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Founding Meeting 2000

Founding meeting of the CCPN General Assembly, Cambridge, 16th October 2000


Igor Barsukov

Leicester University
Gordon Roberts Group


Wayne Boucher

University of Cambridge


Alex Breeze



Chun-Wa Chung



Kristina Downing

Oxford University


Paul Driscoll

University College


Jim Feeney

National Institute for Medical Research


Wolfgang Fischer

Oxford University
Anthony Watts Group


Rasmus Fogh

University of Cambridge


Eva Hyde

University of Birmingham


John Ionides



Ernest Laue

University of Cambridge


Barry Levine

University of Birmingham


Helen Mott

University of Cambridge
Ernest Laue Group


Daniel Nietlispach

University of Cambridge
Ernest Laue Group


Jennifer Potts

Oxford University
Iain Campbell Group


Andrew Raine

MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit


Christina Redfield

Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences


Brian Smith

University of Edinburgh
Peter Sadler


Katherine Stott

University of Cambridge
Ernest Laue Group


Gary Thompson

University of Leeds
Steve Homans Group


Michael Williamson

University of Sheffield

Minutes of the founding meeting on 16 Oct 2000.


The presentations gave an introduction to CCPN and covered the current state of plans and of work in progress. The content is presented elsewhere in the account of the meeting. The major medium-term goals of the CCPN project were agreed to be:

  • Making a working analysis and processing program on the basis of the current Ansig and Azara
  • Preparing a comprehensive and detailed data model for the macromolecular NMR field, based to a large extent on the NMR-STAR data model together with the data models used in Ansig, XEASY, and ARIA. In the medium term the data model would be implemented in the data formats XML, SQL, and NMR-STAR, with APIs for most likely C, Python, and Java.

There was agreement that:

  • CCPN would accept any data format that had a sufficiently strong constituency, but would maintain and support only a limited number, additional formats to be maintained by their adherents.
  • Massive amounts of consultation will be needed to make the project work. More specifically contact should be made with commercial software developers like MSI, and with the group of John Markley on the subject of laboratory management systems.


1) Organisational Charter of CCPN.

The proposed charter was debated and passed by consensus, with amendments to the effect that :

  • The field CCPN should cover not be limited to solution state NMR.
  • That the number of additional members elected to the Executive Committee not be limited to two, and that the expectation that they apply as co-grantholders on the CCPN grant be relaxed.
  • That provision be made for advisory committees.
  • That the election periods of the representatives elected in this meeting be adjusted to account for the actual duration of the current CCPN grant.

The Charter that was passed may be seen elsewhere in the account of the meeting.

The potential conflict between of the UK-governed character of CCPN and the world-wide relevance of the project was discussed. The question was raised whether more EU representation would be needed, possibly in connection with EU grants, and whether some form of direct involvement of non-European interests would be appropriate. The executive committee was directed to consider the creation of a consultative committee to involve interested parties from outside the UK, and / or from the commercial sector. It was mentioned that international representation would be relevant only if the CCPN project became as success, and that the problem need therefore not be addressed immediately.

It was further considered that:

  • The definition of a group should allow different principal investigators from a single department to count as separate groups, and in general that the CCPN would be oriented towards including as many interested parties as possible.
  • The current grantholders might well be expected by the funding agencies to continue in their position for a time, but that the rotation of the post of grantholder among the interested parties was contemplated in the longer term.


2) Election of Representatives.

Paul Driscoll was elected Chairman of the CCPN Assembly and Executive Committee.

Michael Williamson, Christina Redfield, Brian Smith, and Andrew Raine were elected members of the Executive Committee.

It was noted that Ernest Laue holds the position of Chairman of the Working Group, and that Rasmus Fogh holds the position of Secretary to CCPN.


3) Agenda for the coming year - workshops and meetings.

The general policy for the location of meetings was discussed, and it was agreed to plan on meetings only in the UK for the time being. On a more specific note it was decided that the main CCPN workshop for 2001 will take place at Easter. A number of topics were proposed including 'Dipolar Coupling', 'Bacterial Protein Expression', and 'Fast Structure Determination'. It was decided that the topic should be best practice for fast determination of structures, whether automatic or not, and that the workshop should emphasize case studies. It was considered that an emphasis on UK speakers might suit both the puropse of the meeting and the economic circumstances. Detailed planning was postponed, since it depended strongly on the budget, which again depends on industrial support. The Executive Committee was charged with completing the arrangements. It was proposed to arrange also one or two one-day seminars, possibly on some of the other topics mentioned above. One suggestion was to hold each seminar twice, at different locations, to minimise travel costs. Again, the Executive Committee was charged with further arrangements.


4) Agenda for the coming year - data model and programs.

The meeting approved the plans that had emerged from the presentation and the subsequent discussion.


5) Software Distribution and Licensing.

The CCPN licensing agreement was presented to the meeting and passed by consensus with minor technical corrections. It was agreed that the CCPN could - and generally should - limit participation in CCPN arrangements to members of the CCPN Users Group, and the licensing agreement was amended accordingly. The problem was raised of certain juridictions not allowing the disclaiming of all warranties, and the licensing agreement was passed with the proviso that it be amended to incorporate legal advice obtained on this point. During the discussion it was noted that the CCPN was not so far planning to distribute third party software that did not make use of either the CCPN data model or the CCPN API and libraries, but that a web site with links to relevant software would be provided. It was further agreed that separate mailing lists should be set up for the CCPN Users Group, the Assembly, and the Working Group and related interested parties, and that all parties should be encouraged to present desires for features that they would like to see in a new assignment/analysis program. Finally it was proposed that the members of the CCPN assembly should collaborate in exchanging and refining 'housekeeping' programs that might be useful without yet being sufficiently mature to present to a worldwide audience.


6) Any Other Business.

None was presented. The meeting adjourned at 1630.