Medal Award 2024

The Vietsch Foundation awards the 2024 Medal of Honour to Christian Grimm.

The recipient of the 2024 medal of honour of the Vietsch Foundation is Christian Grimm, Chief Executive Officer of DFN, the research and education networking (NREN) organisation of Germany. The medal was presented to Christian on 13 June 2024, during an award ceremony at the closing plenary of TNC 2024, the leading European networking conference organised by GÉANT.

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 Vietsch Foundation recognised the exceptional value of Christian’s role in the restructuring of research and education networking in Europe and the merger of TERENA and DANTE with the establishment of the GÉANT Association. The merger is a great success, as is reflected in the successful GÉANT projects as well as in further collaboration with the EU and between NRENs. Christian Grimm was formerly chair of the GÉANT Association and he shaped the young organisation with a great deal of commitment, dedication and empathy. His five years at the head of the GÉANT Board have laid the foundations for this success and the ever growing trust between the NREN’s. The whole Community will benefit from this for a very long time to come.

“This year we received a large number of very valuable nominations and we had a tough time in making our choice. We selected Christian Grimm because of the undisputed impact of his achievement on research and education networking at the European as well as international/global level” said Valentino Cavalli, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation.

In accepting the award Christian Grimm said: “Since I started at DFN I have been able to experience the great passion and spirit of collaboration in the European NREN community. The fact that I had the privilege to contribute to GÉANT’s success story in its founding years still fills me with great joy today. I am very proud to accept this medal of honour, not only for myself, but for the whole Board of Directors. I also see it as recognition of what executives and staff of the GÉANT office achieved during the foundation period.”

Christian Grimm is Chief Executive Officer of the German National Research and Education Network (Verein zur Förderung eines Deutschen Forschungsnetzes e. V. – DFN-Verein). Christian joined DFN in 2009 and was appointed to his current position in 2011. In 2013 Christian was elected to the Board of Directors of DANTE Ltd. in Cambridge, UK. From this position he helped drive the merger of DANTE with the TERENA Association in Amsterdam, NL. This process led to the formation of the Dutch GÉANT Association in 2014. Christian was elected to its founding Board of Directors and served as Chairman of the Board from 2015 to 2020. Christian is active in various boards and committees both in German academia and in research and education networking organisations worldwide. Prior to DFN, Christian was Head of Research and Development and member of the directorate at the Regional Computing Centre for Lower Saxony (RRZN), one of the largest Tier 2 HPC centres in Germany at that time. In parallel, he was appointed Assistant Professor for computer networks at the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität in Hanover. He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and a Doctoral Degree in Information Technology.