EMREX project

The Vietsch Foundation announces a new grant to CSC for a project to expand the EMREX network to the EU and beyond.

EMREX is a solution for transferring student data internationally in a machine-readable way. It consists of two parts: the technical solution and the international network (EMREX user group – EUG) enabling and developing the activities. EMREX originated as an EU-funded project 2015-2017, aiming to simplify and increase the quality of the credit transfer process after a student exchange. At present, EMREX is operational in a number of countries in Europe. It is a technical solution used to securely exchange educational data between students and third parties, for example higher education institutions (HEIs) or potential employers. In this way, EMREX can facilitate student mobility and decrease the administrative burden of student exchanges for the institutions. EMREX uses an open source technical solution, through which different kinds of educational data can be transferred, be it transcript of records or entire diplomas.

The Vietsch Foundation grant will serve two objectives:

  • Industrializing the EMREX registry and reviewing the ELMO standard
  • Dissemination of EMREX services and building the EMREX brand

This will help EMREX to make a step-change towards a self-standing service which creates value to students and organizations in Europe and also globally.


Kathleen Shearer

Member of  the Board of  Trustees

Kathleen Shearer is the Executive Director of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories), an international association of repository initiatives with a membership of over 150 institutions worldwide from over 40 countries on all 5 continents. COAR’s aim is to enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through a global network of open access repositories based on international collaboration and interoperability.

Kathleen Shearer has been working in the area of open access, open science, scholarly communications, and research data management for over 20 years. She has been the Executive Director of COAR since 2013, and participates in numerous other organizations in Canada and internationally. She is an active member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and other initiatives related to open science. Most recently in April 2020, Shearer published a paper with colleagues on the need for bibliodiversity in open scholarly communications called Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action. Shearer is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and was instrumental in launching the Portage Initiative in Canada, a national research data management network.


Science Checker Project

The Vietsch Foundation announces a new grant to Opscidia for the Science Checker project. The project aims at building a free to access search engine, developing a novel approach that verifies scientific claims by means of analysing the pertinent and available scientific literature.

The subject of fake news is a very topical one. With social networks, and the advances of artificial intelligence, it is increasingly easier to create fake news and make them circulate quicker and quicker. Health and sciences are particularly nasty topic for fake news. Scam medicine, and worrisome information circulate, often based on absolutely no scientific facts. The current context of Covid19 pandemic has made the need to tackle this crisis in the scientific information even more serious. 

The grant was awarded to Opscidia, a startup which develops artificial intelligence tools that make use of open access articles to accelerate innovation, promote sound policies and help providing rigorous information to the general public. Thanks to the Vietsch Foundation grant, Opscidia will build a prototype online application that allows to check scientific fake news. This prototype will consist in different types of indicators based on the analysis of large volumes of scientific articles. These indicators will be easy to understand in order for the non-specialists to form quickly a good idea of whether an information is backed by the scientific literature, is under debate, or is totally groundless.


Medal Award 2020

The Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour is awarded annually to individuals or teams that have developed new ideas or demonstrated sustained organisational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of enduring value. 

This year, the Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation are thrilled to announce that they have unanimously selected two outstanding individuals whose dedication and commitment have contributed enormously to the community.

The 2020 Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour recipients are Erik Kikkenborg and Bartłomiej Idzikowski.

Andrew Cormack, member of the Board of Trustees explains the rationale behind this year’s award. “For many years, Erik and Bartek have led the team that broadcasts and records talks from the TNC conferences. Thanks to their work many thousands of people from around the world have been able to hear about advances in European research networking and join that community, even when geographical constraints meant they could not attend the conferences in person.

Providing high-quality video streams from a wide variety of locations, often over temporary networks that are installed only for the duration of the conference, requires a particular mix of human and technical skills. Everyone who has presented at TNC, attended the conference remotely, or watched the recordings afterwards, has reason to be grateful to them.”

In the past few years, they have introduced innovative solutions at TNC combining artistic graphics, audio and video design with cutting edge technologies: high resolution, advanced audio, big range of cameras (including on a crane), higher number of screens, dynamic content (including bio info, sponsors details, social media feedback or clock).

Erik Kikkenborg

Erik Kikkenborg is the NORDUnet Media Services Manager, working on the organisation and distribution of cloud-based hosted video services. He is also the technical project coordinator of a vast number of NORDUnet, DeIC, SUNET,  NeIC, GÉANT activities and TNC. For more than 20 years  Erik has been active in audio visual and communications technology, from technician and project coordinator to manager and consultant on video communications, learning platforms and technology, online video and live streaming. For the past 10 years Erik’s primary focus has been collaboration with Nordic and International Research and Education institutions in the area of online platforms for learning and collaboration, in the context of European and global projects under the GÉANT Event Team, GÉANT (eduCONF), TERENA (NRENum), Global CEO Forum (GVA), (GRTC), asi@connect and Up2University (Up2U).

