Managing an established facility: Scenarios for group work Kimmo Koski 26 October 2011
Ground rules • Split into 5 groups, taking one scenario each • In each group, select the following three roles: • a Chairperson, to coordinate the discussion • a Secretary, to record the actions (minimum 5) • a Rapporteur, to take notes about how the discussion proceeded • Don’t forget that everyone in the group has an active role to play!
Outcomes • You have 40 min for group discussion • After 40 minutes, the ‘high-level executive delegation’ leaves the group to present to another group for 20 minutes • The ‘high-level executive delegation’ consists of the Chair, Secretary and Rapporteur • There is then 15 minutes to ask Q&A of the high-level delegation • For the presentation of the results, please circulate in the following way: group 1 delegation goes to group 2; group 2 delegation goes to group 3 (etc.)
Scenario 1 • This centralized facility, RI1, established in Austria, has a MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed by 6 other countries, each providing 10% of construction costs of 200 MEUR total in 2012-2014, in addition to hosting country’s 40%. • Due to a change in government, one of the partner countries has withdrawn its participation and two others have requested to reduce their contribution by 5%. Nobody is willing to increase their cost. • The facility is expected to begin operations latest January 2015. • 42 persons have been hired at the end of 2011 on a 5-year contract and 10 more are expected, per year, from 2012-2014. Construction planning has started and work has been contracted for building the RI, starting on January 2012. • The operational cost from 2015 is expected to be 15 MEUR annually. • What kind of actions you will take to solve the situation?
Scenario 2 • Distributed infrastructure RI2 has nodes in 5 countries and partners from 10. Running the infrastructure is heavily dependant on HPC (high-performance computing). • The RI has until now been running the HPC facility in one of their partner organizations, but due to budget cuts there will be no more systems upgrades and the facility will become obsolete by 2014. • Part of the load can be distributed to smaller systems which are available, but this helps only partially. • The RI has successfully previously used PRACE resources through the peer review process, but there is no guarantee that these kind of resources will be available in the future and at the right time. • Draft an action plan to develop a solution. Which stakeholders you will contact and what will you propose?
Scenario 3 • You are the council for a research infrastructure which has been in operation for 3 years. • There has been a new, very high quality facility build in China, which, unexpectedly, is able to provide the same scientific environment at slightly lower quality, but at only half of the cost. • The cost structure of your RI is 50% based on salaries of personnel. The rest is very much fixed, in aspects such as multi-year contracts for premises, network costs or software license agreements. • Have a council meeting and list the action points agreed to address the problems
Scenario 4 • This research infrastructure (50 MEUR operation cost per year, 60 people employed) has been in operation for six years and has proven to be a success. • Most of the scientific goals for the RI have already been met, four years ahead of schedule. Scientists are now busily looking for new problems to be solved using the RI, but it is not easy. Some of the collaboration partners have proposed the facility to be decommissioned in two years’ time. • What kind of challenges there needs to be considered when evaluating the possible next steps?
Scenario 5 • This e-infrastructure-related RI has been running successfully for four years with EU project support, due to end in December 2012. • The EU is pressing the RI to contribute increasingly to new projects and is feeding additional funding – but covering only 50% or the real costs. • The RI needs to move to a sustainable state and the ERIC has been selected as the most suitable legal structure. • The facility’s services (mostly data management and software development) are popular, and there are more international RI customers who are ready to pay for the services than the RI can sustain. • The steering bodies have been satisfactory during the growth phase, but admit that it is difficult to monitor the additional activities which are developing. • What kind of actions should be carried out by the management and board to ensure optimal development, if any?