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Microsoft Hosts Inaugural Campus Connections Summit

Feb 23, 2017, by Emily Nichols
Tags: Collaborative Innovation Community, Community-Driven Innovation

Microsoft, in collaboration with Internet2, hosted the first-ever Microsoft Campus Connections Summit, a convening of more than 140 global university officials—including 60 participants from the U.S. and 8 members of the Internet2 Smart Campus CIO Advisory Council–to discuss the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data in the higher education community. The Campus Connections Summit featured peer-based knowledge sharing sessions, interactive tours of Microsoft’s “Big Campus,” and workshops to identify potential collaborative projects related to Success & Analytics, Energy & Sustainability, Safety & Security, and Collaborative Research.

(Right) Florence Hudson, Internet2, and Mark Cather, UMBC

Mark Cather, Chief Information Security Officer at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Florence Hudson, SVP and Chief Innovation Officer at Internet2, led a discussion on trust, identity, privacy, protection, safety, and security (TIPPSS) for IoT. Mark spoke extensively about the prevalence of IoT devices on campuses, how they pose new security and privacy threats, and expectations of campus IT to support these devices in a safe and secure environment.

(Left) Gordon Wishon, ASU

Gordon Wishon, Chief Information Officer at Arizona State University, shared the journey that ASU has undertaken to develop a Smart Campus. Of interest was ASU’s focus on utilizing data to improve student success. ASU has redesigned Sun Devil stadium to enhance the game day experience by upgrading infrastructure, creating real-time sensor-based parking, and integrating with a new mobile app. ASU plans to extend these capabilities from Sun Devil stadium to include the creation of smart fleet tracking, classroom attendance tracking, and smart assistant applications to aide students.

Participants had an opportunity to take various Microsoft campus tours to learn more about Microsoft capabilities related to:

  • Safety & Security: Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit and its Global Security Operations Center
  • Energy & Sustainability: Smart Buildings on Microsoft’s Campus and Microsoft Dining
  • Success & Analytics: Workplace Advantage and The Garage
  • Collaborative Research: Microsoft Research and IoT Insider Lab

Facilitated breakouts for each group were conducted so that participants could identify initiatives that would help them further their smart campus journey.

Success & Data Analytics

  • The Agile University
    • New structure to foster skill sets utilizing Artifical Intelligence (AI) to profile curriculum and student/individual success, including: basic computer skills, soft skills, advanced skills
    • Supported with AI and career services infrastructure, externships
  •  Global Talent Profile
    • Digital certification for 21st century skills
    • Could include Open Badging Framework with Blockchain security, and LinkedIn Profile
  • MentorBot Personal Tutor for Student Success
    • Utilizes bots, AI to assist with achieving success

Safety & Security

  • Cybersecurity Learning Hub
    • Address competency gap for both Cybersecurity Professionals and General Societal Cybersecurity Competency
    • Full life cycle: cradle to grave / K-12 to AARP to encourage cybersecurity best practices in society at large, in use as well as in implementation
  • Digital Literacy
    • Provide videos and case studies to teach digital literacy especially regarding cybersecurity and privacy, personalized literacy programs
    • Address cybersecurity governance, with public private partnerships

Energy & Sustainability

  • Campus as a Living Lab Breaking Cultural Barriers
    • Energy management solutions on campus with real-time measurement
  • Achieving Carbon Neutrality SCOPE ME
    • Cloud-based platform that gathers real-time data about carbon output of a student and helps them make carbon usage decisions, using a “Green Bit” for Global health, like a “Fit Bit” for personal health and fitness

Collaborative Research

  • Research Portal “1 Portal for All”
    • Research portal usage that requires zero technical skills, enabling users to clarify research objectives, scan other research available to help complete research proposals
    • Capture life cycle of the research, its data, & its associated IP to create research service as catalog

In collaboration with The Chronicle of Higher Education, Microsoft will be hosting a webinar on April 19, 2017, about these Campus Connections initiatives and how universities can participate.

If you are interested in participating in these Campus Connections Summit initiatives, or learning more, please email

Thank you again to Microsoft for hosting this interactive event and to the many Internet2 university members who participated in the Campus Connections Summit and helped to identify future collaboration areas.