Erik’s professional interests comprise the exploration of the potential of video as a way of communication in education with a focus on new tools and technologies. Currently he is working on how to change the educational landscape in developing countries applying online education platforms.

Bartłomiej Idzikowski

Bartlomiej Idzikowski graduated from Poznan University of Technology in 2003 (Computing Science – Computer Networks and Distributed Systems). He became PSNC employee in the organisation’s Network Department. His research interests focus on video- and web-conferencing, high resolution video systems (4K, 8K), web-based applications, streaming technologies, network management and traffic monitoring. Bartłomiej’s professional background includes long-term cooperation within different European and national projects, such as GN2, GN3, GN3plus, GN4-1, GN4-2, GN4-3, 6NET, Phosphorus, Porta Optica Study, VISIONAIR, ImmersiaTV and Immersify. He was a member of the TNC programme committee in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and member of the TERENA NRENum.net task force. Currently, he is the Task Leader of the eduMEET / eduTURN task in GÉANT, technical coordinator of TNC, coordinator of the scientific TV team (Pionier TV) and steering committee member of the Special Interest Group Multi Media.

 

ENDS 

The mission of the Vietsch Foundation is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education. The Vietsch Foundation fulfils its goals in two ways: First, it contributes funding to specific research and development projects that demonstrate potential value to progress European and global research and education networking. And second, each year it awards a medal of honour to people who have contributed to the development of services or technologies of lasting value that are used by the networking community and its users in research, development and education. The Foundation was created through the last will and testament of Willem Karel Vietsch (1952–2014), a Dutch expert, a leader of the international Internet community, and also the Secretary-General of TERENA, a former association of European national research and education networks. For details visit: http://www.vietsch-foundation.org

 

 


New project: “Free and Open Source: Law, policy and practice” edited by Amanda Brock

The second edition of “Free and Open Source: Law, policy and practice” edited by Amanda Brock, will be published by Oxford University Press, in summer 2020, as an “open access title” with pdf, html and e-reader freely available on an attribution basis, thanks to the generous funding of the Vietsch foundation.

Amanda Brock, told us that “ having managed to persuade an amazing group of contributors to write chapters for the second edition, we will create what I believe will be one of the most important collaborations in open source in 2020. It’s great that the legal and other advisory and support communities around open source, have been willing to pull together and commit their time to create this work. We will be going beyond the European slant of the first edition to a global viewpoint with authors from the US, including Stephen Walli and Ross Gardler on community and governance, Mark Radcliffe on Blockchain and McCoy Smith on copyright. All areas of IP will be covered. Miriam Ballhausen, will pick up on copyright litigation considering recent actions in her home country, Germany and Canonical’s Jilayne Lovejoy will write about contribution agreements. On the patent front, as well as an update of the existing chapter on Patent litigation from the Origin team, Peter Langley and Colm McKernan and Malcolm Bain’s introduction to patents, we will be joined by Knut Blind writing on standard essential patents and his recent report from the Commission. Pam Chesteck is of course covering trade marks while Carlo Piano considers competition and antitrust issues.

Mirko Böhme will explain the economic of open source and Andre Katz will look at All Things Open and open hardware. The Linux Foundation’s Shane Coughlan will write on Open Chain and Kate Stewart on SPDX while Redhat’s Richard Fontana and David Levine will write on Cloud. Iain Mitchell will look at public sector and Open Forum Europe’s Sachiko Muto public policy.

As well as editing, I will be looking at commercial and operational models in open source.

It will be an incredibly practical and useful text for lawyers, open source offices and people working on compliance, suitable for academics and those working at the code face.

The icing on the cake for me as editor of this book is to know that the book will be available to all through open access thanks to the Veitsch Foundation.

Look out for further updates on the book status over the next few months.”


DKS and CrypTech Integration Software Available

In partnership with the Vietsch Foundation, Diamond Key Security (DKS) is excited to make available under a permissive BSD clause 3 open-source license software, software installation, and related documentation to enable DKS and CrypTech solutions to integrate with and support Windows networking environments.  

 

Integration of the DKS solution and the underlying CrypTech technology extends the reach of the open-source solution to a wide array of possibilities and expands the opportunities for further research and leveraging of the open-source software.

The installation documentation provides information and instructions so that the software can be installed in a Windows network environment for either usage for signing by a Windows Certificate Authority (CA) (for various applications like DNS) or for a developers utilizing Diamond-HSM solutions or CrypTech solutions.


Development of a Proposal for a Trusted Student Identification Framework

Funded in 2019 – The Vietsch Foundation funds a study by the European Campus Card Association (ECCA) that will encompass requirements for cross-border trusted student eID credentials, and provide recommendations for a trusted student eID framework to support the provision of secure identification and authentication on a cross-border basis in Europe.

