this report was presented in Reser conference in Aix en provence
Council members: Brita Hermelin (Stockholm University), Céline Merlin Brogniard (University of Lille), Jean Philippe (Aix Marseille University, organizer of the 2013 Reser conference), José Luis Navarro-Espigares (University of Granada), Laurentiu Tachiciu (Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest), Maria Savona (SPRU, UK), Marie Christine Monnoyer (Université de Toulouse 1), Marja Toivonen (Aalto University, Finland), Markus Scheuer (RWI Essen), Patrik Ström (University of Gothenburg, President), Pedro Costa (Lisbon University Institute). Co-opted members: Alexander Schletz (Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart), Gisela di Meglio (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).
1. GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE RESER COUNCIL WORK
Council meetings and communication with members
In the last twelve months Council has worked very intensively on a number of activities and communication between Council members was very frequent. Five tele-meetings of the Council were carried out and two face-to-face meetings (Brussels and Aix-en Provence). Face to face meeting between the two conferences is very important as it helps the Council to discuss strategic issues and not only to manage its regular activities. As in the past the Council members should make use of national research representative offices in Brussels to secure free of charge meeting place.
The Council has informed the RESER members about its activities via Minutes, and e-mails were used for alerting members whenever relevant information was available related to services issues. The Service Watch, included in the email sent to members when distributing the council minutes, continued to be released. Most of information was also posted on the new website that was lunched during the year. More active response of RESER members and their provision of relevant news are very welcome and would benefit all members.
In September 2013 the RESER was composed of 130 individual members and 3 institutional members; - Fraunhofer IAO, VTT TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF FINLAND, CRISP Centro di Ricerca Interuniversitario sui Servizi di Pubblica Utilità alla Persona.
2. BUCHAREST RESER 2012 CONFERENCE
The Council actively supported the Bucharest 2012 conference organisers in planning the activities related to the conference, on “Services and economic development: local and global challenges”, and on the post-conference work. Laurentiu and his team made possible the success of the organization of the 2012 RESER conference,
3. RESER COUNCIL PRIORITIES FOR 2012/13
In line with recommendations at the GA in Bucharest the Council has identified the following priority actions that were carried out in 2013:
a) Collaboration with the organization of the annual conference, in Aix-en-Provence.
The council actively collaborated with Jean Philippe and the organizing team of Aix-en-Provence’s conference, on the theme “Finding Growth through Service Activities in Barren Times”.
It was decided to re-launch the RESER lifetime award again this year, assuming at least the bi-annual periodicity for it, assuming its presentation on the 2013 conference. The person to be awarded (Marie-Christine Monnoyer) was invited to be a keynote speaker in the conference.
Two grants (2 RESER founders award for best paper) for supporting PhD students (500+300 euros) were available for the conference, as decided in in Bucharest's GA. Only papers with just one author (the student) that were or will be defended in 2012 and 2013, were accepted. Annoucement of the winners is made at the conference dinner.
The council was involved in the suggestion of keynote speakers and thematic sessions, as well in the support to the organization of practical issues.
b) Summer school grant.
It was decided at the Bucharest GA, that one PhD student would be supported to attend the Summer School on Services in Helsinki, organized by Marja Toivonen. This is an important relationship for RESER by fostering a platform for the development of PhD candidates within various service related disciplines. However, later this year it was verified that it was not possible to organize this course this year, as the people in charge in Aalto University had not possibility for that. There is a strong compromise that in the next year it will be organized (and that can be articulated with the conference in Helsinki).
c) RESER small research grant and PhD mobility grant.
Since there has been limited interest in applying for these schemes in previous years, Council discussed the opportunity, format, calendar and priorities concerning both these types of grants. A new format (and call for interests) was prepared to be launched this year, with the general aim to facilitate stronger interaction between different RESER research communities through these supporting grants. Applications were defined to be of two kinds, although supported on a common scheme:
First, RESER wants to support research initiatives that include at least three different research environments. Two of these should be RESER members. These applications can have the character of seed money for larger applications or smaller joint pilot studies. In total, the application could cover costs up to 5000 Euro.
Second, RESER wants to support the possibility for PhD student mobility among the different research environments. The support should enable shorter or longer stays at a partner university within the RESER network. This could cover cost up to 3000 Euro.
Additional applications of significant value for the RESER community can also be considered.
Applications should clearly state their purpose and reason for support. It should also include a motivation on how the activity will strengthen the RESER research community. This new process is being launched as a new way of enhancing cooperation, networking and mobility in line with the goals of the organisation.
d) ESIC engagement.
