Project management

Project Management Board
  • Atanas Atanassov (ABI)
  • Yves Bertheau (INRA) - Project Coordinator
  • Hermann Broll (BfR)
  • Morten Gylling (FOI)
  • Arne Holst-Jensen (NVI)
  • Joachim Schiemann (BBA)
  • Kristina Sinemus (Genius)
  • Jeremy Sweet (NIAB)
  • Frédéric Vaissade (INRA Transfert) - Project Manager (Administrative team)
  • Guy Van den Eede (EC-JRC)
Executive Committee
  • Atanas Atanassov (ABI)
  • Yves Bertheau (INRA) - Coordinator
  • Hermann Broll (BfR)
  • Kristina Gruden (NIB) - WP5 Leader
  • Morten Gylling (FOI) - WP3 Leader
  • Arne Holst-Jensen (NVI) - WP6 Leader
  • Julian Kinderlerer (USFD) - WP7 Leader
  • Antoine Messéan (INRA) - WP2 Leader
  • William Moens (EC-JRC) - WP4 Leader
  • Joachim Schiemann (BBA) - WP1 Leader
  • Kristina Sinemus (Genius) - WP8 Leader
  • Jeremy Sweet (NIAB)
  • Frédéric Vaissade (INRA Transfert) - WP0 Leader
  • Guy Van den Eede (EC-JRC)

Project management organisation

The structure of the Co-extra management aims at reaching the following objectives:

  • Ensure timely and qualitative achievement of the project objectives
  • Coordinate at the consortium level the activities of the Co-Extra project
  • Provide decision making, quality control and conflict resolution mechanisms to support the project’s consortium and its evolution
  • Support implementation of changes in the activities and the consortium, including new entrants if and when needed
  • Provide timely and efficient financial and administrative co-ordination of the project
  • Support the activities of the consortium especially the ones that need a strong co-ordination for instance, excellence spreading activities
  • Coordinate and provide interface for conjunct action and lobbying with stakeholders and important decision makers in the area of GMO co-existence and traceability.

The project management plan therefore encompasses two aspects:

  • The management organisation, i.e. the structure in charge of managing all activities of the project and making sure the contract is properly implemented and revised when required
  • The project management principles that have been agreed by the Co-Extra partners to implement all issues not covered by the EC contract and indispensable to make the project operational and viable. These principles are being formalised in the Co-Extra consortium agreement.

The plan also handles two important and different aspects of the project management:

  • Strategic management - handling contractual issues (approving changes) regarding consortium agreement, changes in the project specification, budget and fund distribution policy, quality assurance policy, consortium structure (incl. new partners), IPR principles, publications and confidentiality issues.
  • Operational management – running the operations of the project, ensuring optimum communication and implementing decisions taken by the decision bodies. This implementation will encompass several aspects: implementation of the work, follow-up of work done, providing logistics for all coordination tasks, supporting and coordinating reporting, financial and administrative management.

Project management is organised within a specific workpackage led and handled by INRA Transfert.

Strategic management

The strategic management level includes four main decision-making roles: the IP coordinator, the Management Board, the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.

The IP coordinator leads the scientific management together with the Management Board, reviewed by the Executive Committee and advised by the General Assembly. Experience has shown that this structure allows scientific decisions be taken on the broadest possible basis, while avoiding the potentially biased view of a single co-ordinating institution. This structure makes decisions transparent as it assures information flow bottom-up as well as top-down.

The Management Board of Co-Extra is responsible for policy and decision making. The Management Board consists of the IP coordinator and high level representatives of the core members of the Project. It takes the strategic scientific decisions as well as decisions related to project execution (consistency of workpackage among them and with other programs, identification of troubles of progress), ensuring a high level of integration. They make sure that the adopted strategy is respected.

