As many consortium dealing with a very broad topic, CIGESMED need advice in fields outside of its expertise and geographic coverage. CIGESMED is a SeasEra project, a call which was eligible only to three Mediterranean countries, France Greece and Turkey, yet the coralligenous habitat and scientists are found beyond those limits. As soon as in its very first phase, CIGESMED decided to create an advisory committee, partly standing alone, but also subcommittees and ad hoc working groups to bring additional needed expert insight into a field. The goal was to extend our circle of contacts and perhaps developing new business, getting new perspectives and ideas.

What were we expecting?
The CIGESMED advisory committee was not a governing authority.

1) To assist the governance and the coordination of the project:

  • Providing recommendations and important informations especially for
    - coralligenous habitats dynamics
    - management of coralligenous
    - citizen science and networking
    - management of massive data in ecology and data basing
  • Providing guidance that helps CIGESMED members to solve day-today problems in these fields
  • Participating to program review activities
    - Reviewing goals/objectives of the program,
    - Examining outcomes relating to quality and quantity of results,
    - Participating on program evaluation,
    - Assuring that programs are up-to-date and technologically current,
    - Making recommendations for program improvement.
  • Acting as a link between program operations and CIGESMED Steering Committee (SC).

2) To communicate and upgrade the impact of the different networks:

  • Focusing on how to improve CIGESMED.
  • Providing information at CIGESMED SC meetings, including from running projects/actions with similar topics, thus, limiting redundancy.
  • Increasing the activity of public relation particularly outside the 3 involved countries.
  • Offering a forum for program stakeholders to communicate their opinions, share their expertise, and coordinate services.
  • Supporting and representing the interests of CIGESMED within a larger agency.
  • Having public relations activities
    - Obtaining effective media coverage,
    - Displaying posters and other publicity,
    - Being visible in support of programs during public and special events,
    - Preparing future (research) proposals (implicating a more complete set of countries).

3)To perpetuate the observation system:

  • Helping to obtain contributions to promote programs after CIGESMED.
  • Helping to transform CIGESMED products in a European LTER-like system.
  • Building long term objectives with a larger panel of participants.
  • Preparing the answer and work package objectives for Horizon 2020 calls.

Compensation only took the form of providing food and drink during and before or after a CEA meeting (lunch or dinner) and covering expenses (travel and accommodation). Members of the CEA were also invited to meetings and events organized by CIGESMED.

The chairman has been elected to run the CEA, ensure effective meetings and act as an intermediary between the SC and the advisers. The committee presented an annual written plan of action that included a formal evaluation of the committee’s activities and accomplishments each year (members duties).
The CEA members have signed an agreement. They served 2 years.