Medal Award 2021

The Vietsch Foundation awards the 2021 Medal of Honour to Laurel Haak.

Laurel L. Haak, Founding Executive Director of ORCID, is the recipient of the 2021 medal of honour of the Vietsch Foundation.

The medal is awarded annually to people who have made a contribution of lasting value to the research and development of advanced Internet technology aimed to support science, research and higher education. The 2021 award ceremony was held online on the 22nd of June, during a plenary session of TNC2021, the leading European networking conference organised by GÉANT.

In the spirit of the award, which recognises individuals who have proved their organizational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of long-term value, the choice fell on Laure as the best in a range of very qualified nominees. “Laure led the development of ORCID from a concept to a global, community-led, non-profit service used by more than ten million researchers. ORCID IDs are now the essential foundation for research processes in and between institutions, funders, and publishers: enabling the creation, testing, sharing and finding of new knowledge,” said Andrew Cormack, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation, explaining the rationale for the award.

Laure currently is the Founder and CEO of Mighty Red Barn where her work centers on trust-building to foster communities, through practice areas of digital infrastructure and identity, governance and decision frameworks, product strategy and practice. She also serves as a volunteer mentor for the SCORE small business start-up program. 

Prior to her work at ORCID, Laure was the Chief Science Officer at Discovery Logic, Inc. (acquired by Thomson Reuters and now part of Clarivate), providing workforce analysis, metrics, benchmarking, and data visualizations for funding agencies and academic institutions, including the development of the electronic Scientific Portfolio Assistant, which combined back-end database ingest, machine learning, and expert analytics to transform agency approaches to program evaluation.

As a program officer for the US National Academies, Laure managed expert panels and the development and publication of research policy reports for the US government, academic, and association stakeholders, including reports on interdisciplinary research, international students, and women in academia. This work built on her experience as editor of Science’s Next Wave Postdoc Network at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she helped to build a community of practice around postdoctoral workforce policy and supported the launch of the National Postdoctoral Association. 

Laure received a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Institutes of Health.

Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_Haak

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


Targeted Online – A publication on how AdTech works

 

Funded in 2020 – The Vietsch Foundation funded the publication of “Targeted Online”, a handbok by the European Digital Rights (EDRi), an association of civil and human rights organisations from across Europe.

The web has become a place where visiting a webpage triggers many effects elsewhere, where advertising technology results in a surveillance ecosystem. Yet people still think of the ‘friendly’ world wide web of the nineties. The “Targeted Onlie” handbook is intended for curious internet users who want to understand the internet’s dominant business model, how tech companies use (and abuse) data, why some ads are eerily creepy and others so foolishly wrong. The handbook explains how online advertising works, and why a reform of the entire online advertising industry is urgently needed.

The “Targeted Online” handbook can be dowloaded here. For more informtion visit the EDRI website.


Lígia Maria Ribeiro steps down as Trustee of the Vietsch Foundation

 

Starting from the 1st of January 2021, Lígia Maria Ribeiro steps down as trustee of the Vietsch Foundation. Lígia is Principal Researcher at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and set on the Board of Directors of the European University Information Systems Organization (EUNIS) until 2020. Since joining the Vietsch Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2018, Lígia has contributed enormously to the relation with EUNIS and to the establishment of many successful projects.

In saying farewell to her fellow trustees Lígia said “I want to express my satisfaction for having had the opportunity to be part of the Vietsch Foundation’s Board of Trustees over these three years.”

The Vietsch Foundation expresses many thanks to Lígia in return and wishes her all the best with her retirement.

 


Pekka Kähkipuro and Kathleen Shearer new Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation

In 2020 the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation was extended with two new members whose important role in international research education and technology is widely recognised. Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) joined the Foundation in August. In October, Pekka Kähkipuro, Chief Information Officer at Brunel University London became the seventh member of the Board of Trustees.

Valentino Cavalli, chair of the Vietsch Foundation said “We’ve had a strategic goal of reaching out to new and wider communities for some time and I’m extremely pleased that Pekka and Kathleen accepted the Board’s invitation to become part of the Foundation. With their addition, the Board has greatly increased its range of expertises and strengthened its reach to research areas in Europe and beyond, in an impressive way”. Kathleen and Pekka have been appointed as member at large for an initial term of three years.


Pekka Kähkipuro

Member of the Board of Trustees

Pekka Kähkipuro is Chief Information Officer at Brunel University London and heading the Information Services Directorate since January 2016.

Prior to joining Brunel, Pekka was Director of IT at Aalto University in Finland 2010-2015 and, before that, he held various senior roles in the private sector including Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks in 2005-2010. Pekka obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Helsinki in 2000. He has been Board member of the European University Information Systems (EUNIS) organization on two occasions and the President of EUNIS in 2015. He has also been board member and Chairman of the Board in several private sector companies.


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.”