Meeting will take place in Barcelona/Manresa in April 2015.
- Ensure communication with external stakeholders in close collaboration with WP 9 (Dissemination, Dialogue with Stakeholder and Exploitation) to maintain close links to the scientific and regulatory advances, changes and expectations of the stakeholder community. NanoRem has been and will be presented on a number of conferences and network meetings, e.g. Battelle Conference in Monterey, May 2014 and Common Forum workshop May 2014 in Berlin and the AquaConSoil in June in Copenhagen.
- Chair and support the Project Management Group and the Project Advisory Group recruited from within NanoRem and from outside experts. These groups assist in making decisions regarding the goal oriented progress of NanoRem. The PAG has already contributed to the NanoRem research with a number of excellent pieces of advice, both during the Kick-off and the 1st Annual Meeting and also in the course of the project work in between.
- Assure Quality Control and Timely Reporting via monitoring and enforcing NanoRem milestones and deliverables. A considerable set of internal and official deliverables and all milestones have been acquired.
- Report to the European Commission. The first report to the European Commission including February 2013 to July 2014 was submitted to the EU successfully in September 2014. The second report to the European Commission including August 2014 to January 2016 followed in March 2016.
- Provision of the viewpoint of end‐users to provide assistance regarding the review and adjustment of project objectives and products.
- Make recommendations on the scientific and technological orientations of the project if needed in the course of the project when initial work has been performed and first results are available.
- Ongoing monitoring of progress / performance (through participation in annual meetings) to challenge the team on key issues, encourage additional collaboration between WPs and review the success and key results.
- Contribution to quality insurance & control of the research done.
- Contribution to transfer of information and product(s) to end‐user communities (beyond project partners).
- Network with additional contacts beyond expertise of project partners, if needed.
Consortium management tasks and achievements
In the following we will give you a short overview of management tasks carried out since the beginning of the project concerning changes in the consortium and modifications of the Grant Agreement (GA) .
Contractual and legal issues
A first amendment concerning the modification of duration of the project (new duration: 1st February 2013 to 31st January 2017) was accepted and the Grant Agreement (GA) was updated and forwarded to the partners.
A second amendment concerning the termination of partner 27 (IABG) participation and the addition of a new beneficiary as partner 29 (ScIDre) – see details below - was prepared. The amendment was submitted to the Commission on 16. January 2014 and agreed by the Commission on 26 March 2014. The budget of the former partner 27 (IABG) was transferred to the new partner 29 (ScIDre).
Concerning the project transfer from Partner 10 – HMGU (Helmholtz-Zentrum München) to the new partner 30 - UDE (University Duisburg-Essen) in project month 27, the necessary amendment No. 3 (information of EU-officer, request for amendment, letter of agreement and acceptance, NEF-Session etc.) has been accepted by the EU.
Name change of partner 11 - Bioforsk to NIBIO has also been included in the amendment.
In order to facilitate financial reporting in the future, the coordination team decided to adopt electronic-only transmission of the financial statements (Forms C) and introduce the Financial Statement Authorised Signatory (FSIGN). All 28 partners were willing to introduce this new regime for the reporting periods so that this new paperless modification will also be valid for this grant. The necessary amendment on this issue was prepared and integrated into the amendment No. 2.
Financial project controlling and processing
The planned budget was regularly compared and controlled and was revised in the case of the termination of partner 27/addition of partner 29. The project progress was controlled by monitoring and coordinating the administrative deadlines (internal management reports and cost statements). The pre-financing sums of the project budget were calculated and distributed to the Consortium. Various questions of finance by the partners (e.g. cost statement issues, de minimis state aid) could be clarified.
After the internal reporting period in month 12, the financial reports of the partners were evaluated and, if necessary, they were informed about major inconsistencies and errors. Shortly before the start of the official reporting period in month 18 all partners were advised on how detailed the use of resources must be declared in the cost statements and what the frequent errors are in order to avoid the same mistakes. All partners were informed and instructed about the new electronic-only submission of Form C cost statements.
