Project coordination and management

The STOC-FREE project will be coordinated by UU, the Netherlands. A project team will be formed that consist of all partners of the consortium together with the beneficiary’s staff member (from UU) that is responsible for administrative and financial issues related to the project. As part of the project coordination and management, the coordinator will be the primary contact person for all correspondence between the consortium and EFSA. The coordinator will plan both the start, interim and final meeting with EFSA, will initiate and coordinate the annual face-to-face meetings and will coordinate the bi-monthly teleconferences that will be conducted throughout the duration of this project. The project coordinator will be in close contact with the WP leaders, will control the project planning and will ensure that the deliverables are finalised in time. In addition, all administrative and financial work that is foreseen in this project will be conducted as part of this WP.

WP5: Highlights of year 1

In December 2016, this project was awarded a grant by EFSA under reference GA/EFSA/AFSCO/2016/01-03. The STOC free project started on 10 March 2017 with a kick-off meeting at EFSAs premises in Parma, Italy.

The first face-to-face meeting with the whole consortium was on 29 March 2017 at the yearly SVEPM conference in Inverness, Scotland. During this meeting the milestones and deliverables of the work packages were discussed, a brainstorming session about the STOC free framework was held and important dates throughout the project were set.

On 3 July 2017, PhD student Annika van Roon started working on the project. In her research, which is mainly focused on development of the STOC free data tool (WP2), she will develop methods for standardized data collection on cattle disease control programmes and test the generic output-based framework developed by the French partners to determine confidence in freedom from infection. On 5 September 2017, PhD student Mathilde Mercat started to work on the project. Her work is mainly focussed on WP1. In this WP, the STOC free model will be developed. Close collaboration between the Dutch and French students is foreseen in the project as the French student will develop the methodology for the output-based, quantitative comparison of control programmes and the Dutch PhD will develop the means to uniformly gather the input for this model.

A face-to-face meeting was held with the Dutch, French and Irish partners in Utrecht, the Netherlands on 21 September 2017. This meeting was intended as an introduction between the Dutch and French PhD students and their supervisors and to discuss future collaboration between the students and to have a content related discussion on WP1 (STOC free model) and WP2 (STOC free data). During the meeting, the students presented their work and the next steps to take were discussed.

The yearly face-to-face meeting with the whole consortium was held on 13-14 November in Amsterdam. During this meeting, the final version of the RISKSUR tool + narratives was discussed. Furthermore, the first draft of the conceptual framework and possible statistical methods were presented by the French partners.

In year 1, an initiative was started with all partners for development of an extended collaboration agreement that included important aspects such as confidentiality and rights to publish.

Besides the face-to-face meetings, monthly Skype meetings have been held to discuss the progress of the project.