Development of a Proposal for a Trusted Student Identification Framework

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

New project in the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund

The Vietsch Foundation has decided to fund a new project under the NLnet Research and Higher Education Technology Fund :

TRACKING EXPOSED

Algorithms are the technological solution to the information overload: they are as powerful as necessary to manage the overflow of data that reaches us. Unfortunately, they can also conceal the existence and use of assessments and judgments that impact the dissemination of ideas and culture. No one should be allowed to abuse such power over connected people. At this stage, consent is nor informed nor optional.

The main objective of the project is to put a spotlight on users’ tracking, profiling, on the data market and on the influence of algorithms. As long as these phenomena are shielded from view or understood only by experts, they cannot be tackled with the political determination that problems of such magnitude deserve. That is why we strive to explain the issue, test and promote new solutions, developed to benefit the community.

Project URL https://tracking.exposed/


Medal award 2018

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.

The Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation take great pleasure in announcing that they have unanimously selected two outstanding individuals whose dedication and contributions to community advancement make them each a worthy recipient of an individual 2018 medal of honour: Licia Florio and Ingrid Melve.

The 2018 Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour was awarded in Trondheim on 11 June, during the TNC18 conference, the largest European research and education networking event, organised by GÉANT.

Valentino Cavalli, Chair of the Board of Trustees explains the rationale behind this year’s award. “Licia and Ingrid each have a strong track record of achievements that have brought enduring benefits for the research and education networking community. Since we found both equally deserving, the trustees decided to award two medals to recognize this work,   over many years, that continues to benefit millions in the community every day.”

 

Licia Florio

Licia Florio is Senior Trust and Identity Manager at GÉANT. Licia joined TERENA in 2001. Working in the area of Trust and Identity she has led or guided most of the initiatives that make up the current European and global authentication and authorisation infrastructure for research and education. Having supported the Task Forces that produced the eduroam (federated access to wireless networks) pilot and led to the technical infrastructure for eduGAIN federated authentication system, she initiated the EuroCAMP workshops.

She led the TERENA Certificate Service that has greatly reduced the price of digital certificates for research and education organisations across Europe, and the TACAR project that facilitates trust between certificates issued for research and education purposes across the globe. Such activities require coordination beyond Europe and she has provided continuing leadership throughout the life of the REFEDS activity developing compatible federation policies and practices. Currently she leads the AARC project that continues to help research organisations to deploy federated access.

 

 

Ingrid Melve

Ingrid Melve worked at Uninett until December 31, 2017. Since January 1, 2018, she has been working at Unit – Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research. For more than 20 years, Ingrid has led the introduction of new technologies into research and education, bringing a practical perspective to sometimes arcane technical discussions. After early investigations into how universities could make effective use of web caches, she worked on national and international deployments of federated access management. She then led the first effort by any European research network to help universities and colleges with their internal infrastructure, covering video-conferencing, lecture capture, on-line examinations and much more. Throughout her career, she has been generous in sharing her knowledge with the community, entertaining and informing audiences at many TERENA and GÉANT conferences, as well as contributing greatly to conference organisation.

 

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


The Referoo project to Improve the Efficiency of Scientific Peer-Reviewing

Funded in 2018

– The Referoo project aims to create a set of tools to address some of the most critical inefficiencies of the traditional peer-reviewing process of scientific publications. In particular, it will build a web portal for managing the refereeing tasks of researchers. The portal will be designed in such a way as to encourage referees to perform their duties conscientiously and efficiently, and provide them with clearer incentives. At the same time, the portal will implement tools to avoid the inefficiencies and the work duplication of the usual refereeing process.


Two new projects in the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund

The Vietsch Foundation made a new contribution to the NLnet Research and Higher Education Technology Fund to support two innovative projects:

  • Explain.directly.  This collaborative project between the Web Information Systems group of TU Delft and FeedbackFruits, aims at piloting new and more effective access paradigms for Online Open Courseware. In most cases, online educational material is intended to be consumed in a traditional course-based manner. The project will work on making access to educational material easier, targeted and direct, re-usable and more tailored to life-long learning scenarios.
  • Democratic Sendcomm. The project aims to build a user-friendly connected telemetry appliance with just enough configuration to teach democratic communication while keeping the learning curve flat. The main deliverable will be a Opensource design of cheap yet high performance LoRa devices in form factors appropriate for one low-power platform (like BBC Micro:bit) and one high-power platform (like Minnowboard Turbot). Work will include a sample production run of 1000 units for one of the form factors and suitable documentation for educational purposes.

