Mid-term reviews are important, essential, and usually boring. They are seen as a necessary part of the cumbersome process to ensure that tax-payers money is well enough spent to keep citizens in a neutral mood. A very grey business and little to get excited about.
Well, that is one more absolute truth that now belongs to the past. GeoConnect³d is showing so much tendency to revolutionise that it is becoming a bookmark in history even before it is over. If Europe was not in lock-down, you would hear people start saying things like ‘I remember the dreadsome days before GeoConnect³d…’.
Alright, we are probably a bit overenthusiastic and possibly a little biased, but mid-term reviews tend to be boring. So, when the instructions came for each of the GeoERA projects to prepare a two-hour presentation on their progress, GeoConnect³d replied that at least a full morning, and an afternoon session would be needed. That raised a few eyebrows from the organisers that wanted to limit the amount of boringness in the world, but we got what we wanted and started preparing.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not in the market for dull and endless meetings, but the rather poor rating with which the project was originally selected makes us quite fanatic when it comes to convincing and demonstrating how relevant this project is going to be for discussing and applying geology. This review would be a great moment to prove ourselves, with a jury existing of different panels that would include peers, thematic leaders and stakeholders. We were very confident about the progress we had made and the early positive reactions we were getting. So, we had plenty to show for, and didn’t want to summarize to a degree of leaving out essential achievements.
The mid-term review took place on the 5th of March. Afterwards we had the strangest of feelings, because we had prepared to defend our case, but instead were loaded with only the most positive remarks of the members of the jury. Being suspicious by nature, we even started hearing around to check if this all was just a big show were critical remarks were simply not allowed. And quickly learned that this was not the case.
And this week we got a first glimpse of the verdict of the jury. And oh, did we get our message across. The score shown was for thematic relevance, on which we were alone among the geo-energy projects in achieving the highest possible score of ‘overachiever’. We were particularly praised for increasing pan-European harmonisation at GeoERA level and raising the overall impact of the geo-energy theme in stakeholder and science communities. They considered that we went well beyond what we set out to do, and no doubt believe we will continue to do so during the rest of the project.
That certainly is our intention. In these truly dark and dreary days, it is good to come across joyful and encouraging moments. In spite of being locked out of offices, GeoConnect³d is carrying on. At some point, we will get through this global crisis, and when we do, we intend to be one step closer to the future of geology.
To all our fans and casual readers, hang in there.
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