Call for Abstracts: UbuntuNet-Connect 2014 – Infrastructure – Innovation – Inclusion

Submit an abstract for the 7th UbuntuNet-Connect 2014!. The conference will be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 11 to 12 November 2014 and will be hosted by Zambia Research and Education Network (ZAMREN), the NREN of Zambia. The theme for this year’s conference is Infrastructure – Innovation – Inclusion. Topics of interest include but are not limited to Access to education through innovative use of new networked resources; Issues for transformation in NRENs; Innovations at global level; and Experiences of researchers in using advanced network applications.

Authors are invited to submit a 500 word abstract (with up to 5 keywords) of their proposed papers, clearly indicating the key content to be presented, not later than 31st July 2014. Papers collaboratively authored are welcomed. The Abstracts will be double blind peer reviewed by an international panel. Successful authors will be asked to prepare full papers which will be published in the Proceedings and report of the UbuntuNet Alliance annual conference ISSN 2223-7062.

The Conference will be preceded by several other events with varying participation limitations. These include, Technical Workshop for Engineers, Executive Workshop for the CEOs of member NRENs, AfricaConnect Administrative Meeting, Executive Committee;and Board of the Alliance Meeting and Pre-Conference Workshop on Applications.

The UbuntuNet-Connect events provide major commercial and publicity opportunity for services and technology companies. A separate invitation has been issued calling for those who want to participate as conference sponsors.

For more details and expansion of the subthemes, visit www.ubuntunet.net/uc2014_cfp

SudREN to host the UbuntuNet Alliance Council of Members Meeting

UbuntuNet Alliance is announcing that this year’s Annual General Meeting of Members (AGM), the 8th Council of Members Meeting will be hosted by SudREN, the Sudanese NREN. The AGM will be held at Al Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan on 27 March 2014. As in the past the AGM will be preceeded by other events such a meeting of the Board of Directors and a capacity building event targeting network engineers in the SudREN community.

In the new constitution of the Alliance and its subsequent registration as a Trust in Malawi, the Council of Members Meeting is now called the Annual General Meeting of Members. Chaired by the Chairperson of the Alliance, it is the highest policy body of UbuntuNet Alliance and is composed of Members and Observer Members (NRENs in Construction) and Directors. Among other duties, it is the one that appoints the Board of Directors.

Members of UbuntuNet Alliance are requested to submit names of their representatives to the Secretariat. CEOs of NRENs are welcome to attend on a self funding basis.

Findout more about the event here

ICTP publishes a book on TV white spaces

As the regional UbuntuNet network rolls out, the international connectivity problems are addressed. It now rests on the NRENs to address the internal connectivity issues and reach out to as many research and education sites as possible. With the ongoing digital migration drive, vacant spectrum that was previously allocated to the broadcast of television signals is poised to bring a low cost alternative to reachiig out rural sites. This vacant spectrum is called TV White Space (TVWS).

With the aim of increasing awareness about the opportunities presented by TVWS, the International Centre for Theoretical Physcics (ICTP) has published a book on this subject, which has been edited by E. Pietrosemoli and M. Zennaro. The book has 13 papers that share experience and best paractise.

“The use of a small portion of the spectrum for WiFi has a huge impact on the life of millions of people. In this book we try to analyze from different points of view how the use a broader chunk of unused spectrum can multiply this impact,” said Marco Zennaro of Telecommunications / ICT for Development Laboratory at ICTP who is one of the reviewers.

TVWS projects are being implemented in a number of African countries including Malawi, South Africa and Kenya. In Malawi the project was lauched last December by the Minister of Information, Mr Brown Mpinganjira. The project is being piloted at schools, hospitals and government offices, deploying a wireless network using white spaces. Director of the project, Dr Chomora Mikeka said that the project is aimed at providing broadband connectivity to rural Malawi at affordable cost using the identified spectrum gaps (White Spaces) in the TV UHF band.

This book is published under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives ¦.þ International license. Download the book from here .

