Consortium meeting in Milan

Dates, location, useful info on accommodation and transportation: to be confirmed by @matteo

attn. @alberto @melancon @rossana_torri @markomanka @matteo @tino_sanandaji @lakomaa @costantino

Proposal of an agenda (9:00-17:00) :

  1. State of progress for the end of year 2/general project assessment :
    Partners must prepare a presentation on each WP under their responsability. WP leaders are in charge of asking for feedback to partners involved in WPs under their lead. Joint presentation WP leader+partners are possible.

25’ presentation each + 10’ questions from the consortium (please try to be in the evaluators’ shoes).

Answering the following questions is mandatory:

  • Current state of the art → evolution since project launch?

  • Meeting the call objectives and DoA - over Year 2 + assessment for the whole project

  • Research work, integration with partners - over Year 2 + assessment for the whole project

  • Results achieved - over Year 2 + assessment for the whole project

  • Foreseen/unforeseen difficulties + response + consequences (delay/cost) - over Year 2 + assessment for the whole project

  • Work plan for project follow-up + upcoming challenges

  • Publications, participation to conferences, Open access granted to publications (Yes/No) - over Year 2

  • Contribution to non-scientific activities: meetings, website, social media, video, press, participation to other events (other H2020 projects/not) - over Year 2

  • Ethics-related issues + response. - over year 2

  • Contribution from the Ethics Advisory Board (Yes/No) - over year 2

  • Short+long-term impact: technological / economical / societal / environmental / …

  • Project future: spin-off / fork (you name it)

Please understand that doing this work now is time saved for the technical review and the periodic reporting, do it in real-life conditions.

If the answer is “not applicable / not encountered / not relevant” to one or more questions above, please indicate it and explain why (it doesn’t have to be long, but it is necessary for the reviewers).

2.Ethics assessment + update of the DMP

3.General information on our internal processes to draft the periodic report (how did we do last time, what went well, what could be improved…) - please feel free to think about how to improve the process as well, so that we can discuss it together.

Spare time can be used for open discussion on any newsworthy activity linked to the end of the project.

I don’t like the sequencing implied by the questions. It is what we did last year. But then it proved hard to keep to the time. As a result, we were unable to properly present the impact, which is really what matters to reviewers.

So I propose:

  1. We start with results, then impact + future work, then ethics. Then the rest.

  2. Project management issues we can address as one with a presentation by Luce.

  3. Data on tables, which saves time and is clear.

  4. Check in with reviewers to make sure they have access to the documents well ahead of time.

  5. We plan to finish early, because last year proved that the combination of us + reviewers is bad at keeping time.

With all that, I will not do any work on this until January, sorry. I do promise we will be on time, as always.

Hi Alberto, thank you for sharing your impressions.
The list of questions is all the aspects which we have to address, in writing and by the review. Their order can be discussed but we have to provide an answer for all of them.

I propose that by the meeting in Milan we stick to WP presentations and discussion on impact to have a full overview of all the work done over the project.

We can validate as a consortium in Milan a definitive structure for the technical review, based on your proposal.

If I interprete @alberto’s comment correctly, I think he suggests we should strategically reorder the list of items for the slide-kits… maybe even leaving something as “additional” slides behind the conclusions, to be used only in case of questions or comments, as to maximise our impact/efficiency when interacting with the reviewers.

I would guess, this has no impact on the text to be readied in the reporting, which anyway the reviewers have plenty of time (in theory) to check before our meeting… there a good index would already sort out the issue of letting them find what they really care about, hence we could simply stick to the layout you proposed above.

Consortium meeting in Milan | basic info

Date and time: 24th November 9:00-17:00

Venue: City of Milan | Economia Urbana e Lavoro | Via Dogana, 2 – Milano | scala A | 1st floor meeting room

Transport: from Central station | metro line n° 3 (yellow) | stop at Duomo (from anywhere else just bus underground bikeshare carshare walk)

Accommodation: here a list of Hotel, averagely priced 129 - 260 euro for a single room this time of the year, that we have recommended before.

Hotel Dei Cavalieri (****)
Piazza Missori 1
Milan 20123
+39 0288571 - Fax +39 028857241

Hotel Star (***)
Via dei Bossi, 5
Milan 20121
Tel. +39-02-801501 r.a
Fax +39-02-861787 Fax from USA to Italy 001 39 02861787

Jolly Hotel President (****)
Largo Augusto 10
Milan 20122
Phone: +39 02 77461 Fax: +39 02 783449

Camperio House (****)
Via Manfredo Camperio, 9,
20123 Milano, Italia

Hotel The Square (****)
Via Alberico Albricci, 2
20123 Milano, Italia

Hotel Manin (****)
Via Daniele Manin,7
20121 Milano, Italia
Tel: +39 02 6596511
Fax: +39 02 6552160

Hotel Ambasciatori (****)
Galleria Del Corso, 3
20122 MILANO, Italia
Tel. +39 0683600051 |

For who is taking part in the final conference by 22.23rd, mind that it will be held at via Massimo d’Azeglio, 3 - which is 5 km North.

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In order to plan some of the events (dinners, light lunches, meetings) we need to know how many people will attend the two conference days (22.23 November) and the consortium meeting (24 November).

