Relationships with Working Groups
As a representative of an institution, an independent consultant, or private person, Dr Kass has worked with a number of working groups and standing committees. He served in the following:
Columbus Crew Activities Working Group – CCAWG
This working group was set up by Dr Wubbo Ockels to investigate the subject of scientific crew activities and plan a roadmap, and strategic approach, with the goal of maximizing the quality of scientific work that would be carried out on ESA’s Columbus module on the space station.
ESA Inter-Directorate Task Force
The goal of the Inter-Directorate Task Force (located in the Office of Special Advisor to ESA’s Director General) was the realization and implementation of a new Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme at the Agency. This successful initiative became a new programme at the European Space Agency, and part of a reorganized Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. One of the key contributions made by Dr Kass, as a member of the task force, was a survey of all health-related activities of the European Space Agency, which resulted in the publicly available Space for Health website of the Agency. He also helped market the programme across ESA’s Member States.
ESA Knowledge Management Working Group
This inter-directorate working group, of which Dr Kass was a founding member, set out for itself an ambitious multi-dimensional set of goals:
- Establish a Corporate Knowledge Management reference frame for the directorates in support of their own knowledge management efforts;
- Generate an ESA-wide Policy and Standard Practices for KM;
- Develop an awareness campaign to stimulate and harmonize KM practices across ESA and help making knowledge flow ‘from those who know to those who need to know';
- Train ESA staff in KM skills and tools to acquire new competencies and increase the understanding and appreciation of knowledge sharing;
- Implement actions to foster ‘knowledge retention’ as an effort to reduce the ‘brain drain’ effect due to retiring staff.
In the framework of the WG’s activities, a study towards an ESA knowledge management strategy was carried out, and a workshop on knowledge management was organized at ESTEC.
HERMES Spaceplane Cockpit Working Group - HSCWG
The HERMES Spaceplane was to be Europe’s vehicle for carrying astronauts into space. This ambitious project initiated by CNES in the early 1980s, and then taken over by ESA encountered unforeseen difficulties, such as the Challenger Space Shuttle accident, forcing new safety features, which became hurdles that could not easily be overcome. The project was finally abandoned in 1992. The HERMES Spaceplane Cockpit Working Group was dedicated to reviewing and contributing expertise towards the development of the cockpit from the human factors aspect. The working group comprised a number of experienced astronauts from Apollo/ Skylab, Franco-Soviet, and Shuttle missions. Additional experts included a small team from OHB-System, of which Dr Kass was part, who managed the WG.
NATO/COMEDS Telemedicine Panel
NATO/COMEDS Telemedicine Panel - TMED (subgroup of COMEDS: Committee of the chiefs of the military MEDical Services in NATO), is a standing panel normally meeting twice per year in Europe. Amongst the goals of this panel are to improve healthcare via tools such as eHealth, and to facilitate interoperability between the national forces. As a visiting member Dr Kass has made contributions in the domain of data privacy in eHealth and the recommendations of the Telemedicine Alliance, of which he is a founding member.
Telemedicine Alliance – TMA
The Telemedicine Alliance consortium was formed under the auspices of the European Commission (EC DG-INFSO) as a strategic cooperation in eHealth and telemedicine. The TMA uniquely involved three prominent international agencies, the European Space Agency (ESA), the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and International Telecommunication Union (ITU); being the first time that these organizations jointly collaborated together as a team. Two key projects were successfully completed: Telemedicine 2010: Visions for a Personal Medical Network, and A Bridge towards Coordinated eHealth Implementation