IST-Africa’s Horizon 2020 workshops aim to increase Africa’s participation

By Miriam Cunningham (IST-Africa)
The IST-Africa Consortium organised a series of Horizon 2020 Workshops across 12 partner countries from November to February 2014 (Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Egypt), with the next workshop scheduled in Angola on 06 March.  Participation in FP7 has grown significantly in the IST-Africa Partners countries over the past seven years. The purpose of the national Horizon 2020 Workshops is to provide the research community with the necessary information so they have the opportunity to be actively involved in collaborative research under Horizon 2020 and leverage the track record and experience gained in FP7. The workshops have been very well received by the national research communities. Workshop Reports can be downloaded from here

Horizon 2020 has a more holistic approach where ICT is recognised a horizonal enabler with research opportunities as part of multidisciplinary teams in both the Leadership in Emerging Technologies (LEIT) Work Programme as well as Societal Challenges Work Programmes (Health, Agriculture, Environment, Energy etc). IST-Africa and CAAST-Net Plus collaborated with Dr Stéphane Hogan, Counsellor for Research & Innovation, Delegation of the European Union to the African Union in relation to four Horizon 2020 Workshops organised in East Africa during the week of 20 January 2014, which was very successful.

Due to the high number of Work Programmes and the short timeframe for Calls in some thematic areas, IST-Africa has prepared a Guide to 2014 Calls for Proposals in Horizon 2020. This guide lists each thematic area, deadlines and links to the Participants portal for more detailed information. It can be downloaded from here

IST-Africa has a specific section focused on Horizon 2020, which provides links to all the Work Programmes – Marie Curie, Infrastructures, Societal Challenges (Health, Food Security and Agriculture, Energy, Transport, Climate action and Environment, Inclusive and Reflective Societies; Secure Societies) and LEIT. See here

NREN and medical communities join forces to combat Dengue Fever

By Francis Lee (SingAREN), Molly Yap (TEIN*CC) and Helga Spitaler (DANTE)

The latest Asia Pacific Advanced Networking (APAN) meeting held in January in Bandung, Indonesia, saw the addition of a dedicated Dengue Fever workshop in the programme for the established APAN Medical Working Group.

A joint APAN-TEIN*CC  initiative, the workshop took place on 20 January 2014, attracting  over 30 attendees, including clinicians and researchers  from within the multi-disciplinary dengue fever community, public health officials as well as National Research and Education Network (NREN) representatives from across the Asia-Pacific. Titled “Dengue Fever- Let’s STOP it!” , the workshop set out to provide a forum for participants to share experiences and best practices and to exchange ideas around how to manage, prevent and fight this infectious tropical disease. According to the World Health Organisation, Dengue Fever is putting almost half of the world population at risk.

The discussions also provided an opportunity to explore how the NREN community and research and education (R&E) networks, at the national, regional and global level, can support the medical community’s international collaborative efforts to combat Dengue Fever in endemic countries and to prevent its spread.  In addition to speakers from Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Malaysia who attended the workshop in person, colleagues from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Australia and Japan joined the discussions remotely via a live video link provided by SingAREN, LEARN, AARNet and NII /NICT respectively.

All sites were able to view the presentations and follow the discussions in real time using the multi-point videoconference system supported by their respective national R&E networks and the regional Trans EurAsia Information Network (TEIN). With high-definition images and stable connections, participants experienced videoconferencing first-hand, as a time- and cost-effective collaboration tool.

The presentations covered a wide range of topics, from clinical case management to relevant climate impact studies.  A round-table discussion that followed focused on taking stock of objectives and activities, as well as on how to move forward by working together and sharing experiences and processes to better combat the resurgence of the disease in the region.

Participants agreed to build on the positive experience of the workshop and NREN-supported videoconferencing and to follow up with virtual meetings around specific topics and areas of research interest. Professor Leo Yee Sin (Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore) stepped forward to facilitate the next virtual meeting on clinical case management

Discussions are underway with NRENs in Latin America and Africa, among other world regions, about adapting this workshop model to the local context to help build regional communities.

