IU connections receive award to link scientists across countries

POSTED AT 07:07 PM ON Aug. 4, 2010 


The National Science Foundation awarded $9.2 million to IU for two high-speed international network services, half to continue the TransPAC3 network connection to Asia and half for a new connection to Europe named 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 International Research Network Connections program officer and an IU graduate, in an IU press release.

“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,” Chang said.

The implementation of these networks to connect researchers from the U.S. with those in Europe and Asia will be led by IU in cooperation with its national and international partners.

“These global, high-speed communications networks are absolutely critical to 21st century scientific research,” said IU President Michael McRobbie, the principal investigator on the original TransPAC grant in 1998, in a press release. “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 not only connect research interactions between the United States and Asia directly but will also expand opportunities for U.S. research collaborations across all regions of Asia.

According to the press release, “the ACE Project 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 connections will impact the global research environment immediately and pave the way for future technology advances.

“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, in a press release. 
“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.”

— Bailey Loosemore              


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