MARE – Kick off meeting- 18 – 20 Feb, Bremen

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On February 18, 2020, Center for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML), University of Bremen, Germany hosted the MARE kick off meeting. The meeting lasted 3 days from February 18 to 20, 2020 at the Center for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML), University of Bremen.

The Objectives of MARE kick off meeting is to introduce work and research areas of partners; Present/Discuss objectives, contents, time schedule, responsibilities; Discuss and solve open problems or critical points; Present and discuss financial and administrative issues; Define rules and guidelines for cooperation ; Present/Discuss the activities of first year (2020); Concretise project planning; determine next steps (Micro Management); Introduce of Quality Control Matrix (QCM) and training; and Introduce of relevant institutes of UniHB und their main activities.

The first day of MARE kick off meeting took place at 10:00 am on February 18, 2020 with the opening remarks of Ms. Hasenmüller, representative of the International Office of the University of Bremen, Germany. She introduced the University of Bremen and potential cooperation opportunities within and outside the scope of the MARE project.

Ms. Hasenmüller , International Office,UniHB opened remark

Following the program, Mr. Y. Ogurol introduced the Multimedia Center in Higher Education (ZMML), e-learning services related to the supply and potential capacity needs for the project.

Mr. Y. Ogurol presented the Centre for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML)

The MARE kick-off meeting attracted the attention of 11 partner countries, including officials, lecturers and scientists from University of Bremen University – Germany (UNIHB), University of Catania – Italy (UNICT), Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia (EMU), National Research Council, Italy (CNR), Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources and Environment (HCMUNRE), Vietnam Maritime University , Vietnam (VMU), Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development, Vietnam (MCD), Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (UniKL), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia (UTM),  Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia (UTP) and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia (UMT).

Members attended MARE kick off meeting

After the opening remarks, all participants from PCIs of the MARE project introduced their units and activities they participated in the MARE project.

Following the program, Mr. Anton (EMU) presented an overview of the project, its goals and purposes.

Mr. Anton (EMU) presented in the MARE kick off meeting

Next, Mr. Daniele L. R. (UNICT) and Ha Nguyen Thi Van (HCMUNRE) presented the planned activities for WP 1. Specifically, including the following: 1.1. Development of ToRs for the development and update of curricula and course materials; 1.2. Development of ToRs for MARE research framework and capacity building for doctoral training; 1.3. Development of ToRs for MARE e-services; 1.4. Development of ToRs for MARE research practice collaborative arrangements, and the dissemination plan.

The participants discussed all activities of this WP and distributed the first tasks and set the deadlines.

The WP leaders will gather the information from the partners and develop the ToRs. The first iteration of the ToRs will be presented during inception Seminar in April 2020.

WP1 implementation requires close interaction with further work packages, and also a great deal of attention and cooperation from/by all the partnership, as it translates their needs and capacities into ToRs, and all the commitments given when the application was prepared need to be evaluated, reconfirmed and/or reformulated to reflect the latest developments (both reflecting changes in needs or capacities, and new science and policy developments occurred since the project submission).

Ha Nguyen Thi Van (HCMUNRE) shared her ideas for WP1

All participants discussed the activities of the WP 1 and  distributed the first tasks and set the deadlines. The WP leaders will gather the information from the partners and develop the ToRs. The first iteration of the ToRs will be presented during inception Seminar in April 2020.

Before closing the first day meeting, Mr. Daniele emphasized that the implementation of the WP1 requires close interaction with further WPs, and also needs to pay attention to the cooperation of all project members, as it translates their needs and capacities into ToRs, and all the commitments given when the application was prepared need to be evaluated, reconfirmed and/or reformulated to reflect the latest developments (both reflecting changes in needs or capacities, and new science and policy developments occurred since the project submission).

Daniele La Rosa (UNICT) presented the planned activities for WP1

On the morning of February 19, 2020, Mr. Kalev S. (EMU) and Mr. Adi M. (UTM) presented the planned activities for WP2, that is MARE curriculum and learning content. The WP 2 includes the following: 2.1 Revision of existing and development of new BSc/MSc courses; 2.2 Develop a doctoral research framework; and 2.3 Summer schools and on-site seminars for faculty and PhD students.

The WP2 is the most straightforward and simple to understand in terms of the quality and quantity of the output. However, it also represents the greatest and the most visible share of project work. Deliverable 2.1 & 2.2 will follow the ToRs to be produced by the WP1.

Mr. Kalev Sepp (EMU) presented the planned activities for WP2

During the meeting, The PCIs agreed that the time for organizing summer courses should be adjusted to suit the actual situation of the PCs.

