1. General Information on the RESER Council work
Council meetings, communication with members and website
Since the last conference in Heilbron (Germany), the Council had frequent meetings to discuss and to decide about the ongoing affairs. The traditional face-to-face meeting wasn’t held on March like usual in Brussels because of the pandemia. So, the meetings are organised virtually. The main discussions dealt with:
- the conference in Paris (8-10 December) and the candidature for the conference in 2023.
- The progress of the “RESER encyclopedia on services”, a project launched by Pr Faiz Gallouj. The first presentation of this huge work will be done in Paris on the first day of the annual conference
- The improvement of the newly concepted website. Details about the co-operation with the newly employed service-provider were explained by the Website-editors.
- How Reser could improve its visibility on social media beyond the existing presence of RESER on LinkedIn.
At the end of the year, the Council has considered the 2021 Reser-conference in Heilbronn, was a success. The theme was ambitious »The disruptive Role of Data, AI and Ecosystems in Services Next Gen«.The sanitary situation was complex so we warmly thank to Bernd Bienzeisler and Katrin Peters in Heilbronn and to the Fraunhofer IAO Reser team.
There were additionally numerous contacts and discussions between individual members of the Council tackling actual questions, especially between the Website-editors and the outside expert. The Council has informed the RESER members about its activities via the website and the minutes. A digest version of the minutes is regularly updated on the website.
Besides the difficulties with the organization of the conference in the pandemic, the development of the website has been and will be in the future the most important occupation of the Council. Alexander Schletz of Fraunhofer IAO will be responsible for the more technical aspects. A new ICT-services provider has fixed previously existing legal and technical problems with the web-site. Marie-Christine Monnoyer continues to be the main person to care about the content. But every member of the Council is still also called to look at it and to make contributions. The Council intends to develop the site continuously.
The RESER website is the main repository of information of RESER and its main channel of circulation of information amongst members and with the broader services research community. Consequently, it has been very actively updated by our Webmaster Marie Christine Monnoyer and used as the main communication tool to members (in parallel to other resources such as mailing lists and digital social media). The work of Alexander Schletz in creating the new website and organizing the technical facilities of the telephone meetings of the Council has been very much appreciated.
RESER has two institutional members which are currently Mondragon Innovation and Know-ledge (from Basque Country, Spain) and Fraunhofer IAO (from Germany). Individual members are normally the attendants of the past conference. This means that after the conference in Gothenburg, we had stricto sensu about 45 members. But there are a lot more researchers who feel interested and attached to the association even though they could not attend the last conference. In total, we have about 150 researchers building the regular Reser-community. As Reser is engaged in helping and promoting especially young researcher and PhD-students, there has al-ways been an extensive fluctuation between years and conferences. Often, the location of the conference plays an important role in the attendance. In earlier times, RESER had also individual members beyond that who paid their fees independently of their atten¬dance at conferences. By extending our interaction with the services-research community, we are trying to re-establish this form of membership more as well.
RESER Council priorities for 2022
In line with recommendations at the GA in Heibronn the Council has identified the following priority actions to be carried out in 2022:
a) Close collaboration with the organization of the 2020 annual conference in Alcalá.
This year, for the first time, the conference was jointly organized with COVAL.
The council has actively collaborated with the local organizing committee in Alcalá which was represented in the Council by the former Reser President Luis Rubalcaba (Professor at the University of Alcalá).
The council was involved in the formulation of the call for papers, the suggestion of keynote speakers and thematic sessions, as well as in the support to the organization of practical issues. The academic and industry interaction is considered to be vital for the conference and brings together people from both industry and the public sector within the program. As in precedent years, the RESER Council and the organization of the conference worked together in order to make the conference a special floor to increase the cooperation strategy with other institutions and services networks, and to increase the visibility of RESER.
But this year, due to the pandemic, everything was much more difficult than in any other of the 29 conferences before. As a result of the co-operation with COVAL the conference was origi-nally planned for June. But with the infections growing, we first tried to save it in its in-person fashion by postponing it to September. But the infection situation and the second wave of the pandemic made it inevitable to make it virtual in the second half of January 2021.
It is very remarkable how the team in Alcalá has been able to get around all of these unprece-dented difficulties and to organize a virtual 30th Annual Reser Conference with not less than 9 tracks for researchers, 1 for practitioners, with 50 Parallel sessions and 150 papers.
270 participants came from all over Europe, South America and some African countries.
