By Tony Greenfield

This introduction has appeared in the RSS News

The contractors and members of Pro-ENBIS met in Brussels in February.


In earlier editions of RSS News, I reported the founding of ENBIS (the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics) and its first major conference in Oslo.
The vision of ENBIS is expressed in a list of points that you can read on its website. The leading point is:

'To promote the widespread use of sound science driven, applied statistical methods in European business and industry.'

This is easier said than done. Progress would be slow indeed if it were left to the several hundred members distributed across 20 countries, all pursuing their own individual interests. Some coordination is needed, and funding.

The current president of ENBIS, Dave Stewardson of ISRU in Newcastle University, took the lead. Together with his colleagues at ISRU, he assembled a proposal for a thematic networking project and recruited nine other contractors. These contractors are organisations that agreed to commit themselves to a work plan over three years, each leading a group to implement a work package. Additionally there are about 20 members, all drawn from organisations that employ ENBIS members, who agreed to assist with the work. He put the proposal to the European Commission which, with enthusiasm but some negotiation, agreed to fund the project. Newcastle University was appointed coordinating contractor.

The network's overall aim is to provide a forum for the dissemination of industrial statistical methodology within Europe and to fill a gap which, for example in the United States is filled by the American Society for quality, and in Canada is filled by a network for advancing statistical practices. This aim is mediated through work packages under the heads:

  • Design of experiments
  • Data mining/warehousing
  • General statistical modelling, process modelling and control
  • Reliability, safety and quality improvement
  • Discovering European resources and expertise
  • Drafting and initiating further activity
  • Management statistics
  • Network management
In Brussels we started to plan the work program in detail. Each group will run workshops, publish papers and articles, organise network meetings. A website will be established. There will be a library of resources, including case studies. We hope to start a new journal. We shall contribute to the annual ENBIS conferences. Each group will have planning and action meetings and there will be regular meetings of all contractors and members to report progress. The main meetings will be in Lisbon, Rimini, Eindhoven, Barcelona, Oslo, Ljubljana, Copenhagen and Newcastle.

Enthusiasm rides high for this European network. I shall report our achievements in RSS News.