A Study on the Prospects of the Internet for Research and Education (ASPIRE)

This activity finished on Mar 31, 2013.
As a consequence, these pages are no longer actively maintained.

TERENA is undertaking a foresight study following on from the successful
SERENATE and EARNEST studies completed in 2003 and 2008. The study
known as: ASPIRE (A Study on the Prospects of the Internet for Research
and Education) started on 1 April 2011 running for 18 months.

The ASPIRE Team at TERENA are pleased to announce the publication of the four ASPIRE Study Topic Reports. We wish to express our sincere and deepest thanks to the members of the topic panels, members of the community and others who contributed to the development of the reports.

The four reports are the input to the second ASPIRE stakeholder workshop and the definition of the final ASPIRE Report which is the formal deliverable of the project. The final report will be published after the workshop in printed paper and downloadable pdf formats.

John DYER, Magda HAVER

5 March 2013 - ASPIRE Report Published

The final report of the ASPIRE project has been published in electronic (pdf) format. It is available from the TERENA publications page along with the four topic reports which underpin the conclusions and recommendations of the ASPIRE study.

This report is the formal deliverable of ASPIRE (A Study on the Prospect of the Internet Research and Education), a foresight study to provide strategic recommendation to policy and decision makers. It marks the end of an 18-month study carried out by TERENA and funded by the European Commission as part of the GN3 (GÉANT) project. The final report is based on the four ASPIRE Topic Reports published in September 2012.

Jean-Luc Dorel, Project Officer, Unit C1, DG CONNECT said: "The results of the ASPIRE study funded by the GN3 project couldn't come at a better time - they are relevant for the discussions on GN3+, on Horizon 2020 and on CEF (Connecting Europe Facility). I expect that the overall conclusions and recommendations of this report will inspire some new actions for the future."

Printed copies of the ASPIRE report will be available shortly.

For more information please contact the ASPIRE TEAM at TERENA

ASPIRE Topic Reports and Recommendations PUBLISHED

Following the first ASPIRE workshop held in Berlin in May 2011, four panels of invited experts have been compiling reports on the topics chosen for study. The panels and ASPIRE team have consulted widely, used surveys, interviews and their own specialist knowledge to develop the four reports and recommedations.

Below you will find a link to each of the full reports and a summary of the main recommendations. To find more about the issues and reasoning, download the full reports.

Please note that these reports express the views of the topic panel members and are internal working documents of the ASPIRE study. The topic reports are for consultation purposes and do not form part of the formal ASPIRE deliverable which will be published after consultation is complete.

If you have any comments on the reports, suggestions or recommendation please send them by email to either the public ASPIRE email distribtion list aspire@terena.org or the private email list aspire-team@terena.org to reach the ASPIRE team at TERENA.

  • The Adoption of Cloud Services (pdf)

    • Recommendations
      The development of cloud services is changing rapidly, offering users new ways to obtain the services they really want in an easy, and often economically attractive manner. Users are making these choices now, and there is a real danger that if NRENs and institutions doing nothing, users will drift into fragmented islands of incompatible services that may not have a sustainable future.
      There is a chance for the NRENs to lead in the field of cloud brokering and cloud middleware infrastructures. To be able to connect the clouds and provide added value to their members, NRENs must join forces and collaborate, as they have done for many years in the area of networks. NRENs should work together on:

      1. consuming the public cloud: aggregating demand, vendor management and cloud brokering;
      2. producing community clouds: business cases;
      3. connecting the clouds, by means of collaboration infrastructures and federations;
      4. legal issues (on EU level), standardisation, and interoperability

  • The Adoption of Mobile Services (pdf)

    • Recommendation 1
      NRENs and Institutions should start planning to meet the needs of a rapid increase in mobile connectivity, both in numbers of devices and in increased functionality.
      Concerted effort should be made by the NRENs to roll out eduroam® as widely as possible, and to support its use with awareness campaigns.
      The community should become more influential in the wireless sector, joining appropriate industry associations and influencing standards through bodies such as IETF. Additionally, it is important that regulatory authorities understand the future wireless/mobile requirements of the community.
    • Recommendation 2
      The community should work with LTE providers to explore innovative solutions for the integration of Wi-Fi and LTE for use on and off campus.
      Consideration should be given to using the capacity of the fixed (cable/optical) networks of the community to backhaul community mobile traffic, so as to minimise costs.
    • Recommendation 3
      The community of NRENs and connected institutions must work towards the close integration of fixed and wireless technologies to provide the end-user with a secure, economic, and transparent service, irrespective of location.
    • Recommendation 4
      NRENs should work with their institutions and others to exploit capabilities such as location awareness, sensor availability, secure and unique identification per device, interactive electronic books, and federated access to learning resources.

  • Middleware and Managing Data and Knowledge in a Data Rich World (pdf)

    • Recommendation 1
      National Research and Education Networks (NRENs); GÉANT and others involved in providing network connectivity need to collaborate with the user communities to ensure that the networking requirements associated with the deluge of data are well understood. Adequate network services need to be put into place in a timely manner and in an economically viable fashion. Aspects of speed of provision, throughput, privacy, persistence of connection and other important parameters need to be addressed.
    • Recommendation 2
      Define standardised datasets in order to profit from the economies of scale that would follow from the availability of generic, cross-discipline middleware. Define standardised datasets, metadata, middleware and applications for easier accessibility of data. Adopt a common metadata standard that takes the multi-disciplinary use of data into account.
    • Recommendation 3
      Adopt a globally recognised Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI) based on recognised standards for the exchange of assertions and security tokens that can be utilised by all user communities, e-infrastructure providers, and ICT service providers.
    • Recommendation 4
      Create common mechanisms and procedures for all disciplines to certify and authenticate data. This could include automated signing of data before they leave the instruments where they are created, whether the instrument is a large device, such as the LHC or SKA, or a smaller device, such as a camera or scanner.
    • Recommendation 5
      Facilitate collaboration between disciplines to create common policies, procedures, and tools to assist in the curation of data and the selection of data for preservation.

  • The Future Roles of NRENs (pdf)

    • Recommendation 1
      The European Research and Education (R&E) Networking Community (NRENs, DANTE, TERENA, and user stakeholders) need an efficient, strategic management body to act as a single point of contact, capable of responding quickly and with authority.
    • Recommendation 2
      Under the auspices of this body, a high-level task force should be created in which decision-makers can work together to define a single, strategic vision for pan-European R&E Networking. Failure to achieve this may lead to fragmentation of services.
    • Recommendation 3
      NRENs should re-consider their funding models and move to more diversified and sustainable models. This could embrace close collaboration with Public Service Networks but may require re-framing of some regulatory positions, connection policies, and acceptable use policies. A major goal should be to increase inter-institutional collaboration, aggregation of demand for joint procurement, and sharing of services.
    • Recommendation 4
      NRENs will need to take a strategic approach to their business planning and delivery of services, and develop a comprehensive understanding of their own user-base, including the needs of their international users and the external operating environment.
    • Recommendation 5
      It is recommended that a European user-requirements compendium be developed by TERENA so that the R&E network providers have a strategic view of the demand-side of the sector.
    • Recommendation 6
      NRENs should not compete with the commercial providers, particularly on price, but should act as a trusted broker that is an integral part of the community. They should provide expertise, aggregate demand, and add value through negotiation, including the coordination and support for AAI for their community.

Keeping in Touch with ASPIRE

For further information on the ASPIRE project contact the ASPIRE Team at TERENA.

Follow and contribute to ASPIRE on TWITTER: @ASPIRE4sight

The ASPIRE study is funded by the European Commission as part of the GN3 project.

Running period: April 2011 - March 2013

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