A large part of the discussions about publication in the Council has focused on the ever getting stricter requirements of publishers of journals and books. This makes it for Reser much more difficult to publish and share content regarding the ongoing research in the community which has been much easier in the past. We are still trying to find solutions that makes it possible to share information about what is going on in our community when it comes to finding for example international partners for common projects.
RESER also has tried to facilitate the publication of the scientific work of the community.
RESER has connections with several journals for potential publications and also established some relations, that could offer possibilities for quick review, and publishing quickly some papers of the RESER conferences. The following journals with which RESER has a relationship are potential publication outlets: European Review of Service Economics and Management, Innovation. Revue d’Economie et de Management de l’Innovation (I-REMI), Journal of Innovation Economics & Management (I-JIEM).
Therefore, it has been a great initiative by the conference of Alcalá to invite the editors of more journals to the conference to make contacts with the participants. Additionally to ERSEM, European Review of Service Economics and Management, these were the Research Policy and the Services Industries Journal.
In principle, there could be established a RESER publishing series with Edward Elgar, prepar-ing a book edited by us. Unfortunately, nothing has been coming forward in the last year, but it is worthwhile to continue our efforts. But it should be clear that this will mean a lot of unpaid work by RESER-volunteers.
Additionally, the Council has discussed setting-up a library on our website where we publish selected service-research related papers as far this will be possible due to copyright issues.
c) Relation with REDLAS
The relation with REDLAS (The Latin American and Caribbean Network on Services Re-search) that has been continued and extended in the last years has in 2020 also suffered under the conditions of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the collaboration of RESER with REDLAS should and will continue being a positive experience with high potential in the future. Estibaliz Hernandez Eleno has succeeded to Maria Savona in the function as a liaison between the two associations.
d) Visibility of RESER
Following the GA recommendations on the need to improve the visibility of RESER, engaging more with other areas of society, and organizing sessions of dissemination in other conferences, etc., active participation and potential financial support has been one of the options proposed by the council. The council has also discussed how to interact more with other organizations such as the EU. This relationship should be reinforced with the Commission. But these efforts were practically brought to a halt by the pandemic as well.
Gaining access to European research funds is highly disputed. RESER will be having a hard time to help its (international) research teams to be successful. But the effort to get a foot in the door continues to be worthwhile.
RESER will also try again to intensify our relations with CEN/CENELEC on taking part in the work on standardization of services within Europe which has been initiated originally by the European Business Services Roundtable.
But our main tool of gaining visibility remains the RESER website. The new site was opened in October 2018. After fixing the initial problems with legal requirements like stating the responsibility for and explaining how we protect the data we are gathering with the help of an outside expert, the website is still far from what is wanted and needed to serve as the instrument that Reser wishes to show to the research community. The Council has always agreed that this difficult and time-consuming task must not be left to the two Council-members mainly responsible for taking care of the site, Marie-Christine Monnoyer as the main responsible person for the content in the Council and Alexander Schletz who is responsible for the more technical aspects of our site.
Less the design but filling it up with interesting content will always be a work in progress which would be insufficient if left only to the Council. People (inside or outside of the Council) could be in charge for example of finding information on the PhD-thesis-projects. Luna who has de-veloped already continually updated our LinkedIn-profile will take the lead in finding more ways to be present in the social media.
The RESER webpage should be actively used and updated, all through the year. The main challenge remains to have a continuous flow of information from the members, in order to keep the webpage updated and attractive to visitors. There is always the need of more information, particularly showing the regular activity of members. Another challenge is to establish again more efficient and quick links to conference papers after each conference, overcoming the difficulties set-up by journal publishers during the publication process. 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 to other members more easily when building teams for projects or looking for partners for developing other ways of cooperation. Information should be sent to the website manager (email@example.com) or posted at the RESER LinkedIn Group.
If we should be more successful than in the past in doing all this, we could come closer to achieving our ambitious goal of becoming with our web site a reference for the community of services researchers. This requires an extensive and intensive exchange and interaction with the RESER-membership and – if possible – newly interested researchers in our field of study. They have to let us know what they need and expect getting from us. We will need to know and share with the RESER-community information of their work also outside and beyond RESER.
Sometimes, papers presented at RESER or elsewhere are not published but have been given for example to HAL or ResearchGate. We would like to have them also on the RESER-website. We would very much appreciate getting in contact about this possibility which would further improve the visibility of our research-work and help to lead to more interchanges and co-operation between the teams.
Administrative 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.
Report prepared by: Markus Scheuer, President RESER