The eight scientists forming the Management Board come from the eight core partner institutions and have proven in the past that they collaborate well and can efficiently take decisions and solve several years and therefore have a strong basis of mutual trust, confidence and scientific understanding of each other domain to ensure a smooth, timely and highly Integrated Project performance. The IP coordinator chairs the Management Board.

The Management Board meets twice a year at a minimum. Reports of the meetings are sent to the other members of the General Assembly.

The Executive Committee is a very important decision level within the Co-Extra management organisation and comprises the workpackage leaders, the Management Board and the IP coordinator, being the chairperson of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will be in charge of preparing the programme of activities, the decisions to be taken by the Management Board and ensuring these decisions are properly implemented. The Executive Committee will also be in charge of taking operational decisions regarding the project day by day management, including arbitraging on deadlock situations occurring in workpackage committees.

The Executive Committee will meet in principle once every six months or more often should special issues be discussed. Reports of the meetings are sent to the other members of the General Assembly.

The General Assembly comprises all full (funded) members of the consortium. It discusses strategic questions of the science of Co-Extra and eventual problems related to the project management.

It also comprises a member of the Management Board as an observer, who reports about the decisions and plans of the Management Board to the General Assembly and assures a good flow of information between the Management Board and the General Assembly. The IP coordinator reports the observations and recommendations of the General Assembly to the Management Board. The Assembly meets once a year.

Operational management

The Coordinator is responsible for all aspects related to relations between the project and the EC. The coordinator is the focal point for the overall administrative and financial content of the project. The coordinator’s responsibilities are to manage the EC contract, handle and distribute the funds according to the rules agreed within the consortium, maintain the interface with the Project Officer assigned by the EC, maintain regular contact with the partner organisations, organise (with the support of the Administrative Team) and chair the Management Board, the Executive Committee and the General Assembly meetings, ensure global project coordination with the aim to meet the project schedule and objectives.

Daily management work and handling of the project logistics is handled by the Administrative Team made up of an experienced project manager and completed with experts in charge of more specific activities: webmaster, information dissemination specialists, etc.

The Administrative Team is in particular responsible for group management and facilitation, project administration and reporting (including financial and payment aspects), help desk and enquiry centre for participants, communication facilities and coordination (web based collaborative tool), event management and support for external communication. The Administrative Team is provided by INRA Transfert.

The Workpackage Committees are composed of one representative per contractor participating in the relevant workpackage. These committees reports to the Executive Committee through progress reports, proposals on programme, and budget allocation. They are responsible for ensuring the scientific monitoring and coordination of the workpackage and ensure its implementation (including risk analysis and conflict resolution). The workpackage leader appoints a responsible for IPR and exploitation who will work in coordination with the IPUD committee.

Consultative body

An Intellectual Property Use and Dissemination Committee (IPUDC) has been set-up. The Intellectual Property Use and Dissemination Committee  advices on IPRs issues according to the Consortium Agreement. The members of the IPUDC are appointed among lawyers and specialists of IPR belonging to the core members of Co-Extra. The IPUDC advices on knowledge that could be the subject matter of protection, use or dissemination based on contemplated publications and activity reports issued by activity leaders.


  • Collects information on the knowledge generated in a Co-Extra knowledge portfolio
  • Advices on the access right conditions within the consortium
  • Keeps the pre-existing know-how list up to date

The IPUDC advices on the knowledge protection by:

  • Proposing a general policy regarding co-ownership of knowledge
  • Moderating and proposing solutions in case of co-ownership between different institutes having different policy as well as to any possible conflict related to IPRs.
  • Advising and supporting knowledge protection when required

Consortium management

Project management principles, including Intellectual property rights and their management, are specified in the Consortium Agreement. This Consortium Agreement has been signed by all contractors before the project starts and before the signature of the EC model contract. The model agreement is based upon a draft model contract by the European Commission of January 15th 2003. As a model, it is indicative and can not be used in practice, every provision has been reviewed, revised and adapted to fit the regulation and the needs of the clustered participants.