• IFRF Director’s Newsbrief

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The first two months of 2012 have involved all IFRF staffers in the UE projects in which it has partner status, BRISK (Biomass Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge)  and RELCOM (Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures) both of which got underway in the last quarter of 2011 and have a four year life span.  In both research projects, IFRF plays a dissemination role as well, and this involves the creation of databases, the publication of newsletters and, for RELCOM, the management of a dedicated web site. 

The BRISK website has been launched at www.briskeu.com and the lauch of the RELCOM site is imminent.  In early March and related to RELCOM, IPFR tests will start on oxy- combustion kinetics on different coals.  A 3 MW campaign is planned for last months of this year.  I will participate in a BRISK meeting to be held in Graz from 5-7 March.  Information about the availability of Transnational Access programmes will be circulated after that – watch MNM for details.

Regarding the IFRF’s research task force, the employment of another full time investigator is planned in order to reinforce resources for the research projects currently ongoing.  To date, post doc researchers from the University of Pisa have been temporarily retained for research activities whilst the IFRF staff complement was strengthened. 

The agreement between IFRF and University of Pisa, in particular with the Faculty of Engineering, expiring at the end of 2011, has been prolonged until end of June 2012, when the reorganisation of the University into new Departments will allow the identification of a structure within which a new agreement can be signed and common activities planned.  The initital agreement, active since IFRF’s move to Italy, enables us to take advantage of graduate and undergraduate students’ work on research projects.

The IFRF Executive Committee meets in Pisa on 15 and 16 March.  Their discussion will focus on issues of strategic policy raised at the Joint Committee in Turku last year.  Actions to be defined include member focused initiatives which have implications for the IFRF IT infrastructure particularly as regards the IFRF website.  A new Membership structure will also be introduced.  Steps have already been taken towards the planned reorganisation and refurbishment of the current website.  More detail will be provided after the Executive, where the final MC 17 programme will also be signed off.

Related to the IFRF’s new strategic focus on Members, Cristiana Gheorghe has joined Tracey Biller in the Livorno office and will take over responsibility for accounts and administration after an initital training period, freeing Tracey to concentrate entirely on marketing and member communications.  We welcome Cristiana and her contribution to the fun-loving Livorno team.

Arriverderci till next month!

Leo Tognotti