Twenty Sites Participate in the TNC2009 Right from their Desktops

Over 20 remote sites from all over the world participated in the 2009 TERENA Networking Conference which took place in Malaga in Spain from 8 to 10 June 2009. Remote participation was open during the session: Implications & Benefits of Connectivity Beyond Europe on 9th June from 15h00 to 16h30 GMT. This was made possible by the GLOBAL Project using the Isabel video conferencing Platform.

During the live session, Professor Bjorn Pehrson of KTH and coordinator of the FEAST Project gave a presentation on FEAST followed by one from CLARA and then UbuntuNet Alliance by the CEO, Dr F.F. Tusubira.

The UbuntuNet Alliance Secretariat, with a local audience of about 20 people was among the remote participants from Lilongwe. Short presentations on e-learning and e-health were made by Kondwani Wella and Dr Abigail Kazembe of the University of Malawi. Wish you had participated? No problem as all the presentations are available on the event coordination page on the ISABEL Plaza:http://isabel.dit.upm.es/mediawiki/index.php/GLOBAL_e-Infrastructure_Net….

Setting up an Isabel session is simple. All you need is a PC with Isabel installed, a standard webcam, microphone, speakers adequate bandwidth. Isabel can be downloaded from http://isabel.dit.upm.es. You will find more documentation on the same site.

Call for NRENs to complete the TERENA Compendium of NRENs Questionnaire

TERENA, the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association is calling for NRENs to provide data for this year’s TERENA Compendium of NRENs. The TERENA Compendium has for many years been the leading reference work on the status of NRENs in Europe and beyond. The desire is to have broader global coverage.

The deadline for input into the 2009 questionnaire is the end of July (or soon after). Each NREN member of staff who will be providing data may request a password for access by going to: http://www.terena.org/activities/compendium/2009/password.php. Then select your NREN name from the drop down, enter your normal email address and a request will be sent to the 2009 Compendium Coordinator. If your NREN is not listed, please send an email to John Dyer on compendium-2009@terena.org. We would very much value your contribution as the more complete the dataset, the more accurate and complete assessment of Research and Education Networking can be derived.

You should find that the 2009 questionnaire is both shorter and simpler to complete than in recent years. This has been done to reduce the burden on NRENs and to help increase the accuracy of data collected.

The requirements for a few numeric indicators is vital to enable us to understand trends and make predictions. Having said that, wherever possible the need for precise numbers has been removed and replaced by check boxes for ranges of values.

If your NREN participated last year a few sections default data from last year has been pre-filled, however for the some answers fresh answers will be required. We ask this just for 2009 in an attempt to improve overall data accuracy. In 2010 we expect to return to a higher proportion of pre-filled data.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in answering the questions, have some comments or need any help, please emailcompendium-2009@terena.org. For our NRENs, this is an opportunity to have benchmark data and so monitor our progress! Let us complete the questionnaire!

Old friends are good friends: OISISA Grant approved

Since its foundation, UbuntuNet Alliance has enjoyed the support of OSISA (www.osisa.org ) in various ways. Ms Thandie Mbvundula, the ICT Programme Manager of OSISA has been a participant in several activities hosted by the Alliance, including UbuntuNet Connect 2008.OSISA has provided financial support to Alliance proposals since the very start.

We are happy to report that the Alliance has received confirmation of a grant from OSISA to support the Secretariat as we move towards operationalisation. The grant also includes some support for meetings of the Alliance and representation at events. Alliance members express their heartfelt thanks to OSISA for this encouragement.

Green IT: Participating remotely in the EU Infrastructure meeting via GLOBAL

The European Commission normally invites people to participate in its Information events in Brussels where researchers learn more about participating in EU FP7 research calls. The carbon footprint of such meetings may be rather large, not to mention the cost factors. This year, through the GLOBAL EU FP7 project of which UbutuNet Alliance is a Consortium member, two fully distributed events were hosted via the Internet on the Project’s Virtual Conference Center through the Isabel platform. During these distributed events, there was no live audience, but all were remote and distributed across the world. The events were held following the Information event that was held in Brussels on 18th June.

The first event was held on 23rd June 2009 and had about 30 sites from the Caribbean, Latin and North America. The second was held on 1st July and had about 20 sites from across Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

The agenda covered the disciplines covered in the current EU FP7 call and the practicalities of applying and administering a project. Many African institutions and NRENs were invited through various channels to log on. However, ultimately, UbuntuNet Secretariat in Lilongwe and KENET were the participants from Africa. This may be due to the fact that the bandwidth requirements of Isabel currently are about 1Mbit and in our current VSATs environment it is challenging to organize this much spare bandwidth. But the experience was positive for both sites and we hope that as the fibre is laid, more institutions and NRENs will seize these opportunities to participate in important e- infrastructural events and be able to be partners in research consortia.

