IDA, Kalvebod Brygge 31, København K – September 12th, 2015
Members of the RESER Council:
Brita Hermelin (Linköping University), Céline Merlin Brogniard (University of Lille), Gisela di Meglio (Universidad Complutense de Madrid); José Luis Navarro-Espigares (University of Granada), Marie Christine Monnoyer (Université de Toulouse 1), Markus Scheuer (RWI Essen), Patrik Ström (University of Gothenburg, President), Pedro Costa (University Institute of Lisbon), Lars Fuglsang (Roskilde University, organizer of 2015 conference).
(Members of council excused: Alexander Schletz (Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart); Laurentiu Tachiciu (Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest); Maria Savona (SPRU, UK),   Risto Rajala (Aalto University))
Members of the RESER and other participants:
Jean Philippe (Aix Marseille University), Marja Toivonen (Aalto University), Grete Rusten (Bergen University), Metka Stare (University of Ljubljana), Jon Sundbo (Roskilde University), Flemming Sørensen (Roskilde University), Zhuo Zhang (Aix Marseille University); Estibaliz Hernandez (Mondragon Innovation and Knowledge); Jose Aureliano Martin Segura (Granada University), Cesar Perez Lopez (IEF), Luna Leoni (Rome University), Janina Evers (RIAS)

  1. Opening of the GA
  2. Approval of Helsinki 2014 GA Minutes
  3. Council Activity Report 2014-2015
  4. Priority activities in 2014/2015
    1. Grants
    2. Publications
    3. Collaboration and awareness
  1. Financial account and budget approval
  2. Elections of new council members
  3. Conference 2017
  4. Other
  1. Opening of the GA

The RESER president Patrik Strom opened the GA and thanked the local organizers in Copenhagen for an excellent conference.

  1. Approval of Helsinki 2014 GA Minutes

The Helsinki 2014 General Assembly Minutes were approved by the GA, without changes.

  1. Council Activity Report 2014-2015

The council activity report was presented by the President. The activity report was discussed with the GA participants, and is annexed to these minutes. A comprehensive and sequential presentation of the several items was made, with particular focus on the accomplishment of the several RESER Council priorities for 2014/15 and the implementation of medium term RESER action plan.
Summary of the topics presented (cf. annex for details):

    • Council meetings and communication with members
    • Membership
    1. Collaboration with the organization of the 2015 annual conference, in Copenhagen
    2. PhD Colloquium, at Roskilde University
    3. Publications and relation with SIJ
    4. PhD Mobility Grant and Small Research Grant
    5. Long Term membership
    6. Relation with REDLAS
    • Conference 2016 (Naples) and 2017
    • Calls for proposals
    • Preparation of electoral process

Some particular topics encouraged specific comment by some AG participants:
– Marja Toivonen reported that we had 6 journals with selection of papers from the 2014 Helsinki conference (being 3 of these special editions already out now)
(3 now out)
– Technology Innovation Management Review (special issue, published on February 15, including a sponsored big add to next RESER conference);
– Journal of Inspiration Economics (new journal, with selection process coordinated by F. Gallouj);
– Journal of Energy and Environment (from their initiative, selection of papers on environment and sustainable issues)
(3 on hold)
– Journal of Service Science (ongoing process, special issue, on social innovation issues)
– Economie et  Société, series on Economics and Management of Services (EGS) journal (ongoing publishing process coordinated by F. Gallouj)
– Journal of Industry and Innovation (special issue on social systems of innovation, which process of selection started recently)
MCM highlighted the importance (and the need) to have a comprehensive list of persons who published in each journal, to give the information in the website. Conference organizers will provide that information.
– REDLAS conference
Gisela di Meglio informed that despite the interest of several RESER members to participate in this year’s Montevideo Conference, at the end no member was able to go; nevertheless, Maria Savona was presenting a communication by skype.
– Other conferences
Brita Hermelin and Grete Rusten reported an unforeseen accident which impeded their presence at RSA conference session, organized by themselves, but considered this a positive experience, to repeat, as well as other previously organized session, e.g, last year at AAG.
Metka reported also previous experiences (eg Marketing Association meeting,…), and the GA agreed that this is something to reinforce in next years, opening RESER to the exterior, avoiding lock in, and trying to engage others in our conferences.
The need to keep on both perspectives was claimed:
– on the one hand, having special sessions organized at other associations’ meetings;
– and on the other hand, to have also special sessions in our conferences, as in the past (e.g., an EU project with RESER members, etc.)
– Website
MCM remembered the need of information, but also the updating of information – e.g, paper or book publications, presentations about services in big conferences, etc,   
Effort was made this year to present PhD students to RESER community through the website. It is important to feed the news all over year and not just immediately before and after the conference.
The publication of conference papers at the website was also discussed, and the relation with journal publications schedules. In parallel to this discussion, MCM reported the publication of 3 Aix-en Provence Conference papers in SIJ (and no publication of others, after a complex process, eg, papers of reputed researchers with 4 revisons, accepted by reser nominated editors, but then rejected at the end by journal editors); In the case of the process of publication of Bucharest Conference papers, the same process occurred, and there is at least one paper published now.
MCM remembered no need of password to access to the website; all publication is made by MCM, so, all the information to be published should be directed to her.
– Other:
-Grete Rusten highlighted the high level of activity presented by the council considering the kind of structuring of the work of the organization, which is non-professional and “volunteer” based.
– Metka requested more information about the High Level Group conference; PS reported briefly the dynamics of transformation in the structure with new European Commission formation and new DG’s; It was also reported information provided by Peter Smith to some members, considering that this would be a good moment to seize opportunities, seizing the changes in the organizational structure of the European Commission. It was discussed that new influent persons should be aware of RESER activities, and may be a way can be that they can be invited to next conference (as occurred in the past).

