agINFRA project negotiations successfully started, first meeting with iMarines

On April 6th the begin of project/budget negotiations between the agInfra consortium and the EC started.
Main point of the negotiations were:
a) the EC had applied a 10%  budget code to all projects
b) the evaluators had asked us
- to cut travel costs
- and to make IITKanpur and regular partner in the project instead of a subcontractor.
the agInfra team - represented by UAH, agKnow, FAO, INFN and the serbian partner assured the Project Officer that the requested changes would be incorporated into the project.  We had decided before that we would absorb  the budget cuts without cuttind deliverables from the project.
The negotiations overall were simple and the Project Officer complimented with us about the quality of the proposal.  As was agreed that a first version of the DoW (Document of Work) would be delivered within Monday 11.
It was decided that the project should start in November 2011

In the meantime we have re-calculated the budget.  FAO has had the lowest budget cuts from all partners. the funding from the EC is now 400,000 Euro for the 3 years period. Good for us is that IIT Kanpur, one of our strategic partners, has got it's own budget of 80,000 Euros. Overall FAO has gained in the budget reshuffling.

On the day of the negotiations a first meeting with the delegation of the iMarine project took place. FAO is participating (through Marc Taconet's team) also in this project.  It was discussed that from the beginning a strong collaboration between iMarine and agInfra should be established. First formalization of this is that Johannes Keizer is member of the board of iMarines and Marc Taconet will be member of the board of agInfra.

In autumn a common workshop is planned to see, which of already existing technologies and methodologies could be used and developed in common.

FAO has a very good opportunity to influence the use of a funding of approximately 10 Million Euros to create elements of a information infrastructure in our area.