The first interim payment was received in project month 24.
The same procedure took place for the second official reporting in month 36.
Organisation of project meetings
WP 1 (Scientific Project Management and Coordination) and WP 11 members (Administrative and Financial Project Management) have organised the kick-off meeting 10th – 12th April 2013 in Stuttgart and Bad Boll, Germany. In the following course of time WP 1 and WP 11 members have prepared and chaired a PMG meeting in September 2013 at the milestone 2 meeting in Vienna from 24th to 26th of September 2013, and a PMG phone conference on 29th of January 2014. WP1 and 11 members also organised the 1st Annual Meeting in April 2014 in Vienna and the 2nd Annual Meeting from 14th – 17th April 2015 in Barcelona and Manresa, Spain. The 3rd Annual Meeting took place in Manchester, UK, from 16th to 18th March 2016, preceded by a PMG meeting on 15th March and a preparatory PMG phone conference on 25th February 2016. During the whole project the management team has supported communication to the PAG as far as necessary and useful.
Project Management and Supervision
In addition, WP 1 and WP 11 members have set up a controlling tool (Excel-files), which supports the organisation of tasks within the WPs 1 and 11 and also between them. It also enables, together with the project chart (see below), the monitoring of the timeline, deadlines and milestones. For information the latter was sent to all partners (critical path diagram).
IDL1.2 Organisational project chart (Schedule of responsibilities) has successfully been finalised. It shows the internal deliverables, deliverables and milestones and their starting and end dates including the responsible persons and any deviations from the original plan. The project chart has the purpose of providing an overview of the timeline of the project’s deliverables and milestones. Besides serving as a reference for all project partners, it also facilitates the controlling of the project’s scientific progress for the coordination team. It is continuously updated.
WP 11 was responsible for drafting a project handbook including all the core information of NanoRem. This handbook serves the purpose of an information source and reference book. It also defines the internal communication rules. The handbook was finalised and distributed in November 2013. It has already been updated and is available – as all documents – on the internal NanoRem web page. It will be updated in the future when necessary.For enhancing the information flow and for harmonising the templates within NanoRem, USTUTT provided a material safety data sheet template (MSDS) for WPs 2 and 3 (producer).
Changes in the consortium
Partner 27 (IABG mbH) has left the project consortium due to an unexpected event (see above) and was replaced by Partner 29 – Scientific Instruments Dresden (ScIDre).
ScIDre GmbH is an innovative European technology company and a spin‐off from Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden/Germany, founded in 2009. The primary focus of ScIDre is on forward‐looking applications of high technology and materials science. ScIDre has 5 years of experience in developing, assessing and successfully implementing new technologies for the benefit of their customers. ScIDre employs 9 people, its turnover is 967 T€ in 2012. The key personnel are Mr. Robert Schöndube, Managing Director and Mr. Stefan Zielke, Project Manager and Head of Design Department.
Partner 10 (HMGU) left the consortium, after key personnel relocated to Partner 30 (UDE). Far beyond the region, UDE is renowned for its interdisciplinary focus on nano‐research. Of national and international importance are especially the following areas: nanoparticle and nanomaterial synthesis, nano(opto)electronics and nano‐magnetism. Work in this area is present in three Collaborative Research Centres, a graduate program, a priority program, numerous EU, BMBF, and other projects and embedded in industrial cooperation. Within the participating institutes and chairs, in addition to the extensive infrastructure, a broad, interdisciplinary expertise and specifically trained young scientists can be found, available to achieve internationally outstanding research results. The Chair of Aquatic Microbiology has a long‐standing expertise in water microbiology and contaminant degradation. It features excellent analytical equipment related to contaminant degradation, mineralogical and NP analytics. For NanoRem, all state‐of‐the‐art laboratories are provided, as well as facilities for large scale operations. In addition, an infrastructure with special respect to nanoscience and water research is available.