RESER is now collaborating with ESIC (European Services Innovation Center) project (promoted by European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General), which has now started. The objective is to support regions in the design of better policies to transform existing, and boost emerging industries by unlocking the transformative power of service innovation. The consortium will be advising 6 regions in Europe - 2 types of regions (traditional industrial areas in restructuring / regions already strong in services who want to diversify) - Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Emilia-Romagna, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Upper Austria.
ESIC consortium involves 8 consultancy firms (lead by the finish Kimmo Halme, from Rambøll Management Consulting). RESER is expected to act as scientific consultancy group (e.g, providing scientific comments to the reports produced). RESER role (as scientific consultancy team) has to be managed within these wide consulting group having in account its competences and expertise, and will be further defined. It will be mostly focused in the provision of scientific feedback to the reports produced by the other partners, and the RESER team, with participation coordinated by Markus, will be considering any interested member with skills and time to develop each of the tasks that will be defined..
e) Conference paper submission
In the sequence of GA’s discussion on the submission process of abstracts and full papers to the RESER conferences, updated operational procedures were implemented by the organizational committee of Aix-en-Provence conference. Proposals should follow the abstract template in order to be evaluated. This makes it possible to review and still sustain some flexibility for the author in preparing the final submission.
4. RESER ACTION PLAN
After a vivid and participated elaboration process, RESER Action Plan was adopted in the Bucharest General Assembly, and divulgated to all RESER members.
The action of the council has been following the objectives, defined in this strategic document:
- General (“mission-related”) objectives:
1) Creating new knowledge and improving the understanding of the value that services add to businesses, to public sector institutions, to society and to citizens;
2) Providing analytical background on different aspects of services for public policy makers and businesses;
- Specific objectives:
3) Building the identity of RESER with committed members;
4) Enlarging the membership and establishing stronger links with other research networks that may result in future partnerships and common projects;
5) Encouraging and supporting PhD students and young researchers in the field of service related topics;
6) Fostering common research between members and with other research communities;
7) Secure stable financing for RESER activities.
The council have worked on the basis of these objectives during the year. This has been manifested through both external and internal focus.
5. OTHER ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNCIL
5.1. PARTICIPATION OF RESER IN PROPOSALS / CALLS
Besides the participation on ESIC (European Services Innovation Center) project, there were no new participations of RESER in calls or proposals, this year.
This area would be an opportunity to strengthen the work on joint applications for national and European funding. It potentially calls for better coordination among the RESER community.
5.2. INCREASE THE VISIBILITY OF RESER
The Council members that participate at various national and international conferences, seminars and workshops are disseminating news on the RESER and raise the awareness on RESER in different scientific and public policy communities.
These activities are well in line with the mission oriented objectives of strengthening the visibility and impact of RESER. It further relates to the work within ESIC mentioned above.
- EU High Level Group on business services
Following the suggestion of Metka Stare, the council discussed the call for expression of interest for participation in the High Level Group (HLG) on business services, launched by DG Enterprise. It was assumed that it would be very relevant for RESER to apply with some members for HLG, which would contribute to raise the awareness on the RESER among the Commission policy officers and also to enhance RESER brand. Several members manifestated their interest on taking part of this group, and applied for these positions, assuring the presence of the RESER president and additional persons from the council for specific issues. Patrik Ström was selected to the HLG as the RESER President and Marja Tiovonen was seleted representing VTT in Finland. Hence, RESER have two persons involved with the work of the HLG. Additionally, Marja Toivonen is heading the ad-hoc group on innovation and Patrik Ström is heading the ad-hoc group on internationalization. The HLG is now in the midst of completing a report of the status of the business service industry in Europe and generate policy recommendations for strengthening future competitivness within and outside the EU. The final report is planned to be presented early spring 2014.
- Relation with REDLAS (The Latin American and Caribbean Network on Services Research)
RESER continued the development of links with REDLAS. From 18-19 October 2012 a conference on “Offshore services in Global Value Chains: New drivers of structural change in Latin America and the Caribbean?” was organised in Santiago, Chile by ECLAC, University of Chile, World Trade Institute and REDLAS. Marie-Christine Monnoyer, Maria Savona and Patrik Ström presented papers and represented RESER at this conference, and Maria Savona was key-note speaker. The collaboration of RESER with REDLAS is reported as being a positive experience with high potential in the future. Next year’s REDLAS conference on Mexico City, on the main theme of service innovation, will be an opportunity to improve these links.
