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Event Highlights - Tuesday 1 December 2009


Day 1 of the conference saw 220+ delegates from Europe and other world regions gather for a series of speaker presentations and panel discussions, representing a variety of participants including end users, industry, NREN leaders and policy makers.

  • In a video address, Madame Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media commented on the great success achieved so far with the GÉANT network but challenged the community to push boundaries: build faster connections, drive towards increased global connectivity, and use ICT as a tool for reducing emissions.
  • Katarina Bjelke, representing the Swedish ministry of Research and Education stressed the need for continued investment to avoid the marginalisation of Europe as other regions of the world make such rapid progress. In addition, European member states should take a proactive, coordinated role in realising the vision of the European Research Area. 
  • Dr Zoran Stancic raised the positive issue of new frontiers and challenges being presented by networks such as GÉANT. Examples of successful user projects only reflected recent years, and in fact the success stories of tomorrow are as yet unimagined. The networking community should prepare for the wave of change enabled by such networks, and made clear that sustainable innovation and ongoing customer adoption is necessary to justify the continued investment of research networks. The community should also focus on policies to address the younger generation, most of whom are currently in education.
  • Highlighting the capability of GÉANT’s seamless global connectivity, a 9000 km high quality link created by SUNET, NORDUnet, MYREN and GÉANT treated delegates to a perfectly coordinated performance between dancers in Kuala Lumpur and musicians in Stockholm. Additionally, as part of this performance, a sound lost for centuries was brought to life by the ASTRA project, bring music of the Barbiton instrument together with background music created by the sonification of the network data. 

  • Delegates were reminded throughout the day by other speakers of the need for continuous innovation, to keep Europe at the forefront of collaborative research. As other world regions progress rapidly, we must accelerate our innovation to continue our leadership, and embrace ICT as an opportunity to reduce emissions.
  • ICT is responsible for 2% of global CO2 emissions. It will of course continue to reduce its own impact, however it is key to reducing the other 98% of CO2 emissions. In this way, ICT can be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem.