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29 May 2012
TERENA General Assembly agrees a community strategy is required for Horizon2020
TERENA President Pierre Bruyère (left) presenting a gift to out-going Vice President for Conferences Miroslav Milinović at the closing of the 2012 TERENA Networking Conference in Reykjavik.

A strategy must be devised to help the European research networking community achieve its part in the European Commission’s vision for the future of research and innovation, ‘Horizon2020’, agreed representatives of TERENA’s member organisations during the TERENA General Assembly meeting held in Reykjavik, Iceland, 24-25 May 2012.

In addition, the Armenian NREN (ASNET-AM) was admitted as a new national member of the association and Alcatel-Lucent, Google and Telefónica were admitted as associate members. Having served the maximum of six years as TERENA Vice-President for Conferences, Miroslav Milinović (Srce) stepped down from the TERENA Executive Committee and Helmut Sverenyák (CESNET) was elected in this role. Marko Bonač (ARNES) was re-elected as Treasurer. The accounts for 2011 were adopted by the assembly.

Strategy, funds and public-sector relationships

Niels Hersoug, general manager of DANTE, presented a summary of the TERENA-DANTE joint response to the GÉANT Expert Group's report ‘Knowledge Without Borders’, which had been delivered to the European Commission in October 2011. A lively discussion concluded that TERENA should lead a group to create a community strategy in preparation for the European Commission’s "Horizon 2020" programme for research and innovation.

What will happen with structural funds under Horizon2020 was a topic discussed by Dorte Olesen (DANTE). Presentations about the experiences of CESNET, HUNGARNET and RedIRIS with getting and using structural funds showed that to receive funds required work and stamina, but rewards were significant as the funds allowed investment in network upgrades.

Another discussion explored the relationship between national research and education networking organisations (NRENs) and public sector networks such as those used to exchange information between hospitals or police forces. Presentations about the situation in Belgium (Belnet), Finland (Funet) and the United Kingdom (Janet) described very different experiences, with differences in funding methods, levels of security and success having led to a varied pattern of NREN involvement with the public sector.

Praise for community contributions

The Icelandic NREN, RHnet, was thanked by the General Assembly for its contribution to the 2012 TERENA Networking Conference, which ended at lunchtime on 24 May. RHnet, the University of Iceland, the University of Reykjavik, the local organisers and TERENA staff were praised for the event’s success.

More information about this General Assembly meeting is available.

More information about the TERENA General Assembly and member organisations is available via: About TERENA.