Project supported by the Vietsch Foundation wins ISOC Innovation Award

Amsterdam 12 January 2018 – Let’s Connect, a project based on eduVPN, the open source VPN project which was funded by the Vietsch Foundation in 2017, has won the Annual ISOC Innovation Award. The award was handed out to Rogier Spoor (SURFnet) by Melanie Peters, Director of the Rathenau Instituut, during a ceremony held at the Annual ISOC New Year Event held yesterday evening in Amsterdam.

eduVPN was judged an innovative and useful project but also a mature and sustainable one. Surfnet, the Dutch research and education networking organisation offers eduVPN as a service for Dutch higher education and research https://www.eduvpn.nl/.


The Vietsch Foundation welcomes Lígia Ribeiro in its Board of Trustees

Amsterdam 3-January-2018. The Vietsch Foundation is delighted to announce that Lígia Ribeiro has joined its Board of Trustees. “Lígia has an outstanding track record in supporting research and higher education at a very high level both at national and European level. She is a great addition to the Board of Trustees and I’m sure will make us stronger” said Valentino Cavalli, Chair of the Board of the Vietsch Foundation.

Lígia has been Principal Researcher at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto since 2002. She was Pro-rector for ICT at the University between 2006 and 2014, after being Vice-president of the Institute for Common Resources and Initiatives and director of the Computer Centre of the Faculty of Engineering.

Lígia Ribeiro is member of the Board of Directors of the EUNIS, European University Information Systems Organization, of which she was President between 2004 and 2006, after two years in the position of vice-president. She is also the chair of the European CASRAI Chapter, launched in April 2017. Since 2014 she is a member of the Task Group Best Practice/DRIS of the European Organization for International Research Information (euroCRIS). Between 2008 and 2011 she was member of the Technical Committee of TERENA, the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association.

Lígia Ribeiro received her degree in Applied Mathematics at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto and holds a PhD in Engineering Science from the University of Minho. Her main research areas of interest are Computer Simulation, High Performance Computing, Information Systems, Electronic Administration and Informal Learning Spaces.


EUNIS signs collaboration agreement with the Vietsch Foundation

The Vietsch Foundation and EUNIS sign Memorandum of Understanding to jointly support advanced technology development for scientific research and higher education

Amsterdam, 8 June 2017: Valentino Cavalli, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation and Ilkka Siissalo, outgoing President of EUNIS, the European University Information Systems, signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the EUNIS 2017 event in Münster. The two organisations see significant potential synergy in their activities, and wish to collaborate on shared goals. EUNIS will support the Vietsch Foundation in the acquisition of projects flowing from its incoming activity stream. Eligible proposals, with demonstrable beneficial impact for scientific research and higher education will be considered by the Vietsch Foundation for funding. “We expect the collaboration with EUNIS to enhance significantly our relationship with the higher education community, particularly by reaching out to universities and campuses in Europe” says Valentino Cavalli, and adds “we believe that such a dynamic community will come up with a lot of innovative ideas for advancing technology to support scientific research and education”. Underlining the unique position of EUNIS as the European platform for exchange of best practice and research in higher education information systems, Ilkka Siissalo states “We are looking forward to foster innovative projects and studies from the wide EUNIS communities by connecting them to the generous support of the Vietsch Foundation. EUNIS is grateful for this opportunity and appreciates the trust of the Vietsch Foundations.”

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

EUNIS, Established in 1993, EUNIS is the Association of Information Technology (IT) Services in European Higher Education and Research (HE & R) institutions. EUNIS aims to encourage cooperation between its members, and also with other organisations and industry suppliers. Regular members of EUNIS are national organisations in 22 European countries as well as single universities. EUNIS has also associate members outside Europe and corporate members representing the industry. For details visit: http://www.eunis.org