NREN "Version 2.0"
The future of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in a period of fast globalization was a prominent theme at the TERENA Networking Conference 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands this month.
Internet2 President and CEO H. David Lambert stated at the conference that future NRENs, should be innovation incubators, demand-side market makers, market aggregators, transformation vehicles, and collaboration enablers. Lambert also said that NRENs are political stabilizers that increase understanding around the globe.
Lambert suggested that tomorrow’s NREN must be an essential global platform for research and education (R&E) institutions in an increasingly connected and global R&E environment. View his PowerPoint presentation or watch his speech (at 54:20).
In addition, Internet2 and many NRENs are expanding their portfolios to offer a broader value proposition than traditional networking. For NREN 2.0, the “E” in Education must be just as big as the “R” in Research to transform education and deliver world-class content to global communities.
NRENs provide a collaborative environment for an active, global community of R&E organizations to solve their common technology challenges and develop solutions in support of their missions. For example, Internet2 and NREN partners are working on widespread adoption of federated cloud servicesthat benefit the global research and education community. The continued expansion of educational interests beyond national boundaries and the development of new global science collaborations will require NRENs to continue and expand their leadership on a world stage.
In his closing remarks, Lambert said the value proposition of a global R&E network and the intersection of communities may be as important as any global political process to assuring a stable planet: “We will have some work to do in assuring that these open, reliable avenues of communication continue to foster that safe haven for political dialogue and intellectual freedom. If we keep inventing these technologies, we can invent them faster than governments can create policy to control them. These communities of research & education networks are going to be, and have been, central to that process.”
The TERENA Networking Conference 2013 is the largest and most prestigious European research networking conference – more than 600 participants including decision-makers, networking specialists and managers from all major European networking and research organizations, universities, worldwide sister institutions and industry representatives attended.