Channel Network

Channel Network

A portion of the information shared below has been previously published in the IBS Biometric Bulletin.

About the Network

In April 2005, the British Region (as it then was) of the IBS organised a Multi-Regional IBS Conference at the University of Leicester, UK. This was the second of a series of bi-annual conferences that the British Region had decided to organise, following a first successful conference at the University of Reading in September 2003, with the aim of stimulating activity within the British (and Irish) Region outside of our usual programme of full- and half-day meetings. For the second conference at the University of Leicester the British (and Irish) Region (BIR) Committee initially decided to invite our colleagues from the Belgian (RBe) and Netherlands (ANed) Regions of the IBS to join us, an invitation which was later extended also to our colleagues from the French Region (RF).

Prior to the conference, it had been agreed that the officers of the four Regions would meet during the conference to discuss how the Regions might collaborate in the future to the mutual benefit of members of all four Regions. This meeting stemmed from discussions within the Strategic Plan Committee at IBC 2004 in Cairns about initiatives to support and increase membership of the society. The suggestion was that the establishment of stronger links between Regions might help smaller Regions to be able to arrange scientific meetings to support the wide range of quantitative and scientific areas in which our members are interested. Chaired by Geert Molenberghs, then IBS President, and also attended by Andrew Mead, co-Chair of the Strategic Plan Committee, the meeting agreed that the formation of a formal link between the four Regions was of mutual benefit, and set in motion the establishment of the Channel Network

The Channel Network’s Steering Group first met in 2006, and then again in 2007. Since then, the primary purpose of the Network has been to organize a conference to be held during each odd-numbered year, with the Steering Group acting as the Scientific Committee for the conference. A Chair is identified from a Region other than that hosting the conference, and both the Scientific Chair and conference location cycle through each of the four member Regions (though not in an official order). The focus of each conference is the scientific exchange of information and the strengthening of biometry in and around the surrounding Regions by gathering statisticians to discuss the newest statistical methodology for the analysis of biological and medical data.

Participating IBS Regions*

Belgian Region
British / Irish Region
French Region
Netherlands Region
*as of March, 2020

Governance / Committee Structure

The members of the Scientific Committee are appointed for each meeting, and function as the management of the Network with representation across all Channel Network participating Regions. Each Region contributes two representatives to the Scientific Committee for the next conference, with a Region other than that within which the conference is located contributing the Chair of the Scientific Committee. Nominations for representation on the Channel Network Steering Committee are submitted by the Board from each Region. The Network also uses a Local Organizing Committee to assist with some of the local arrangements prior to each conference.

Members of the Scientific Committee for the most recent conference at the University of Hasselt in Hasselt, Belgium included Niel Hens, Martine Machiels, Thomas Neyens and Yannick Vandendijck. Members of the Scientific Committee for the next conference in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK include:

Members of the Steering Committee

  • Hélène Jacqmin-Gadda (Chair)
  • Daniel Farewell (Chair)
  • Niel Hens
  • Jelle Goeman
  • Sophie Vanbelle
  • David Causeur
  • Cécile Proust-Lima
  • Dan Jackson
  • Tom Nye
  • Sophie Swinkels
  • Mark van de Wiel
  • Andrew Mead

Members of the Organizing Committee

  • Andrew Mead
  • Kirsty Hassall

Past / Future Planned Network Activities

The Network’s first conference was first held in Rolduc, The Netherlands in 2007. The location of the Network conference circulates on an 8-year cycle. Subsequent conferences have been held at the Het Pand Conference Center, Ghent, Belgium, Universite Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, France, The University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and The University of Hasselt in Hasselt, Belgium. The Network’s seventh and most recent conference was held at Rothamsted Research in the UK on July 10th-12th, 2019. The next conference is planned for Paris, France in 2021. 

Student / Young Statistician Activities

Young statisticians are welcome at every Channel Network event. No specific activities targeting young statisticians have been announced at this time.

For information on the Network, contact the International Biometric Office.