Busy in and out of MoRENet!

Morenet Launch

Hon. Venancio Massingue, Minister of Science and Technology in Mozambique started a series of events to move MoRENet to the next level. Firstly he hosted a well attended meeting of Rectors and Directors of Universities in Maputo on the 17th of June to discuss with them the launch of MoRENet. Then on 24th June, MoRENet was inaugurated with representation from the President’s office. This was followed on 1st July by a workshop with all universities and research institutions in Mozambique to discuss MoRENet and in particular the business model. Dr Duncan Martin, CEO of TENET and Director of UbuntuNet Alliance was there to share TENET experiences and also to explain the relationship with UbuntuNet Alliance.

Moving on – but not too far!

Jussi Hinkkanen, Adviser to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Mozambique and Coordinator of MoRENet is moving back to the private sector (but staying within the region) from the beginning of July. For more than 4 years Jussi has interacted with UbuntuNet Alliance members and shared experiences in NREN development. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to witness the formal launch of MoRENet immediately prior to his departure. UbuntuNet Alliance wishes Jussi all the best in the next phase of his career and thanks him for the energy he brought to the task of NREN building in Mozambique.

Also Moving on even – but even less far

Dr Americo Muchanga, Representative Member of MoRENet and Founding Director of UbuntuNet Allianceleaves Eduardo Mondlane University where he held the post Director of Planning and will now replace Jussi Hinkkanen in the Ministry of Science and Technology with oversight of MoRENet. Best wishes, Americo in this new but not so new challenge!

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2010 Access to Learning Award – Applications now accepted

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting applications to its annual Access to Learning Award (ATLA), which recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries and similar institutions outside the United States to connect people to information and opportunities through free access to computers and the Internet. The award is given by Global Libraries, a special initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program. The recipient of the Access to Learning Award will receive US$1 million.

Computers and the Internet are powerful tools that provide opportunities for people to improve their social and economic well-being. Worldwide, just one person in six has access to the Internet. This means that more than five billion people miss out on chances to pursue education and employment, access government services, learn about valuable health information, conduct business online, and exchange information and ideas. The Access to Learning Award encourages new, innovative ways to provide computer and Internet services to people without access, and promotes greater development of public access technology programs around the world.

The Access to Learning Award honors innovative organizations that are opening a world of online information to people in need. The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative invites applications from libraries and similar organizations outside the United States that have created new ways to offer these key services:

  • Free public access to computers and the Internet.
  • Public training to assist users in accessing online information that can help improve their lives.
  • Technology training for library staff.
  • Outreach to underserved communities

Please note:

  • Applications are open to institutions outside the United States that are working with disadvantaged communities.
  • To be eligible, the applying institution must allow all members of the public to use computers and the Internet free of charge in a community space.

Applications for the 2010 Access to Learning Award must be submitted via an online submission process by October 31, 2009. The application form is available only in English and must be completed in English to be eligible for consideration. However, while applications must be submitted in English, the foundation does offer informational brochures in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. You may find these and additional information on eligibility requirements and the process of selection at:http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ATLA

ISOC Fellowship to the IETF – seeking applicants for IETF 76 and IETF 77

The Internet Society has announced that it is seeking applications for the next round of the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF program. The program offers engineers from developing countries fellowships that fund the cost of attending an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting.

As you know, the IETF is the Internet’s premier standards-making body, responsible for the development of protocols used in IP-based networks. IETF participants represent an international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers involved in the technical operation of the Internet and the continuing evolution of Internet architecture.

Fellowships will be awarded through a competitive application process. The Internet Society is currently accepting fellowship applications for the next two IETF meetings:

  • IETF 76 being held in Hiroshima, Japan, 8-13 November 2009
  • IETF 77 being held in Anaheim, USA, 21-26 March 2010

Up to six fellowships will be awarded for each IETF meeting.

Full details on the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF, including how to apply, are located on the ISOC website at:http://www.isoc.org/educpillar/fellowship

Fellowship applications for both IETF meetings are due by 31 July 2009.

The Internet Society formally launched the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF program in January 2007 after successfully piloting the program during 2006 at IETF 66 in Montreal and IETF 67 in San Diego. Forty seven individuals from 29 countries have participated in the program since its inception.

I encourage you to pass information about this program to individuals involved in your regional operators’ groups that have a keen interest in the Internet standardisation activities of the IETF. You also may consider being a reference for the applicant.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Connie Kendig or Mirjam Kuehne.

 

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