Meeting report

The ECA Executive Committee's 'Winter Meeting' 2010

Budapest, Hungary, February 26-28, 2010

[ECA logo]
[ECA committee] The participants of the 'Winter Meeting' of the Executive Committee of the European Crystallographic Association, held February 2010 in Budapest, Hungary, at the Guest House of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. From left to right: Massimo Nespolo (Education Coordinator and Webmaster), Radomír Kužel (Treasurer), Elena Boldyreva (IUCr Representative), Petra Bombicz (Secretary), Engin Kendi (ECM25), Hartmut Fuess (ECM26), Santiago García-Granda (President, in front), Andreas Roodt (Vice President, back), Wulf Depmeier (Officer), Süheyla Özbey (ECM25), John R. Helliwell (Past President), Alessia Bacchi (Officer) and Luc van Meervelt (Officer).

The Executive Committee (EC) of the European Crystallographic Association held its regular 'Winter Meeting' between 26th and 28th February 2010 in Budapest, Hungary. The ECA President, Santiago García-Granda, summarised the strategy of the Association using a risk and opportunities analysis covering the fields of ECA membership, scientific organisation, ECM organisation, professional development of ECA members, education and finances. Elena Boldyreva represented the IUCr. Wulf Depmeier of the EC overviewed the countries belonging to the ECA region. The focal points are encouraging the activity of Baltic countries, how to involve more countries in Africa and integration of new candidate countries into the Association. An important aim of the Association is to increase the number of individual members. Led by Luc van Meervelt, the bursary-funding applications of the organisers of schools, conferences and workshops were evaluated. The next application deadline is 1st February 2011.

The establishment of a 'General Interest Group - Network of Young Chemists' in the ECA region is in progress. Alessia Bacchi is organising this effort to support activities of the younger generation of crystallographers, such as their organisation of scientific meetings, sessions and exchange of information. By request, the parallel establishment of a General Interest Group for senior scientists is also proceeding. This GIG will work to preserve the history of crystallography, archive materials, play an important part in teaching, and consider the special requirements of senior scientists etc.

There is also an increasing effort focused on the education of future generations of crystallographers at all levels. As part of the process to establish a European Graduate School of Crystallography (Masters and PhD), Massimo Nespolo has submitted a proposal for an ERASMUS MUNDUS Master Course that will involve a collaboration of several universities, most importantly Université Henri Poincaré Nancy, Charles University Prague and Univerisità degli studi di Padova, with contributions from the universities of Antwerp, Liège, Pays Vasco, Aveiro and Oviedo, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.

Alessia Bacchi is monitoring the performance of the SIGs. The aim is that all SIGs should have a website in the near future. The number of ECA individual members registered with each SIG does not reflect the total number of researchers involved in the work of the respective SIG. It is the task of the SIGs to convince as many researchers as possible to become ECA individual members and to express their explicit interest for the SIG's activities. There are several SIGs which coordinate or sponsor prizes or organize schools and workshops, in addition to participating in the work of the programme committees of the ECMs. They also organise keynote lectures and microsymposia. To strengthen contact with the SIGs, the ECA EC will continue its personal meetings with the SIG officers on the day of the opening ceremony of ECM meetings. Some SIGs already have a well established connection with the corresponding IUCr Commissions. The EC will encourage all the SIGs to form strong links with their corresponding IUCr Commissions.

The ECA Perutz and Bertaut Prize Committees, chaired by Andreas Root, work independently from the ECA EC. The Prizes will be awarded during ECM26 in Darmstadt. Donations to these Prizes' funds are possible via the ECM website.

The Organizers, Engin Kendi and Süheyla Özbey, of the very successful ECM25 Istanbul meeting gave a final report on the event. Hartmut Fuess, the next ECM26 Darmstadt chair, and Karl Törnroos, ECM27 Bergen, presented their organisation progress. Warwick University (UK) will host ECM28 to be held in 2013. For information on the European Crystallographic Association please visit the ECA News website:

Petra Bombicz