Technical Programme Terms of Reference

Adopted by the TERENA General Assembly on 10-11 June 1999

1. OBJECTIVES & DEFINITION

1.1
The objectives of the TERENA Technical Programme are:
1.1.1
to co-ordinate network development activities on behalf of the TERENA members;
1.1.2
to pilot new networking services on behalf of the TERENA members;
1.1.3
to assist the transfer of technology between TERENA members;
1.1.4
to participate in global network development activities, whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort with other organisations.
1.2
The structure of the Technical Programme shall consist of a Technical Advisory Council, a Technical Committee, and a number of Special Interest Areas, Task Forces and Projects.
1.3
The TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme and TERENA Executive Committee (TEC) shall retain overall responsibility for the Technical Programme, but they shall delegate certain functions to the TERENA Technical Committee (TTC).
1.4
Any changes to these Terms of Reference must be approved by the TERENA General Assembly (GA).

2. TECHNICAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

2.1
The Technical Advisory Council (TAC) shall meet at least once a year in order to:
2.1.1
Review the progress of the Technical Programme.
2.1.2
Advise on the future direction of the Technical Programme.
2.1.3
Propose new initiatives.
2.1.4
Exchange information about networking activities.
2.1.5
Propose TTC members.
At least once every two years, the TAC shall also:
2.1.6
Review the Special Interest Areas.
2.2
The TAC shall be comprised of the TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme; the TERENA Secretary General; the TERENA Chief Technical Officer; the TERENA Task Force Leaders; and up to three representatives from each TERENA National, International and Associate Member. The TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme may also invite representatives from other organisations that are involved with the Technical Programme. All representatives should preferably be senior technical managers that have decision-making powers.
2.3
The TAC shall be chaired by the TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme. He/she shall be responsible for preparing the agenda of each meeting.
2.4
The TERENA Chief Technical Officer shall be the Secretary of the TAC. He/she shall be responsible for taking the minutes at each meeting, and for making logistical arrangements as necessary.

3. TECHNICAL COMMITTEE

3.1
The TERENA Technical Committee (TTC) shall co-ordinate and supervise the Technical Programme. It shall have the functions of:
3.1.1
Creating and dissolving Task Forces.
3.1.2
Considering project proposals and recommending to the TEC whether they should be approved as TERENA projects, and if applicable, whether they should receive TERENA funding.
3.1.3
Assessing the progress of Task Forces and projects.
3.1.4
Ensuring there is no unnecessary overlap of activities within the Technical Programme, and with other organisations.
3.1.5
Approving the contents of Technical Reports.
3.1.6
Advising the TEC on TERENA's membership of external organisations.
3.2
The TTC shall be comprised of the TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme; the TERENA Secretary-General; the TERENA Chief Technical Officer; and six members appointed by the TEC in accordance with the following conditions:
3.2.1
Three members shall be appointed each year and shall serve for a maximum of two years. In the event of a member not completing their full term, a replacement may be appointed for the remainder of the term.
3.2.2
An individual may not be appointed as a member for more than two consecutive terms.
3.2.3
Each member shall be given responsibility for a Special Interest Area, but in the event that less than six members can be appointed in this manner, the remaining vacancies shall be filled by non-aligned members.
3.2.4
Members should be experienced and respected networking professionals, preferably with particular expertise in the Special Interest Area for which they are responsible.
3.2.5
It is not obligatory for a member to be a representative of a TERENA member organisation.
3.3
The TERENA Vice-President Technical Programme shall chair the TTC. He/she shall be responsible for preparing the agenda of each meeting.
3.4
The TERENA Chief Technical Officer shall be the Secretary of the TTC. He/she shall be responsible for taking the minutes at each meeting, and for making logistical arrangements as necessary.
3.5
The TTC shall meet approximately four times per year (although this may be via telephone or videoconference). Physical meetings shall normally be held at the TERENA Offices in Amsterdam.
3.6
Decision-making shall normally be through consensus. Failing consensus, the Chairperson and appointed members shall have one vote each. A simple majority shall be required to pass a resolution and resolutions with equal votes shall not be passed. Four members (including at least three of the appointed members) shall constitute a quorum.
3.7
TERENA will reimburse the travel and subsistence costs of all TTC members.
3.8
The minutes of TTC meetings shall be public.

4. SPECIAL INTEREST AREAS

4.1
A maximum of six Special Interest Areas (SIAs) may be created by the TEC, usually based on the recommendations of the TAC. These areas shall determine the focus of the TERENA Technical Programme, offer a forum for discussion and exchange of information, and provide a platform for creating new Task Forces and Projects. They shall be reviewed at least every two years.
4.2
The TEC shall be satisfied the following conditions have been met before agreeing to the creation or continuation of a SIA:
4.2.1
There must be support from at least five TERENA members.
4.2.2
It should be aligned with current trends in networking technology.
4.2.3
It must be relevant to the TERENA community.
4.2.4
In the case of an already established area, whether it generated any significant activity during the previous two years (e.g. a Task Force or Project).
4.3
A mailing list shall be operated for each SIA that is open for anyone to join.
4.4
An officer from the TERENA Secretariat shall be appointed to advise and assist each SIA.
4.5
The members of a SIA mailing list may request a meeting at the annual TERENA conference, for which logistical and secretarial support will be provided.

5. TASK FORCES

5.1
TERENA Task Forces may be created by the TTC to work on specific activities where a requirement exists. They shall consist of volunteers from the networking community and shall be limited in scope and duration.
5.2
The TTC shall be satisfied the following conditions have been fulfilled before agreeing to the creation of a new Task Force:
5.2.1
a proposal has been submitted that outlines the work being undertaken and defines a list of deliverables with timescales.
5.2.2
A Task Force Leader has been nominated.
5.2.3
The TERENA Secretariat has sufficient resources to support the activity.
5.2.4
All results will be placed in the public domain, with the exception of activities that are subject to a commercial Non-Disclosure Agreement.
5.2.5
Procedures for dissolving the Task Force are defined.
The following is also recommended:
5.2.6
Terms of Reference should be produced which define the composition of the Task Force.
5.2.7
Membership of the Task Force should be open to anyone.
5.2.8
An officer of the TERENA Secretariat should be appointed as the Secretary of the Task Force, who would be responsible for taking the minutes at each meeting, and for making logistical arrangements as necessary.
5.2.9
A Task Force should not normally operate for more than two years and the TTC must approve any continuance beyond this period.
5.2.10
Regular meetings should be scheduled that may be physical or via telephone/video conference;
5.2.11
Physical meetings should normally be held at the TERENA Offices in Amsterdam or at the annual TERENA conference. Meetings may be held in other locations at the discretion of the Chief Technical Officer, though care should be taken to reduce overall costs to participants.
5.2.12
A Task Force should operate a mailing list that is open for anyone to join.
5.2.13
A Task Force should report on progress or issues via its Secretary to each TTC meeting.
5.3
A Task Force shall be dissolved:
5.3.1
When its work has been completed and the final report has been published.
5.3.2
When it reaches the end of its defined term and this has not been extended by the TTC.
5.3.3
If the TTC considers it is making insufficient progress.
5.3.4
If the TTC considers its activities are no longer useful or relevant.
5.3.5
If a Task Force Leader resigns and no replacement can be found.
5.4
TERENA may reimburse the travel costs of a Task Force Leader, but shall not reimburse the costs of other Task Force participants.

6. PROJECTS

6.1

TERENA may organise projects in which organisations or individuals work on specific problems. These shall be classified as follows:

Pilot Project
Preliminary work on a problem that may lead to larger project. Usually with a total budget of 10-50 kEUR and funded from TERENA resources.
Minor Project
An activity of limited size that produces results in a short time frame. Usually with a total budget of 5-20 kEUR and funded from TERENA resources.
Major Project
A large activity that produces results in a time frame of six to eighteen months. Usually with a total budget of more than 25 kEUR and receiving funding from TERENA members or other organisations. This will often follow on from a successful pilot project, and will normally consist of several phases.
6.2

Project proposals may be submitted by TERENA member organisations, institutions or individuals within TERENA member countries, or by TERENA Task Forces. The TTC shall examine proposals and recommend to the TEC whether they should be approved, rejected or re-submitted. A project proposal must fulfil the following criteria in order to be recommended for approval:

6.2.1
It must list the project partners.
6.2.2
It must outline the work being undertaken.
6.2.3
There must be a demonstrable requirement for the proposed activity and it must benefit more than one TERENA member.
6.2.4
It must have been circulated on, and received support from, appropriate TERENA mailing lists.
6.2.5
It defines a list of deliverables with timescales.
6.2.6
It states the amount of financial support required from TERENA, the amount of effort required from the TERENA Secretariat, and the amount of additional resources required.
6.2.7
It defines the commitment of project partners in terms of funding, manpower and equipment.
6.2.8
It defines how the project will be evaluated.
6.2.9
It does not place restrictions on the publication of results.

The following is also recommended:

6.2.10
Projects that may lead to larger initiatives should be encouraged.
6.2.11
Proposals should be innovative.
6.2.12
Projects with multiple partners should be encouraged.
6.2.13
Requests for partial funding should be favoured.
6.2.14
Pilot and Minor Projects should not run for more than nine months. Major Projects should not run for more than eighteen months.
6.3
The TEC may grant the TTC direct authority to approve or reject requests for project funding if a specific budget has been established for this purpose.
6.4
TERENA shall sign legally binding contracts with organisations or individuals working on TERENA projects. Normally this shall be with the primary or sole partner.
6.5
The TTC, or a special committee nominated by the TEC in the case of Major Projects, shall examine the deliverables and results of all projects and recommend to the TEC whether they should be approved, rejected or re-submitted.
6.6
The TERENA Secretariat shall be permitted to participate in projects funded by external organisations (e.g. the European Commission), provided these are of benefit to the TERENA members.