The British Coal Utilisation Research Association


3.3) THE OPERATION OF A BCURA CONTRACT
(Including the Duties of the BCURA Industrial Supervisor)

Following the final approval of a proposal by the BCURA Council for funding, a copy of the BCURA Contract will be sent to the University Project Manager, the BCURA Industrial Supervisor and the BCURA Technical Officer by the BCURA Company Secretary.

Regular formal progress meetings will be held between the University Project Manager and the BCURA Industrial Supervisor, together with the steering group, if required. The main purpose of these meetings will be to review technical progress to confirm that it is satisfactory and ensure that the Conditions of Contract (including financial requirements) are being fulfilled. As a minimum, these formal progress meetings should be held at six-monthly intervals with the first meeting (the start up meeting) taking place as soon as possible after the contract has been approved. At this start up meeting, milestones and reporting schedules will be agreed and the BCURA Industrial Supervisor, (and steering group if required), will be introduced to the University Project Manager.

In addition to these formal progress meetings, it may be desirable to hold further meetings to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made. The frequency of these will be at the discretion of the BCURA Industrial Supervisor but experience has shown that progress meetings at three-monthly intervals can be useful in the early stages of a project of more than one year’s duration.

The BCURA Industrial Supervisor will ensure that satisfactory Six-monthly Progress Reports are produced according to the Conditions of Contract and that copies, (i.e. two of the three hard copies and an electronic copy in Microsoft Word or other agreed format), are supplied to the BCURA Technical Officer. Electronic copies of these Six-monthly Progress Reports will be issued to Members of the Industrial Panel. The required format for the preparation of BCURA Six-monthly Progress Reports is given in Section 3.3) below. These Six-monthly Progress Reports should form the basis of the formal progress meetings. Following the review of the Six-monthly Progress Report at these formal progress meetings, the Industrial Supervisor will complete the “BCURA Six-monthly Progress and Final Report Approval Form” and send it together with two hard copies and an electronic copy of the appropriate report to the Technical Officer. Minutes of all progress meetings should be prepared by the University staff involved and circulated, to include the BCURA Technical Officer.

No substantial change to a project is permitted without the prior written agreement of the BCURA Technical Officer. Therefore, any such request will need to be formally directed to the BCURA Technical Officer for approval by BCURA.

Upon completion of the Research programme, the draft Final Report will be reviewed by the BCURA Industrial Supervisor and comments/criticisms fed back to the University Project Manager. The BCURA Technical Officer will also be sent a copy of the draft final report for comment three weeks prior to the Final Report Review meeting. The Final Report should contain an Executive Summary designed to inform BCURA Council Members of the purpose, approach taken and key results/achievements/conclusions of the research. The requirements for the preparation of a BCURA Final Reports are described in Section 3.4) below.

The draft Final Report is discussed at the Final Report Review Meeting which is chaired by the BCURA Technical Officer and attended by the BCURA Industrial Supervisor. At this meeting which may also be attended by the steering group, the BCURA Industrial Supervisor and BCURA Technical Officer must determine the extent to which the Conditions of Contract (Technical and Financial) of the research grant have been fulfilled. Subject to confirmation that these have been satisfactorily fulfilled, they will make a recommendation to the BCURA Council to approve the Final Report. Copies of the (approved) Final Report will be issued to Members of the Industrial Panel.

The BCURA Industrial Supervisor should provide a brief Project Report to the BCURA Technical Officer giving his views on the execution and value of the Research undertaken. The Executive Summary of the Final (approved) Report together with the BCURA Industrial Supervisor's Report will be submitted to the BCURA Council for their approval at the Council meeting following their issue.

The BCURA Council needs to know whether there has been any arising invention/know-how, which has potential for commercial exploitation. If there is any, Council will consider whether it wishes to proceed, for example, by applying for patent or other protection in the first instance. Therefore an appropriate statement needs to be included in the Final report, and this statement should be confirmed by the BCURA Industrial Supervisor in his Project report.

In summary, the lines of communication are:

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