Would you please put your schedule (arrival/departure) in this spreadsheet in order to monitor it.


@alberto @melancon @rossana_torri @markomanka @matteo @tino_sanandaji @lakomaa @costantino @lucechiodelliub

Hmm … I wouldn’t count on that, as we have seen last year.

Luce and I will be arriving the evening before (Mon Nov 21), leaving on Sat 25th.

Looking forward to see you all

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We also know that we have to set our priorities straight in the presentations, and not follow the bureaucratic logic, because the time management of the meeting is even more challenging than the ability of the reviewers to read the material we share in advance.

Anyway, you are the coordinator and this is a matter of leadership. Your choice, if I have to interprete your reply as a suggestion to stick to @lucechiodelliub’s storyline so be it, please tell me if I am interpreting you wrong. I trust you will not change your mind later, as I cannot guarantee I will have the luxury of time to re-edit several times the documents for this review.

Let’s make sure we collectively discuss this in Milano.

Luce’s suggestion builds on our collective experience at the mid-term review and on our perception of our reviewers mission attitude.

[If I remember well, you were a bit late and missed the start of the mid-term review meeting.]

(Everyone, @rossana_torri @matteo @markomanka @costantino @alberto @lakomaa @lucechiodelliub recall the meeting started with a long discussion about why documents were not made available (by us) to the reviewers – we expected the docs that were uploaded on the EC portal would have been forwarded to them.)

We then embarked on presenting our results – we did not want to waste time with describing the budget, thinking they would have examined it earlier or would do so after the presentations. We were stopped after only a minute and required to go through the admin stuff first – budget consumption, man-month and money, …, explain why we didn’t meet the planned quantities, show the deliverable timetable, etc. I suspect the reviewers will once again want to start with these admin issues.

My feeling is they adopt a box-checking perspective on their mission as reviewers. This is a pity, I agree, but do we have a choice but to adapt to them?

I also suspect, for the same reason, they will like us to explicitly address how much we met our promises (how much we met the call’s objective). I am afraid our reviewers are not open to an “orthogonal” style of presentation as you suggest.

But, but. Time is less of a problem as it was in Feb 2017 – because the reviewers will stay in Brussels until the next day. I would suggest that we indeed aggregate all admin figures and serve them an admin first dish, before we go on presenting our results. We will also need to adjust the time each partner consumes – last Feb was quite unbalanced (also because of the global time constraint), some of us took far longer than planned. A rehearsal one day earlier will help balance things – plus, it may well be the last time we will all gather in the same room …

Again, this will be part of what needs to be discussed in Milano.

I totally agree with @Guy and @Luce. Admin staff is part of the game.
Reviewers can have different styles but, given the mid-term Review
experience, I would’nt underestimate the point.

Let’s talk soon in Milan!

@matteo @markomanka @costantino @alberto @lakomaa

Unless I misread, it seems no one is disagreeing with that. Certainly not me:

This is the way I’ve seen it done before, in other projects. The “data on tables” part comes exactly from the requests of reviewers in March, remember? If you guys think it should be right at the start, so be it.

What I do not recommend is to make the mistake of last time: results at the end. This is a losing proposition. We spend quality time in meaningless debates, only to have the reviewers tell us, in the last 15 minutes, “Wait , this is actually really good! You should communicate it more!”

I agree with the two bullet points, and yes I suggest that it is served as a single dish with clear tabulated data as they liked it. We will indeed save time if we do organize this way. And we will again save time by making sure the reviewers have all necessary documents beforehand – let’s not count on the EC portal, not even on our website, let’s pamper them and email documents – I hear your grumbling, but hey, this is how we will be able to optimize their attention to the results part of our presentation.

Having a full day, and having rehearsed one day earlier will certainly help to get the Wow! effect again.

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No grumbling at all. I actually insist we get in touch with them maybe one month ahead of the review to make sure they have all the material they need, and offer to deliver whatever they might want.

Have we already a map of the goals of the project as described in the Grant Agreement, onto the goals of the call?

Evolving from Deliverable 1.6 (D1.6_DeliverableTemplate-rev.pdf - Google Drive) could then help us somehow…?

I am afraid this is only possible through Loretta… @lucechiodelliub ?

Hi @markomanka - Could you please rephrase your last question concerning Loretta? I don’t understand what you are asking me.

To add info to a previous comment about the goals of the CAPS call and of the project: in our DoA, there are several tables that list the call’s objectives and the way we are addressing them. Something similar in the DoA and in the same format, is also presenting our expected impact with regards to the call.

We should be starting from these, read them again, and all together in Milan try to draft in front of each topic an appropriate response as of our last 2 years’ work. By doing our own assessment in a box-checking manner, it could help us keep the focus on our previous engagements, stay coherent for our presentations on the aspects that matter to them and facilitate their assessment work.
It will also helpful to anticipate the reporting effort we will have to do anyway.

Can we get in touch with the reviewers directly, or should every interaction be mediated by Loretta?

Thank you for pointing out those tables. I will try and make use of the info contained there to prepare our final reporting then… it feels good to document the outcomes basing the analyses on what was openly promised :slight_smile: