Malcolm Heron, OES Vice President for Technical Activities
OES ExCom officers are keen to see available funds going directly to support the Chapters and Technology Committees of the Society. At their February meeting they requested the VPTA and the Coordinators of Chapters and Technology Committees to come up with funding models. The documentation for these will go to the AdCom meeting in Marseille in June. The plan is to allocate funds in the budget so that Chairs of Chapters and Technology Committees can submit proposals for support for planning or promotion activities like conference special sessions or streams, technical meetings and events. The plan is to have a rolling schedule with no closing date and quick response for approval on activities up to two years ahead. There is a complication that needs a work-around for Workshops and Symposia where there has to be a formal budget approved by AdCom at least one year out. For those activities the proposed Activity Funding Schemes will be available for early planning and gap-filling where some augmentation is needed.
I think the real motivation behind this development is to acknowledge that the Chapters and Technology Committees provide the foundation for the technical activities of the Society. Also, it is hoped that schemes like this will enhance the communication between Chairs and the Coordinators of Chapters and Technology Committees.
As IEEE moves into open-access publications there is a perceived shift in emphasis to workshops, symposia and conferences as the activity focus for the Institution. OES is well-placed with active Technology Committees and Chapters that are already sponsoring a wide range of medium-sized events. Be sure that you affiliate with one or more Technology Committees, and keep involved in your local Chapter to get maximum benefit from these groups.