In recognition of work to improve network infrastructure, facilitate collaboration, and build professional capacity in countries around the world, the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and its Director, Steven Huter, have been selected by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) as recipients of the 2017 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications.
Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, says "NSRC has been a mainstay of Internet implementation and capacity building for decades. Steve Huter has led the organization to the great satisfaction of his many supporters, among which I am proud to be included. I am a huge fan!"
The NSRC is comprised of a distributed team of network engineers and trainers living in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, Europe and Latin America, with the core group of staff and student employees based at the University of Oregon. Hervey Allen serves as Assistant Director.
NSRC was founded 25 years ago in 1992, and was launched with a grant from the National Science Foundation. NSF has supported the organization continuously since its founding. At its inception, under the direction of Dr. Steven Goldstein, NSRC was affiliated with a United Nations University project to help establish new computer networks in unconnected areas and link them to U.S. institutions.
William (Bill) Chang, who served for many years in the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation, notes that “successful network connections with a less developed country require expertise both in hardware/software technology and in human connections. Steve’s unique multi-cultural upbringing has made him superbly skilled in human connections with people in developing countries, and his immense passion has enabled him and his team to seek materials and technology specifically tailored to each country. He and his NSRC team have done outstanding work in reaching out to developing countries for the National Science Foundation. Through them, U.S. researchers are richer and blessed to be connected to thousands of scientists from those countries who are able to join us for science discovery and to share global culture and values.”
The initial focus of the NSRC was on the needs of U.S. scientists traveling to or developing science collaborations with countries around the world. NSRC also assisted with the internationalization of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), a program of coordinated projects sponsored by NSF beginning in 1985 to promote advanced research and education networking in the United States.
Among its many accomplishments, NSRC helped to establish the first TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) connections in more than 20 countries around the world. TCP/IP is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. Since that time, the work of the organization has broadened to focus on deploying and strengthening research and education networks in developing nations around the globe, benefiting communities worldwide.
“The power of the global Internet would be diminished without the leadership Steve has provided. By working with network engineers, scientists, and Internet technology developers in more than one hundred countries around the world, he has helped build Internet infrastructure and establish partnerships in support of research and education networking. All of us in the research and education community are indebted to him and the work of his many collaborators,” notes Louis Fox, President and CEO of CENIC.
One of the guiding principles of NSRC is the importance of investing in people as well as infrastructure. Steven Huter describes the work of the organization as “cultivating collaboration among a community of peers to build and improve a global Internet that benefits all parties. NSRC facilitates the growth of sustainable Internet infrastructure via technical training and engineering assistance to enrich the network of networks. Our goal is to connect people.”
CENIC and its members benefit immensely from this work. Engineers from CENIC and its many member institutions can volunteer with NSRC to contribute to institutions around the globe and gain greater insights into how this global network fabric functions, enriching both their home institutions and international research agendas. The recently launched NSRC – CENIC Fellows Program will sponsor R&E network leaders from around the globe to attend the CENIC annual conference and to lay the groundwork for partnerships in support of global research. This year’s participants are from Guam and Kenya.
The work of NSRC will be featured in two sessions at the upcoming CENIC conference to be held March 19-22 in San Diego. In the first session, Steve Huter will join other international leaders in research and education networking and discuss how R&E networks enable science, education, cultural expression and preservation across the globe. In the second session, Steve will be joined by the 2017 NSRC – CENIC Fellows to report on Kenya’s and Guam’s advanced research infrastructures, which serve public and private universities, university colleges, tertiary colleges, research institutions, and government institutions.
Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year by CENIC to highlight the exemplary innovations that leverage ultra-high bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to transform the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment of broadband in underserved areas.
About The Network Startup Resource Center • www.nsrc.org
The Network Startup Resource Center which is based at the University of Oregon, was established in 1992 to provide technical assistance to organizations setting up computer networks in new areas to connect scientists engaged in collaborative research and education. For the past 25 years, the NSRC has helped develop Internet infrastructure and network operations communities in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, and the Middle East. The NSRC is partially funded by the International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program of the U.S. National Science Foundation and Google, with additional contributions from dozens of public and private organizations.
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