  1. Priority activities in 2014/2015

PS presented some of the priorities for the Council Activity for 2014/15, which were discussed by the GA.
– Grants
– PhD Students grant
In sequence of the debates held on precedent meetings, the question of support schemes to PhD students was discussed by the GA. Patrik framed the question and remembered the issue of the possibility of opening to applicants which are not RESER members, or not come from teams from RESER network. The deadline to application was normally in June, so mobility can start in September, but there have been lack of applications, as discussed in previous meetings.
A general discussion was launsched with participation of several members:
– Brita defended that since money comes from member fees, we should in general keep the grants to members;
– Gisela supported also that the money should be used to increase collaboration amongst members of the network;
– It was remembered that we have now more flexible conditions, but we don’t have applications neither this year or previous;
– Patrik suggested the possibility of pos-doc students also apply;
– Grete R. suggested if we could raise the financial value of the grant, as RESER finances are well, and that could raise attractiveness;
– It was remembered the need to be a RESER  member when apply, but just the applicant institution (which is not impeditive for the candidates; and if they are participants in any RESER meeting they are also memebers);
– Luna Leone defended the importance of opening to post docs, because of practical issues: In some case, to be recognized mobility within a PhD program, there is a need of staying abroad at least 6 months, and post doc could be more flexible; may be that can be an opportunity;
– GA agreed that the grant should be eligible also to pos-docs, but effectively this possibility is already in the rules, we just need to market here more this point;
– A brief discussion was held discussing if we should raise the value of the grant; the possibility of raising the value, but to have a minimum time (2 months, 1 month…) was suggest. After debate, it was considered that we should keep the value of 3000 euros for 1 stay of one month, and the possibility to extend it to 4000 euros, if the stay is set for more time than this;
– Pedro remembered the possibility of combining this individual students’ research grant with the small research grant application, in projects that can combine the stay of a student in one team in the scope of a broader small research project, which can also improve the attractiveness and consistency for applications.
– Marie-Christine suggested the possibility of extending this year’s deadline until the end of December;
– Lars reported the case of a potential applicant, which this year has contacted Roskylde University, interested in this possibility (Silvia Morales, from Grenoble). The general opinion was that she should be encouraged to submit a proposal. There is no formal problem, as she is a RESER member being present at the conference this year (even if Grenoble at university, which was a former RESER team, now they are not RESER members, although some research in services is made). Being an individual member she can apply.
– Research grant
Patrik launched also the debate about the small research grant: it has set the value of 5000 euros; it was sometimes already used, although we do not have applicants for now; it is of fundamental importance being RESER teams involved. A debate was held on if we should keep it or not, and the GA agreed on that, on the sequence of Council’s discussion.
It is not updated the information in the website, including the deadline. In past, the deadline was established for January (in order to have results decided on the annual face to face meeting of February).
It was set January 31st deadline for the next one.
– Publications
Patrik reported the updates on the possibility of having a RESER books with Edward Elgar. However, doubts remain (also in the publisher) about if we have enough good and coherent papers that could be a platform to a book every year (and if we are able to have interest of people in publish their papers in book format, i.e., have critical mass of papers every year).
The idea would be, e.g., to have 6 good papers on a theme, from conference participants who wants to publish on the book, and other people working on the area could be invited to add also texts.
This needs a significant workload, may be 2 or 3 persons from council plus local organizing team (without surcharging too much these ones).
Grete suggested that we could use the small research grant to help editorial committees (helping through a project to meet, and so on);
Marie-Christine suggested to seize the expertise of well-known and experient RESER senior members (e.g Will Beyers, P. Daniels,…), some of them with wide book publishing experience, to be involved in this process (as invited editors, e.g), may be  offering them a “reward”, a compensation for their work  (e.g., free attendance in next conference, or membership fees, etc.).
Brita suggested the possibility of setting easier schemes, and keep it simple: e.g, direct support for specific book projects, which would be easier to remember and to handle;
Council agreed on this, and to explore further these suggestions.
A discussion on the visibility of RESER conference papers was also held. There is an well identified problem with the availability of these papers in RESER webpage (as it was made in the past), because of the problems with journal publishers, which often (and increasingly) do not publish papers which were available before in proceedings of working papers.
In order to overcome this problem, the council suggests having all conference abstracts on the website (instead of the papers, in a first moment, and then with links to the papers in their publishable versions), as a kind of repository which could also increase the interest of RESER webpage for services research community. The dissemination of abstracts is not affecting negatively the publishing industry (on the contrary…) and will not be problematic to them, and the RESER community can have a simple and consistent repository of its information, and all production presented at the conferences, as well as links to the published papers.
I was decided to upload just the abstracts of authors who were effectively present/registered at the conference (as there were some absences)
A brief discussion was also held on this parallel issue: how to secure that people show up at a conference (or to not have heir in the program and abstract books if they not show up).
The problem was identified by this year’s organizers, with particular accuracy, and a brief debate was held on how to overcome it, with articulation with the registration calendar or other forms. Several suggestions were made: the possibility of having a pre-payment to have abstract; to make the authors aware that the name would not be put in the program without payment (BH); to publish a second/final version of the abstract books, after the conference (JLN); to make the deadline for the author’s registration coincident with early bird dates (MS); or make sure to have cross checked all presentations before the conference as usual practice, as made by some organizational teams (MT). It was considered to have all these suggestions in consideration for next editions and pass the information to future local organizing teams.
– Collaboration with other networks and RESER awareness
Patrik presented the issue and it was briefly discussed by GA members.
Metka argued that he most important relation with exterior is the webpage, as it has been strategically assumed in recent times by the council; but this reality draws extra importance to the information being in webpage (in quantity and quality), and members should individually make an effort to send info and news.
The return to a more regular sending of the minutes to members could also improve awareness of deadlines and other things.

