North Sea Commission, Innovation and Education Group, Terms of Reference
Who we are
The Innovation and Education Group (IEG) is one of the thematic groups of the North SeaCommission (hereafter referred to as NSC). The group was established in June 2006.
Every member region of the NSC may appoint members to IEG. A Chair appointed by the Executive Committee of the NSC chairs the Group. The Executive also appoints two Vice- Chairs. The Chair of the Group is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee, with the two Vice-Chairs acting as substitutes.
The work of the Group is co-ordinated by an Adviser appointed by the Executive Committee of the NSC.
Observers representing organisations and institutions related to our work etc. may attend the meetings of the IEG.
How we work
Every year, the Group produces a Work Plan, which is sent to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly of the NSC for approval.
IEG normally has 2 meetings per year prepared by the Strategic Group. The Chair and the Vice-Chairs have divided amongst them the political responsibility for specific issues on the annual Work Plan, and the members of the group take on responsibility for a limited number of issues, assisting the Chair and Vice-Chairs and the Adviser.
The Adviser in close liaison with the Chair and Vice-Chairs, and in consultation with all members, set the agenda for the meetings. Papers for the meetings are prepared by members, and by the Adviser.
Normally the IEG will hold one meeting 6 weeks prior to the NSC Executive Spring meeting. One purpose of this IEG meeting will be to agree the workplan to be submitted to the NSC Executive Committee. Another task to be undertaken at the IEG meeting is to prepare for the General Assembly of the NSC.
The second meeting of the IEG will normally follow up decisions made by the General Assembly of the NSC. In addition, each meeting will focus on issues listed in the current action plan and any other relevant issue arising.
The IEG may develop sub-groups and project groups to work on specific matters.
The IEG Strategic Group
Members of the Strategic Group are: Chair, Vice-chairs and their supporting officers, and the Adviser, and may from time to time be joined by other IEG members. The Strategic Group meets every year - whenever necessary to review and agree the work plan of the Innovation and Education Group. Agenda: The Work Plan, reports to the NSC, Work Plan, future meetings etc.
The way we do things
The IEG works through:
- Informal contact (e-mail, telephone conferences)
- Formal meetings
- Informal meetings of smaller (ad hoc) groups preparing specific issues
- Lobbying activity, where selected members meet for lobbying and fact-finding missions in Brussels and elsewhere where and when needed
- Exchange best practice between members, and other thematic groups
- The IEG may also arrange conferences and seminars, both on its own and in co- operation with other thematic groups and/or other organisations.
- Work closely with the other thematic groups of the NSC.
- Develop a network for co-operation
The IEG works with a number of different issues, reflecting the scope of its name. The Group is primarily concerned with the role that innovation, knowledge and education play in developing sustainable regional societies.
The IEG is also encouraging co-operation between member regions of the NSC in these areas.
The areas of interest include (but do not exclude other issues):
- Policies, programmes and initiatives of the European Union where innovation and education are involved (and its individual member states and of Norway where relating to North Sea co-operation)
- Co-operation and exchange between the member regions of the NSC
- Youth co-operation and exchange between member regions of the NSC
Links to other thematic groups
The Innovation and Education Group will link into the work of the other thematic groups on a range of issues. Good co-operation and division of work should be established between the groups to achieve best results.