  • The Winter school in BANDAR SERI ISKANDAR (Malaysia) shall be moved to February/March 2021. The exact dates will be set later in April 2020, upon consultations at partner institutions.
  • The Summer school in Capo Granitola shall be moved to September/ October 2021. The exact dates shall be set by February 2021

Then, Mr. Igor (UNIHB) presented on the activities for WP3. This WP includes the following: 3.1 Deployment and implementation of eMARE; 3.2 Development of eLearning modules; 3.3 Development of eScience modules for doctoral students; and 3.4 An intensive training and 3 on-site seminars for faculty, technicians, and administrators .

The work on this WP will start together with the activity 1.3 Development of ToRs for MARE e-services, that had already started with the gathering information about the available in PCU eLearning platforms and modules.

All partners have already experiences with the development of the e-Leaning modules and hosting thenm on the University platforms. So the development of this WP will be based on the existing practice and will be integrates in the PCU learning platforms. From the other side we will cross link the existing and new developed resources with eMare. Some of the Partners have already MOOCS that can be interesting in the content of the further development of eMARE.

According to Igor’s assessment, all partners have already experiences with the development of the e-Leaning modules and hosting thenm on the University platforms. So the development of this WP will be based on the existing practice and will be integrates in the PCU learning platforms. From the other side we will cross link the existing and new developed resources with eMare. Some of the partners have already MOOCS that can be interesting in the content of the further development of eMARE.

Moving on to the WP4, Mr. Anton S. (EMU) presented the activities of Development of governance and organisational arrangements This WP includes the following: 4.1 Establishment of sectoral collaborative platforms in each PC; 4.2 Development of arrangements for credit and physical mobility, sharing of experimental facilities, joint MSc & PhD supervision and research collaboration; 4.3 3 seminars for administrators and stakeholders and other onsite events.

He emphasized that the exact shape and organisational formats of national stakeholder collaboration platforms (SCPs) will be different in Malaysia and Vietnam due to sharp differences in governance regimes, incentive structures and capacity needs in the two countries. The first approximation of country-specific SCPs’ visions will be provided in ToRs to be produced under the WP1.

Following the program, Mr. Igor (UniHB) presented the Quality control and monitoring. He introduced the quality control matrix (QCM) which is an online tool and part of project management platform. Additionally, the main tools and activities which must be used for the Quality Control were presented. The QCM defines all project activities and the corresponding responsible partners. The project indicators described in the LFM will be used to measure the project progress in a quantifiable way. All outcomes produced by partners will be uploaded in the QCM. This helps the coordinator and the steering group (WP7) to monitor the activities and manage the outcomes in the visible form.

The Quality Assurance Team has been established as follows: Mr. Pietro Scandura, University of Catania (UNICT), Mr. Anton Shkaruba, Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU), Mr. Vincenzo Maccarrone, Institute of Anthropic Impact and sustainability in marine Environment (CNR); Ms. Thoa Le Thi Kim, Ho Chi Minh City University Of Natural Resources and Environment (HCMUNRE); Mr. Khairul Anuar Mat Saad, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UNIKL), and Mr. Igor Novopashenny, University of Bremen (UNIHB).

In order to disseminate and exploit the MARE project, Mr. Daniele La Rosa (UNICT) presented the the key deliverables for WP6. This package includes: 6.1 Development and maintenance of MARE www portal, social media accounts and promotion plan; 6.2 Development of MARE detailed business plan; 6.3 Organisation of a MARE business-academy conference; 6.4 Running of collaborative sectoral platforms; 6.5 Implementation of MARE curricula and research training.

The universities in Partner countries have to  organize information Workshops to inform the University staff and students, as well as stakeholders about the project, it aims and objectives. The form of the reporting on such events was discussed and accepted. The partners have to provide the reports according to the templates until 14.07. 2020

The Website of the project will be  set in March  2020 (http://www.mare-project.net); all commit to update its contents, and they will receive login info to make updates.

The MARE Facebook will be established in February 2020 by UTP.

The Partners discussed the channels of the information about the project activities for the stakeholders.

Next, Mr. Yildiray Oguro and Mr. Igor Novopashenny (UniHB) presented the project management and  Reporting. Mr. Yilidiary recommends that the partners get acquainted with the Project Management Platform (PMP) http://sakai12.escience.uni-bremen.de:8080/portal/site/mare and the tools which can be used in it (Work plan, Schedule, Resources, Announcements, etc.). All available Information (guidelines, lists of supporting documents, templates for the reporting, etc.) are available in the platform and can be used by all partners. The partners are informed that the issues concerning reporting are  available there and the templates can be downloaded from the PMP.

After this presentation, Partners agreed on setting up a supervising Steering Group, consisting of the WP Leaders and Project coordinators: Daniele La Rosa, Catania University (UNICT); Ha Nguyen Thi Van, Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources and Environment (HCMUNRE); Nam Tran The, Vietnam Maritime University (VMU); Tuan Le Anh, Can Tho University (CTU); Khairul Anuar Mat Saad, Kuala Lumpur University (UNIKL); Adi Maimun Bin Abdul Malik, University of Malaysia Malaysia (UTM); Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman, Teknologi University PETRONAS (UTP); Mohd Fadzil Akhir, Institute of Oceanography and Environment, University of Malaysia Terengganu (UMT);  Anton Shkaruba, University of Life Sciences Estonia (EMU);  Igor Novopashenny, University of Bremen (UNIHB); and  Yildiray Ogurol, University of Bremen (UNIHB).

The Steering Group monitors the strategic issues of the project and ensures to maximise project benefits by coordinating main activities of the project and review progress and quality control of results. The steering group will have regular online meetings.

Following the program, Igor Novopashenny (UNIHB) presented Reporting, Financial and Administrative Issues. He also mentioned The partner agreements signed by Coordinator were granted to the partner representatives.  The 1st payment to the partners will be done in the next week. For the partners, who didn’t deliver the partner agreement documents with all necessary documents  the payment will be done after the coordinator get the documents.

The partners were informed about 6-month Reporting periods and the obligatory financial documents for reporting.

The partners were informed about the rules for the grant implementation and the usage of the guidelines.

All the guidelines and forms for the reporting are uploaded in PMP. The special report-templates will be send by the coordinator to all partners in the end of the May 2020.

Before closing the MARE kick off meeting, the project coordinator reviewed the main contents and work plan in the coming time as follows:

Description Deadline Responsible
1 1.1 Development of draft of ToRs for the development and update of curricula and course materials training 15.04.20 UNICT
2 1.2. Development draft of of ToRs for MARE research framework and capacity building for doctoral students 15.04.20 UNICT
3 1.3. Development of draft of ToRs for MARE e-services   15.04.20 UNICT, UNIHB
4 1.4. Development of draft of ToRs for MARE research practice collaborative arrangements, and the dissemination plan 15.04.20 UNICT, EMU
5 Setting of WWW.mare-project.net 15.03.20 UNIHB
6 Setting of MARE FB group 15.03.20 UTP

The partners also agreed on the dates for the next meetings:

  • Inception seminar MY+ VN. Haiphong (Vietnam) April 20-21, 2020
  • Onsite seminar MY. Johor Bahru (Malaysia) June 15-16, 2020
  • Onsite seminar  VN. Nha Trang (Vietnam) June 18-19,2020
  • Winter school Petronas. BANDAR SERI ISKANDAR (Malaysia), February/March 2021. The exact dates will be set later in April 2020.
  • IT Training in Tartu (Estonia). The exact dates will be set later in February 2021.
  • Meeting during the Summer school in September/October 2021 in Catania, Capo Granitola (Italy). The exact dates will be set in February 2021
  • Summer school in September/October 2021 in Catania, Capo Granitola (Italy). The exact dates will be set in February 2021

On the third day of the MARE kick off meeting, the project members scheduled the appointment for consultation with Igor during the morning. In parallel with this activity, the remaining staffs listened to the report on the equipments and setting up the elearning room.

All the partner members visited the E-Learning service units of the University of Bremen in the afternoon of the same day.

The launch of the MARE kick off meeting ended at 17:00 on February 20, 2020 with initial successful results, leaving a lot of impressions and good feelings for the members attending the meeting.

All participants at the MARE kick off meeting took a souvenir photo in front of the Center for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML), University of Bremen.

After a three-day meeting to discuss the launch of the MARE project, all the members had a nice evening together, walking around the old streets in Bremen.

The members re-enacted the scenery of ancient inhabitants living on the ancient streets of Bremen

Additionally, the impressive magic performance by a member of the University of Bremen has made the atmosphere more and more warm and friendly.

Impressive magic show by the lecturer from the host country

Together with smiles, cheers, best wishes to all participants. Many thanks to the host country for your hard work  and all efforts to bring us together with a very successful kick-off meeting in Bremen. 

See you all in Hai Phong, Vietnam in April 2020!

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