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[I2-NEWS] IU receives $9.2 million from NSF to expand global networks and research

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  • From: "Moore, Gregory A" <>
  • To: "" <>
  • Subject: [I2-NEWS] IU receives $9.2 million from NSF to expand global networks and research
  • Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 17:26:00 +0000
  • Accept-language: en-US

IU receives $9.2 million from NSF to expand global networks and research

Aug. 2, 2010

EDITORS: To watch a video of Principal Investigator James Williams speaking
about international networking, go to:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has been awarded $9.2 million from
the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead two high-speed international
network services. The awards provide IU with $4.6 million to continue the
TransPAC3 network connection to Asia, and an additional $4.6 million for a
new connection to Europe, named ACE -- America Connects to Europe.

"Congratulations to Indiana University, the first institution to receive two
awards in an IRNC competition," said William Chang, National Science
Foundation IRNC (International Research Network Connections) program officer,
and an Indiana University graduate. "Thanks to its leadership, scientists and
educators in Asia and Europe may now connect to U.S. research and education
centers, to the great benefit of people around the world, especially in less
developed countries. Indiana University, positioned in the heartland of the
U.S., has now earned the distinction of global center of information
technology for science and education."

IU, in close cooperation with its national and international partners, will
lead the implementation of these networks to connect scientists and
researchers in the U.S. with their counterparts in Europe and Asia.

"These global, high-speed communications networks are absolutely critical to
21st century scientific research," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who
was the principal investigator on the original TransPAC grant in 1998. "They
make possible a level of collaboration among researchers at the world's major
scientific and engineering institutions that couldn't even be imagined just
20 years ago. Indiana University has played an essential role in managing
such services since 1998 when the first connection to the Asia Pacific was
initiated. I am extremely proud that IU has been chosen again by the NSF to
continue to play a major role in this important work. This continues to place
IU right at the center of international developments in advanced networking."

TransPAC3, an extension of the current TransPAC2, will facilitate direct
U.S.-Asia research interactions. Moreover, TransPAC3 will expand
opportunities for U.S. research collaborations across all regions of Asia,
thanks to the network's ability to reach a greater number of countries and
deploy higher capacities.

Similarly, the ACE Project, which consists of a cooperative partnership with
DANTE and the GÉANT community of more than 34 national research and education
networks, will provide significant economies of scale in trans-Atlantic
connectivity and support a broad community of users through the deployment of
bandwidth between Europe and the U.S.

Both of these connections will have an immediate impact on the global
research environment and will pave the way for future service and technology

"Our goals are to competently support current needs and also to extend the
trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific exchanges into further scientific fields and
disciplines and geographic regions," said IU Director of International
Networking James Williams, principal investigator for both the ACE and
TransPAC3 projects. "Bandwidth procurement alone is not the purpose of the
projects. Technical and operational collaboration and planning are critical
in supporting science and engineering research. Education and research
collaboration between the U.S., European, and Asian communities is our
overarching mission."

One way in which this award will support the overarching mission of education
is through the utilization of IU's Gerald L. Bepko Internship Program, which
aims to identify, connect and work with students in populations that are
under-represented in information technology. The funding from this award will
provide undergraduates in the Bepko program an opportunity to work alongside
IU network experts and gain real-world experience on an international scale.

This award will also provide much-needed support for important future
research objectives in the Asian and European regions. For example, the
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in Southern France and the
Australian Square Kilometre Array prototype Pathfinder international radio
telescope -- both of which will depend on sharing large amounts of data among
hundreds of widely distributed researchers -- will benefit greatly from
TransPAC3 and ACE.

"These two awards from the National Science Foundation continue to expand
IU's role in leading some of the world's most advanced networks," said Brad
Wheeler, vice president for information technology at Indiana University.
"There is real synergy in staff expertise for managing these research
networks at the state, national and international levels. IU's growing
Networks group continues to demonstrate this synergy and effectiveness
through these awards and contracts."

Dai Davies, general manager of DANTE, builder and operator of the GÉANT and
TEIN3 networks, adds, "Research is a global activity and is becoming
increasingly important for seeking solutions to many of the societal issues
facing the world. GÉANT and TEIN3 together interconnect with networks
worldwide to support collaborative research programs between Asian, European
and U.S. researchers. The ongoing demand for capacity increases means close
collaboration amongst operators of research networks is vital for cost and
technical reasons. This new award to ensure continued and improved
connectivity between the USA, GÉANT in Europe and Asia is welcomed and we
look forward to this relationship enduring in the years ahead."

About the partnerships

IU will lead the TransPAC3 collaboration in partnership with APAN and DANTE
via the TEIN3 project, and in coordination with Internet2 and numerous other
R&E networks that will be interconnected through the project.

On the ACE Project, IU will serve as the lead institution and will work in
partnership with DANTE, NYSERNet, and Internet2, and in coordination with
many national and multi-national R&E networks.

.APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) represents research and education
interests across much of Asia.
.DANTE is the operator of the pan-European network GÉANT and the TEIN3
.Internet2 is the leading U.S. research and educational networking
organization, representing 300 member institutions and connecting thousands
of institutions across the U.S.
.NYSERNet, a private not-for-profit corporation created to foster science and
education in New York State, is a partner in Manhattan Landing (MAN LAN), one
of the premier U.S.-based international R&E exchange points.

Funding for ACE and TransPAC3 is provided by grants from the National Science
Foundation titled "IRNC: ProNet: ACE -- America Connects to Europe" and
"IRNC:ProNet: TransPAC3 -- Asia-US High Performance International Networking"
under NSF Award Numbers OCI-0962973 and OCI-0962968. Any opinions, findings
and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of
the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

Gregory A. Moore
Senior Communications Specialist
Communications and Media
University Information Technology Services
Indiana University
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