Editorial by François Billiard

I am moved as I write these lines: I left the IIR on October 1, 2004, following a 5-year mandate as Director; the Executive Committee elected me on June 13, 1998. Thanks to the IIR's members, the members of its statutory committees, and the staff of the IIR, and also through ongoing strategic-planning processes, considerable progress has been achieved, particularly in 4 fields: -information providing: this is a key IIR mission. Over the past 5 years, 2010 papers presented at IIR conferences and congresses, 16 000 articles abstracted in our Fridoc database, and 420 new articles published in the International Journal of Refrigeration since 1999 are now available electronically, thanks to the setting up of on-line access to Fridoc via the IIR Web site in March 2001; -the publicising of our activities has been enhanced thanks to launching of the Newsletter of the IIR in November 2000 and the setting up of a new, constantly updated IIR Web site in March 2001; -the IIR has entered into valuable strategic alliances thanks to partnership agreements with 6 international, regional or national organizations; -last but not least, the IIR has made a key contribution in terms of the addressing of major issues affecting our society: sustainable development, global warming, food safety, etc.; the IIR regularly makes announcements, presents position statements and publishes Informatory Notes on these issues. I would now like to introduce my successor, Didier Coulomb. Didier is 44 and is a graduate of France's Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts (National School of Rural Engineering, Water Resources and Forestry), both of which are located in Paris. He has acquired experience in several fields: -as Head of the innovation and technology mission of the Food Department of the French Ministry of Agriculture, he worked on development and research in the field of food processing and storage; -as Deputy-Head of Technological Innovation and Development at the Ministry of Education, Research and Technology, where he headed a team of 70 persons, he acquired in-depth knowledge of the various facets of technological research and means of funding it; -as General Secretary with CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development), where he managed 2000 people, he developed his managerial skills in the fields of human resources and finance in an organization whose mission is to develop the food sector on an international scale; -finally, he has experience in the field of associations and management of the volunteer member bases: he is the former chairman of 2 engineers' associations based in France. I hope that Didier will gain as much satisfaction as I did in my work at the IIR, thanks to the broad IIR member network, and readers of the Newsletter, whom I would like to thank: we value your interest in our activities. François Billiard Former director of the IIR