TNC2013 was about Innovating together
On Monday June 3, I had the honor to welcome all TNC participants during the opening plenary. My welcoming speech was about innovating together and 3 challenges I see ahead. You can watch my welcoming speech in the archived video stream of the opening plenary or read the speech below. Welcoming speech Erwin Bleumink SURFnet June 3, 2013
The TERENA Networking Conference is our yearly fair in the village of European NRENs. Something that not only TERENA looks forward to, but also all the other villagers. Like a fair, the TERENA Networking Conference is about contacts, fun and experiences. And TNC is here to inform each other about the latest developments, to gossip, and to test ideas. I am proud that SURFnet got the opportunity to organise this year’s conference together with TERENA. 2013 is a special year for us at SURFnet. It is our 25th anniversary. 25 years at the forefront of innovation that have only been possible thanks to close cooperation with you all in this room. This year’s theme is innovating together. We have many examples of innovating together in our community. I will highlight one global and one European collaboration that managed to create something special to launch today. After that I will highlight three challenges ahead.
Today for the first time a Transatlantic 100 gigabits-per-second transmission link for research and education between North America and Europe has been demonstrated. In order to achieve this six NREN’s from Europe and North America and two commercial partners joined forces. We have been able to bring this 100Gbit/s connection to the floor of the TERENA Networking Conference. Without the exceptional work of a large team of people from ten different organizations working across nine time zones, this breakthrough for the R&E community would not have been possible. This achievement shows that research and education networks are at the forefront of innovation, thereby empowering the most advanced research by universities and research institutions worldwide. The impact of this development however will also be seen outside academia and help stimulate the economy.
This year’s conference topics are: NREN 3.0, Open science, Big Data, creating solutions and creating infrastructures. We thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we could have crossovers between these topics during a technology demonstration?’ With this mindset, SURFnet found in Ciena, PSNC and University of Twente good partners to create an astonishing demo. It combines Robotics (Haptic technlogy), video technologies, Transmission and a 40G network connection. You are all invited to try to play a game, control a robot arm, be amazed and safe the leaning tower of Pisa!
These two examples are nice demonstrations of what we are capable of. But for us to remain relevant we really have to innovate together for our user communities. I see at least 3 challenges ahead. Hopefully, we can make some steps the next few days by laying the groundwork for solving these challenges.
- The Advanced North Atlantic 100G Pilot project is not only a technological feat, it is also an innovation in how NRENs work together. A multilateral collaboration of research and education networks willing and able to push the envelope in transatlantic networking and then make the results available to those who were not able to participate. Are we able to define a joint strategy in our community that leverages on small coalitions of capable NRENs to move ahead in a specific area and then make the results available to the whole of the NREN community at favorable conditions? In other words, can we leverage the individual strengths and the resources of all NRENs, for the benefit of all of Europe in the global competition?
- Demonstrations and pilots are nice, delivering services that our users need and the market can’t deliver is even better. Can we become better in delivering true global services that add value, thereby facilitating our community that has a global perspective?
- Our unique value proposition as NRENs is in the interaction with the users and the ability to provide services that address the specific needs of the research communities. How to secure this unique position, not only from a technical perspective but also from a governance perspective at the European and even world-wide level.
Three challenges we need to and will discuss in many of this week’s sessions.
Chance favors the connected mind
Where do good ideas come from? A good idea is usually not suddenly there. It matures slowly and often combines with other insights. So where do you see explosions of good and bad ideas? Where the connectivity is large: the coffee houses during the Age of Enlightenment, the Internet in our time: Areas where views are exchanged and enriched Connectivity is the engine of creativity and innovation. We have made every effort to combine the coffee houses of the Age of Enlightenment and the internet here in Maastricht this week in order to network the networkers. We have an amazing 220 Gbit/s here on the floor. The picture shows what has been specifically set up for this conference and the demonstrations. And we have many opportunities to speak and meet new people and old friends. I wish you inspiring days and keep in mind that chance favors the connected mind. Thank you
Erwin Bleumink Erwin is CEO of SURFnet. Erwin is member of CIO Platform Netherlands, the Dutch e-infrastructure alignment team, the Dutch Standardisation Forum, the Global R&E Network CEO Forum and Reykjavik Group.