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grtabor September 1, 2008 06:56

Dear All, I've recently bee
Dear All,

I've recently been made aware of an organisation called COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technical research - part of the EU - whose remit is to fund activities "to strengthen Europe in scientific and technical research through the support of European cooperation and interaction between European Researchers. It also aims to maximise European Synergy and added value in non-competitive and pre-normative research." In particular they have a call out to submit proposals for research networks:

The closing date for this is 26th September; the proposals are for 4 years, with financial support of around E100,000/year. At the moment, preliminary proposals are being requested (a few pages max) - chosen projects will then be asked to submit a full proposal. I'm asking 2 questions here:

1. Is there any interest in making a bid to fund some OpenFOAM-related activity from this?

2. What shape should the activity take??

For 1. if there is any interest I would be happy to coordinate and organise the bid (its only a few pages at the moment). For 2: I am open to all suggestions - my initial thoughts would be some sort of European OpenFOAM group, annual meetings (danger of overlap with the OpenFOAM Workshop there) and/or a European Summer school on CFD with OF. However, I'd be keen to hear other suggestions.


hani September 1, 2008 07:30

Hi Gavin, I think that your
Hi Gavin,

I think that your suggestion corresponds well with the description of the call. I am already involved in these kinds of activities, and I would of course like to be part of such an application.

I think that we should avoid competing with activities that are already well established, such as the workshop. There is however no problem being part of them and developing them.

What is still lacking in OpenFOAM is documentation and written tutorials. I think that it would be great if the outcome of such a group could be that kind of material, and the way to go there could be through meetings and summer schools as you suggested.

Let's continue the discussion...


caw September 1, 2008 07:40

Dear Gavin, dear Hakan, i a
Dear Gavin, dear Hakan,

i agree: Documentation is a major issue, therefore funding a project that aims at generating documentation would be a good idea.

Best regards

hjasak September 1, 2008 19:34

Hello All, Hakan and I alre
Hello All,

Hakan and I already started talking about sharing teaching material, and this could give us an extra boost. Re documentation, I know the code and want to get involved, so it's just the question of getting the time and the help.

Let's try to get this one set up - it would be a real boost.


uwe September 2, 2008 02:12

Hello All, as we dicussed a
Hello All,

as we dicussed at the Workshop in Milano, I am also interested in sharing teaching material and establishing a web teaching platform. If my students and I can help setting up test cases, etc., let me know.
What about a meeting to discuss the points (generating teaching material and documentation)? I could organise the meeting at my university.


grtabor September 2, 2008 06:20

Hi y'all... Well, so far we
Hi y'all...

Well, so far we have representatives from the following institutions (if I am reading email addresses correctly):

University of Exeter
University of Zagreb
University of Stuttgart
Berufsakademie Mosbach
University of Florence
Chalmers University

... which is a good start. Any other takers? I can approach people direct if they don't read the online forum (Politechnico di Milano perhaps). Anyway, its the nucleus of a good group to do this.

I agree we should not be aiming to duplicate existing activity. (The only rationale for a Workshop would be if people felt that traveling to Canada for the next one might be too far).

I'm not sure exactly how we would go about generating _documentation_ on such a project - I think genuine documentation would need a bod working on it for a substantial period of time, and I'm not sure what this money would pay for in that respect.

The idea of a summer school might link to providing some of this though. I'm thinking of a setup where members of the group provide 1-3 lectures on a specialist area which are delivered to a group of postgrads and starting researchers; the lectures could then be turned into an article which could be placed on a website for future use. Some people could provide introductory lectures to bind the whole lot together (I'd be happy to develop some intro lectures for this purpose). Discussions between members of the consortium and website development/hosting could probably be paid for by the grant (I shall have to look into this).

Does this sound like it is worth looking into??


grtabor September 2, 2008 06:55

Incidentally, I've just been l
Incidentally, I've just been looking at the form - the preliminary proposal requires 1000 char abstract and 10,000 char case .... so it shouldn't take too long to write...!!

Also looks like we can add the Technical University of Munich to the list. So far we have 5 different countries represented; it might be good to include a couple of other ones as well.


hani September 2, 2008 08:11

Hi, I agree that an activit

I agree that an activity like a summer school should be the main activity, and that one of the important outcomes of this should be a library of organized teaching material and case-setups. There is already a lot of teaching material that can be used and shared for this purpose. Hrv has a lot, I have some, and I'm sure that there's a lot already done at other places as well. I think that Uwes idea sounds good, that such a group should first meet and organize what is already done before doing something new. The group should then also decide on which parts of that material should be part of the first activity.

As you already mentioned, it would be a good idea to ask Milan to participate if they are interested. They are highly qualified.


jfb September 2, 2008 13:01

Could You add Lucerne Universi
Could You add Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (LUASA) which collaborates with ETH Zuerich concerning OpenFOAM activities. We just organised a 3-day course for our industrial partners to help them find their way to OpenFOAM.
So we are really interested into documentation and further realistic tutorial cases.


gregorv September 8, 2008 12:27

Hello, seeing how invaluabl

seeing how invaluable a tool OpenFOAM is, I would be interested in such a collaboration as well. The institution is University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia.



grtabor November 17, 2008 05:47

Dear All, Just to let you k
Dear All,

Just to let you know that I have now heard from the COST organisation, and our preliminary proposal was unsuccessful. I can post the comments if needed, but 2 of the 6 referees seemed to think that it was not a suitable program for the call.


johndeas November 17, 2008 06:22

Can you post it ? It would
Can you post it ?

It would be good to have an external look on the code, to know how it is perceived.

cedric_duprat November 17, 2008 06:34

Good morning from France,
Good morning from France,

I'm also interresting, in these comments.

And, according to me, SIG collaboration could be a good start. If we can work together throught SIG model, and if it is efficient, we'll be able to show them that it'll be a suitable program.
If not, there is no reason to candidate for such fund activities.


alberto November 17, 2008 12:01

Hi Gavin, I would be intere
Hi Gavin,

I would be interested in the comments too.


alberto November 18, 2008 12:28

Hi, I think reviewers 1 and

I think reviewers 1 and 4 pointed out two important aspects we, users and developers, should consider for the future if we want a growing community.

Let's try to examine them better in a honest and productive manner.

Reviewer 1 point on the lack of strategic plans in the development of the "tool", if referred to OpenFOAM, is the biggest problem: apparently there is no planning in its development, and the work around OpenFOAM really appears to be too inorganic. It is the feedback I get around from various people I talked to about it.

OpenFOAM gives a good initial impression, due to the high level syntax of the code, the high number of functionalities and its versatility. However what keeps users away, after the steep learning curve, is exactly the fact that they don't know what will come next. I know it is written on the slides of the conferences/meetings/workshops, but that material is not accessible to everyone. A web-page on the official web-site would give a lot better impression, I think.

Another aspect is the lack of coordination of efforts in the community. There are people doing exactly the same things with OpenFOAM that don't talk each other, or don't know that the same thing is being done. It is a waste of time, resources, and a damage to the whole community.

The situation with the split between OpenCFD version and Hrvoje -dev version does not improve things, and it is a priority the two involved parts should really address soon, finding a way to cooperate, because, like it or not, it is the only way to go for a successful plan. Put in other words, the two parts need each other work.

Reviewer 4 simply points out the idea is good, but it is not research, which is actually true. Writing documentation and teaching material is not innovative, even if the idea is to spread the usage of an innovative tool.

Just my two cents...


grtabor November 18, 2008 18:49

I think referee 1 was being ve
I think referee 1 was being very unfair; I've looked up the project s/he describes and its in weather prediction. The proposal was (obviously) intended to be tied to one particular code; and it was not intended to address the other points about direction of the project. Clearly a lot of that I failed to express clearly enough.

I'm unclear as to whether its worth pursuing this avenue again. Although the organisers, when I contacted them, told me that what I was proposing was appropriate for the call, I did experience a lot of difficulty fitting it to the headings they wanted in the proposal.

I do think a lot of what you say is very relevant to the overall direction of the project - but once again this is outside the scope of the proposal.


alberto November 19, 2008 12:08

Hi Gavin, yes, I checked th
Hi Gavin,

yes, I checked the proposal cited by referee 1, and I don't understand why he thinks that work has something to do with what you proposed.

My comments were referred to his considerations about what he calls "strategic directions for developing the tool", which are not in the scope of the proposal, but I think they are a key point if you want someone to invest money in the idea.

However I don't think you should give up. After all, for what I know, it is the first time a similar proposal was done.

I'm not very well documented on funds requests, however it might be worth to try to take part to some initiative where also companies can cooperate with universities, of course if OF developers are willing to do something like that (a comment from them is always welcome!). It would probably add credibility to the project too.


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