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Focus Workshops (FW): We will run workshops based either around generally-applicable methods or around subject areas where we perceive potential synergy. Each of these one-day events will be organised by a single node of the network, with money available for invited speakers. These workshops will be combined with longer (1-2 week) visits by international and national experts (non-members of the Network) where this is helpful to bring in knowledge from new fields. Visits of international collaborators will also coincide with workshops in order to maximise the exploitation of their expertise. We envisage three FW per year. The workshops will be advertised broadly to maximise their impact beyond the network. A maximum budget of 8,000 GBP can be allocated to a single day workshop, but two-day events can also be proposed and the budget may then be increased.

Members of the NetworkPlus can secure funding for a workshop by submitting a short proposal (1-2 pages) specifying a title, venue and a preliminary date of the workshop. Names of invited speakers, a short description of the scietific content and a clear statement of how the event would benefit the Network should also be included. The main objective of Focus Workshops is to contribute to a long-term future research agenda and to a final roadmap document, which will outline the future challenges in this area, and which will propose how to overcome them. In this context, workshops of a standard format targeting an already well organised, single research community are not suited to serve the main purpose of the network.

In-line with our proposal to EPSRC and taking into account the discussions at the general meeting in Warwick in July, we would charactetize the objectives of the networks as follows:

The activities of the network will bring together researchers from different fields and with different expertise. Our agenda is more broad-based than typical conferences and workshops, which concentrate on a single field and on already established results. Our activities are focused on identifying topics for future research. We aim to

● identify challenges and barriers that hinder scientific progress in this field,
● develop a focused strategy towards advancing our understanding of emergence and the physics far from equilibrium,
● explore synergies between different disciplines, starting with the themes identified above,
● bring coherence to these topics and to unearth as yet hidden potential for cross-field collaborations; establish areas in which collaborations and the exchange of expertise would be most effective, and initiate preliminary cross-cutting work in the areas so identified,
● establisha road map towards addressing the challenges of the area beyond the life time of the Network Plus
● work with industrial partners, finding areas where we can exploit both new and existing results for non-equilibrium systems
● enhance public awareness of the importance and diversity of non-equilibrium physical phenomena.

All proposals are reviewed by the Advisory Board and the authors have an opportunity to reply to the comments and modify their proposals to meet the objective stated above.

A list of Focus Workshops, past, scheduled and planned can be found here...