The council has agreed that a RESER member could function as “bridge”, representing RESER and advising REDLAS, on a more permanent way. Maria Savona was appointed to be that “RESER representative”, working with a REDLAS startup group, in a systematical way, in line with RESER action plan (improving aims such as mobility and research cooperation).
In parallel, council decided to advance in the support of REDLAS website covering the cost of RESER’s site adaptation to a similar REDLAS website, which was much appreciated by our Latin American partner association.
- Relation with other service networks
For the first time, in 2012 conference, RESER organized an invited session in order to establish links with researchers from other associations and networks. Colleagues from the field of “social innovation” were invited to present their topic to the RESER community. It was very successful and the format of invited sessions should be kept for the future. This initiative has opened up the possibility for having invited sessions at future conferences, which can be an important way of extending the RESER contact network.
RESER webpage have been actively used and updated. All RESER members are encouraged to submit information to the Council that they want to publish on the web. With the extensive database on member teams the RESER website is a platform that enables members to connect with other members more easily when building teams for projects or looking for partners for developing other ways of cooperation. Information should be sent to website manager (email@example.com) or posted at RESER LinkedIn Group.
5.3. PUBLICATIONS AND RELATION WITH SIJ
Conference papers publication
After the Bucharest conference a selection committee consisting of the organizing committee and members of the scientific panel, carried out the selection process. The result is that several papers were proposed to publication in the several journals. The selection process of papers for publication on SIJ was developed through the year, and the RESER invited editorial team (Laurentiu Tachiciu, Brita Hermelin and Peter Daniels), pre-selected a list of 23 papers, which were then submitted to the normal journal refereeing process; at the end, the final selected papers will be chosen, by decision of the editor, probably with assistance of RESER editorial team (in order to reflect link to conference theme). In parallel to this process, 7 papers were selected to be published in EGS. They will be published in French language in this journal. Other 9 papers were also selected, and already published, in Amphitheatru Economicu.
Issues related with the clarification of papers publication procedures with SIJ (see specific point above), had impact in the publishing process of the other conference papers as ISI - Thompson Reuters certificated conference proceedings, which was involuntarily postponed by this motive.
Council is exploring other publication possibilities for the future, following the ideas suggested by Faiz Gallouj in Slovenia meeting, namely the possibility of having and developing our own electronic journal. Contacts have been made with Faiz in order to further discuss this topic and to develop a small team to study this issue for presenting it to the members.
Relation with SIJ
The council debated extensively during its meetings the relation with the SIJ and the changes in this relation with the new editor-in-chief of the journal. Some aspects are still being clarified including several aspects concerning the relation of this SIJ thematic issue with the annual RESER conference and also the role of the RESER invited editorial team in the selection process. It was decided to establish a more “institutional” relation with the journal and recognized the need to clarify new rules for the future.
Specific editorial aspects are still on discussion (time-period window for online papers submission, capacity for the guest editors and the criteria and the process to admit or reject the papers, considering the theme of the conference, etc.).
The RESER Brochure
The Council has joined the conference organizing committee on the updating of the RESER brochure. An updated brochure will be available at the Aix-en-Provence Conference. The new brochure has been printed through the kind assistance of Fraunhofer IAO.
5.4. MEMBERSHIP MAPPING
The membership mapping process was re-launched. Drawing on the data collected on the Bucharest conference registration tool (concerning some survey questions which were included in the registration procedures) and crossing it with the information of who has effectively paid their registration (in order to expurgate all the non-members included in the data-base - e.g. students or local professors involved in the organization), and the available information related to PhD students, these different sources of data are being worked in order to build a coherent set of data that can be followed and monitored for the future.
6. ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCIAL ISSUES
Jose Luis Navarro has been the RESER treasurer and has helped the organization to enhance the efficiency of financial issues. The financial situation of RESER is presented in the accounting report.
The council discussed preliminarily the issue of raising the number of institutional members, considering assuming some specific measures (e.g., include logos of these members in our website, give them more visibility on the website) in order to achieve the aim of increasing the number of institutional members and increase their visibility.
The implementation of paypal system did not change too much in getting payments from people that were not in the conference – essentially they are the members that come to the conference that pay the membership, with or without paypal. RESER should encourage members to pay their fee even if they are not coming to the conference.
Report prepared by:
Pedro Costa and Patrik Ström
Reser Council Secretary and President