Dear ISCA Members,
During the last ISCA General Assembly, the ISCA board presented the financial situation of our association. In terms of finances, ISCA sounds well, better than expected in fact, due mainly to the increasing success of Interspeech conferences. This success has only been possible thanks to the enormous efforts of past Interspeech organizers. 'Better than expected' could sound a little bit amazing when we are talking about finances... But ISCA main objectives are to help you to promote and develop speech communication. In order to reach its objectives, ISCA needs both yearly financial means and a capital base (in order to be able to face future difficulties). Owning money is not an objective by itself and we had during the General Assembly a very interesting brainstorming about the new possibilities opened by this situation.
Two aspects of the same topic were highlighted during the discussion: how to reduce the cost of our conferences and how could we have more students joining the conference?
The ISCA board decided first to increase significantly the number of student grants proposed by ISCA, knowing that this action has an underlined cost in terms of administrative duties.
Secondly, the ISCA Board has recently taken two different steps towards reducing the Interspeech registration fees: to lower by 50% the fixed price due to ISCA for each student participant
and to increase the financial risk taken by ISCA in the organization of the conferences. Concerning the last point, the board worked closely with the 2012 Interspeech organizers, which accepted to review their provisional budgets and to make several simulations in order to measure both the financial risks and the possible 'rebate' for the registration fees. I am taking the advantage of this message to thank them again for their action.Moreover, the current Interspeech organizers worked also on other solutions to further lower the registration fees, namely for students.
As a result of all these efforts, the registration webpage for Interspeech 2012 is now open and shows the lowest registration fees in 10 years.
Even if we are very happy to present these first results, it is clear that it is only a first step in the good direction and we are wishing new ideas from you!
Finally, I want to thank again the Interspeech 2010organizing committee, which donated 10,000 Euro for encouraging ISCA SIG activities. Please, see the call for proposal in this issue of ISCAPAD.