The study started on 10 September 2019 and will end in May 2020 with the publication of a report surveying state of the art and business aspects and issuing recommendations for the establishment of a cross-border Student eID Project.


Medal award 2019

The 2019 Medal of Honour was awarded to Claudio Allocchio, senior technical officer for advanced applications and security at GARR, for the demonstrated achievements and long-lasting benefit he contributed to the research and education networking community throughout his career. John Dyer, member of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation handed out the medal to Claudio Allocchio during a ceremony on 17 June 2019 at the TNC opening plenary.

The Vietsch Foundation Medal is awarded annually to individuals or teams that have developed new ideas as well as to those who have proved their organisational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of long-term value.

In accepting the award, Claudio Allocchio said, “this is the most honorable award I could have received for my work, because it is in the name of Karel Vietsch, which I had the privilege to work together for so many years”.

Claudio Allocchio

Claudio Allocchio was born in 1959 in Crema, Italy where he attended high school. He had a clear interest in science, and technology, which in those years led him to coordinate a team of students who successfully built and launched a series of rockets. He then moved to Trieste, where he studied astrophysics and particle physics. In 1984 he won a study grant at CERN to apply astronomy image processing techniques to particle physics detectors track reconstruction, and then was confirmed as research fellow. At that time, he approached computer networking issues, creating the world first multiprotocol mail gateway service for universal messaging: “by pure coincidence” the user interface to access the global service was named GMAIL. He also started there to collaborate in creating network services in the High-Energy Physics community, and setup the first international link between CERN and Italy. In 1988 he moved back to Trieste, as network manager in the newly created Elettra Synchrotron Radiation facility, and joined the Gruppo Armonizzazione per le Reti della Ricerca (GARR) who later became the Italian NREN, and engaged in RARE WG1 mail and messaging, coordinating and later chairing the COSINE S2.2 proposal for a global messaging service. In 1991, Claudio was one of the RARE WG1 members who joined the IETF to standardize mail messaging systems, and since then was involved in the IETF Application Area, writing, editing and revising a significant number of RFCs. He also chaired some working groups, including the ietf-fax one, and took active part in all activities which involved messaging and real time communications. He was later called into the Application Area Directorate, and chaired it before the creation of the joint Applications and Real Time (ART) new area.  Starting in 1993 he was also involved in the creation of the “it” ccTLD domain Registry, and served as President of the Italian Naming Authority from 1995 to 2005 and advisor to Ministry of Communication domain names committee; he is  now a member of the ccTLD Registry Advisory Board. Claudio has worked in various roles in all GÉANT projects (including as Security Coordinator and as member of activities in the areas of multimedia, security, policy); he is currently also one of the main advisors for the EaPConnect project. He also was TERENA vice-president for technical programme from 2001 until 2007 and member of the board. In 2005 he started to work in the collaboration with Conservatorio Tartini in Trieste, where he is currently chief network engineer for LoLa development. Besides his education in Physics, he also has a formal education in music (piano).


New project: Diamond Key Security Microsoft CryptoAPI Integration

8 May 2019, the Vietsch Foundation funds a new project proposal called “DKS Microsoft CryptoAPI Integration Project”.

The project aims to create and develop the software application programming interface (API) and perform the necessary integration and validation steps for the DKS hardware security module, the Diamond-HSM™, to support and function with the Microsoft CryptoAPI (often referred to as “CAPI”). This work will enable the addition of Windows support for the DKS open source Hardware Security Module. Developing this integration to communicate with the Microsoft operating system will dramatically increase the reach of security solutions among non-profit higher education networks driving scientific research and innovation.

With this new grant, the Vietsch Foundation will assist in supporting the research in the development, enhancement, and deployment of transparent, auditable cryptographic technologies—helping to safeguard the internet for educational and research purposes—for all users.

Click here to access the Press Release from Diamond Key Security

Diamond Key Security Microsoft CryptoAPI Integration

Funded in 2019 – The project aimed to create and develop the software application programming interface (API) and perform the necessary integration and validation steps for the DKS hardware security module, the Diamond-HSM™, to support and function with the Microsoft CryptoAPI (often referred to as “CAPI”).  Developing this integration to communicate with the Microsoft operating system will dramatically increase the reach of security solutions among non-profit higher education networks driving scientific research and innovation.

In partnership with the Vietsch Foundation, Diamond Key Security (DKS) is excited to make available under a permissive BSD clause 3 open-source license software, software installation, and related documentation to enable DKS and CrypTech solutions to integrate with and support Windows networking environments. 

The installation documentation provides information and instructions so that the software can be installed in a Windows network environment for either usage for signing by a Windows Certificate Authority (CA) (for various applications like DNS) or for a developers utilizing Diamond-HSM solutions or CrypTech solutions.