The driving force behind the workshop, Prof. Francis Lee Bu Sung, President of SingAREN and Chair of Governors of TEIN*CC, commented: “This was a very inspiring event. I hope it will act as a catalyst for more joint actions. Everyone left with renewed energy and enthusiasm in our quest to stop the spread of Dengue Fever and to improve its treatment!”

The presentations can be downloaded from here (please scroll down to mid-page).
A video of the workshop is available from here

If you wish to find out more about this Dengue Fever initiative or want to join the next virtual workshop, please contact Professor Francis Lee Bu Sung at ebslee@ntu.edu.sg

KENET expands its eduroam network

Kenya’s research and education network, KENET is expanding its eduroam coverage in the country. After initially deploying the Wi-Fi roaming service in 10 campuses in 2012, the service is now available in 19 institutions enabling more researchers, students and teachers easy and secure network access when visiting an institution other than their own using their home network credentials.Eduroam is used by millions of travelers in the research and education community across the world. It eduroam allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop. In Africa, the service has been rolled out in Kenya, South Africa and Morocco. To increase coverage in the UbuntuNet Alliance membership region, a training workshop was held for NREN engineers last April.

“We are very happy to be among the first NRENs in Africa to implement eduroam. Last year participants at IST-Africa 2013 in Nairobi were able to connect to the Internet using eduroam provided by KENET,” said Maureen Wanja Njue, Systems Administrator at KENET.

Eduroam is a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed by TERENA for the international research and education community.

GÉANT and TERENA invite nominations for Community Awards

TERENA and the GÉANT project have collaborated to open up Community Awards to nominations from across the research and education networking community, and are pleased to announce the call for nominations. These awards are designed to show gratitude and respect to teams or individuals who have shared their ideas, expertise and time with the community. Such contributions are often provided voluntarily and through good will. These awards were introduced by TERENA in 2012, with recipients being honoured online and during the annual TERENA Networking Conference (TNC).

Up to three nominees may be selected by a panel of judges from among the GÉANT and TERENA community. The winner(s) will be presented with a small personal gift on Thursday 22 May during the closing plenary session of TNC2014 in Dublin, Ireland. Nominations can be submitted until midnight on 20 March 2014.

For the past few years, the TNC has been the place where public recognition has been given to members of the European research and education networking community for their contributions to the development of relevant technologies and services or to collaborative community activities. The new nominations procedure, sponsored by the GÉANT project, not only opens the awards up to greater community engagement within Europe, but also invites nominations from and about people in other world regions.

Who can be nominated?
Nominees should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • he /she shared an idea with the community that developed into something significant such as a well-used tool or service;
  • he / she made a significant contribution to a number of community activities over a sustained period;
  • he / she has made significant contributions to important / recognisable developments within the past 12 months.

‘Winners’ could be individuals or small teams of named individuals. Winning nominee(s) should meet the same affiliation requirements as those for people submitting nominations (see below).

Who can submit nominations?
Nominations are welcome from:

  • staff employed or sub-contracted by: GÉANT project partner organisations; DANTE; TERENA national, associate or international member organisations;
  • national or continental research and education networking organisations from outside Europe, including AARNET, APAN, ASREN, CANARIE, Internet2, RedCLARA, Ubuntunet;
  • individuals who participate in one or more TERENA task force(s) or other TERENA activities, whether by attending meetings or simply being on the mailing list;
  • other individuals who have registered to attend TNC2014.

A maximum of two submissions per person will be accepted; if more nominations are submitted, only the first two will be taken into account.

How to submit nominations

Nominations can be submitted using the online nomination form. In order for TERENA and the judges to assess all nominations equally and to follow up on nominations, questions cover some basic facts about the person submitting the form, as well as about the person being nominated and supporting information. Please note that all fields are compulsory.

Among other things, people submitting nominations will be asked to explain why the nominee deserves special recognition, whether such recognition would be particularly timely during TNC2014, whether their work was part of a team effort or has already received wider recognition, and whether the nominator has any ideas for a relevant (token) gift.

This article was published by GÉANT website and the article can be accessed here

 

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