  1. Financial account and budget approval

The financial account and the budget proposal were presented by the treasurer, Jose Luis Navarro. The documents were presented, having been distributed to members previously. The accounts can be consulted in the respective documents.
Jose Luis highlighted some facts about financial activity report:
– Incomes improved substantially last year (from around 10,700 to 14,700), both by individual presences in Helsinki; and the association of one more institutional member;
– Expenditures increase a little (to levels of two years ago) (to 7382 euros);
– This results on an aprox surplus of 7000 euros;
– Expenses were less aprox 8000 euros than expected/budgeted because it were not used the grants (phd and research);
 – Account: 45825 – statement of financial position – net balance;
– At the end, this year we had more income than expected (aprox + 4000) and less expended (-8000), which resulted (as precedent year) in an operational surplus caused by these deviances;
The report was consensually approved.
Jose Luis presented also the budget proposal for next year (cf. accounts), for 1/9/15 to 31/8/16. Like in precedent year, it is expected a small deficit, but in last years, at the end of the year it ended up in surplus (without eventual publication, and raise of PhD mobility grant).
After brief discussion, the GA approved the budget for 2015-16.
As the RESER gained this year a new institutional member (Mondragon Innovation and Knowledge, from Basque Country, Spain), it was seized this opportunity to make a brief presentation of these team’s activity. Estibaliz Hernandez made a brief presentation of the activity developed in MIK, and explained their interests on services and services innovation particularly. A particular focus is put on this team in the issues of applied research and transference of knowledge.

  1. Elections of new council members

Patrik explained briefly the functioning of the council and of electoral process, considering there were new members present at the GA.
The general assembly proceeded to the election of new council members. Following the electoral procedures, a set of candidates had previously expressed their candidatures.
– 1 Member whose mandate was ending, but who expressed their will to continue serving in the council: Laurentiu Tachiciu, which had expressed his interested in being reelected.
– 1 other member expressed also his candidature to be elected as Council Members for the next 3 years: Lars Fuglsang (which presented himself and his main research interests)
Both candidates were elected unanimously.
Tiziana Russo Spena will join also the council as the organizer for the 2016 conference.
MCM presented a suggestion of having also a PhD student as co-opted member in the Council meetings to speak about the students’ problems and interests, as occurred in the past (as the “voice” of the students”). The idea would be to ask Luna Leone (a student which was previously awarded, and already with regular link to RESER). Luna Leoni, which was present at the meeting, was challenged to accept. She presented her research interest, and accepted, and then the council seconded and approved MCM’s proposal.

  1. Conference 2017

Patrik raised the question of the need to initiate the thinking about this topic, expressing council’s awareness of promoting geographical and disciplinary diversity, on selecting location for RESER conferences.
Marja Toivonen expressed the possibility of Lituania, and offered to ask if they could be candidates; Markus reported contacts with Lithuania regular attendees; the possibility of Baltic states is interesting and will be explored.
Metka suggested the interest of collaboration of new institutional member, Mondragon IK, which could be explored in a potential organization of a future conference. Estibaliz said that this could be a possibility to explore, but after this period, in future occasions.

  1. Other

– Patrik remembered the need to start thinking potential nominees for lifetime award, process which will be developed in council meetings (but suggestions are welcomed).
– A brief discussion was held on how to attract new people to be permanent members in RESER, to keep their relation after finishing their PhD, and maintaining their interest in linking to our network, in scenery where disciplinary associations conferences multiply, resources are scarce and competition is high. Metka remembered again that the link to the website is very important and also the importance of distributing minutes for members. It is important to have an updating of the emailing list for that, with inputs from Copenhagen organization team (with the updating of new members).
– Next council meeting was pre-scheduled to October: Patrik will send out a doodle to stablish the date.

Minutes prepared by

Pedro Costa

RESER Secretary