Suggestions for projects to be funded and for people who should be awarded the Medal of Honour are very welcome. We trust independent experts and other people in the field will help us to find the right projects and people.
Amsterdam, September 2016, the Netherlands based Vietsch Foundation (www.vietsch-foundation.org) makes the first donation to the “Research and Higher Education Technology Fund”. The new thematic fund is managed by the NLnet foundation, a public benefit organisation established in 1997 with the mission to promote the exchange of electronic information. As a framework for this initiative, the two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding collaboration possibilities.
“Our mission is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology, services, processes for scientific research and higher education”, states Valentino Cavalli, chairman of the Board of the Vietsch Foundation. “and NLnet has the same goals but for the entire Internet community, so the collaboration is quite a natural match. The broad experience in supporting open source projects related to network technology and the extensive network built by the NLnet Foundation over decades extends our own operational capabilities. And of course we hope that our example will inspire others to contribute to the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund, because it really delivers a lot of value for money.”
“The NLnet Foundation has a long history in supporting projects around the world that contribute to a free, secure and robust Internet”, adds Marc Gauw, chairman of the Board of NLnet. “There is an overwhelming need for the type of small-scale funding NLnet provides, clearly also from the Research and Education networking community. Contrary to popular expectations (and perhaps commons sense) there is only very limited funding available for independent contributions in the area of Internet infrastructure. So important and urgent projects actually struggle to get funded, which is a loss for everybody. Through the launching of the new fund and the contribution of the Vietsch Foundation, we are now able to select and support additional project proposals – which is of course wonderful”.
The Vietsch Foundation was created by an endowment from the late dr. W. Karel Vietsch, who was the Secretary General of TERENA, the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association. “Karel was very involved in the Internet community”, says dr. ir. Antoinette Vietsch, member of the Board of the Vietsch Foundation. He spent a large part of his life working in the area of research and education networking, which he helped to develop with his energy, creativity and thorough methodical approach. Through the projects supported by the Vietsch Foundation and now the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund his mission to support people and new developments continues after his unfortunate death.”
The fund is already operational. Proposals can be sent through the website of NLnet, at https://nlnet.nl. The next deadline for submission is October 1st 2016.
Jan Gruntorád, Director of CESNET, the association operating the Czech Republic’s national e-infrastructure of the same name, was awarded the 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. Jan Gruntorád received the medal in Prague on 13 June, during the TNC16 conference, the largest European research and education networking event, organised by GÉANT, the association of European national research and education networks, and hosted this year by CESNET.