Our sponsors & partners for the emerging NREN knowledge exchange fellowship

NORDUnet welcome Eduix as our first emerging NREN sponsor.

Eduix is a privately owned company specialising in software development and management services for higher education institutions. We are the proud initiator and founding developer of the Finnish Peppi-consortium which provides a next-generation higher education software ecosystem for study and curriculum planning, resource planning and student information systems.

Eduix has worked closely with NORDUnet for close to 19 years and is also proud to be able to link nations and NRENs together via this sponsorship.

Why did Eduix sign up for such a sponsorship?

- We’ve had business relations with NORDUnet for almost 19 years now. But this is our first conference sponsorship, says Rami Heinisuo, CEO and founder of Finnish software company Eduix, specialised in student information systems and curriculum planning for higher education.

Eduix is the first organisation to take out an NORDUnet Emerging NREN sponsorship.

- I have to admit that I find conventional sponsorships a bit dull, like sponsoring a coffee break or a conference dinner. But when I first heard of the Emerging NREN sponsorship, I immediately decided to go for it. I like the idea, and I look forward to meeting a staff member from an emerging NREN, working on virgin territory from our perspective. And it’s even more exiting that you don’t know who it’s going to be and from what part of the world she or he might come.

- Traditional sponsorships don’t really interest me. This is something new, and the moment I saw it, it immediately had my attention.

Above all, Rami Heinisuo looks forward to taking the Eduix “protégé” to visit the company.

- It is our ambition to have him/her stay in Finland for about a week after the conference, so we can exchange ideas and learn from each other. We’re looking to learn a lot from someone who does not have “the burden” that we are carrying around. We’ve invested heavily in infrastructure, and we panic if it’s not 101 per cent reliable. When you operate an NREN in an area with shaky infrastructure you learn to do things differently, for example in regard to mobile communications. I’m sure we can all learn from that, and I really look forward to getting in touch.

Rami Heinisuo has no problem admitting there is also a business side to the Eduix Emerging NREN sponsorship.

- Right now we’re looking at emerging markets and are eager to find new contacts abroad. We’re looking at internationalisation for some of our offerings, and I’m sure this sponsorship will open up new channels for us.



NORDUnet welcome Ciena to the emerging NREN programme.

Ciena, based in Maryland, is a provider of communications networking equipment, software and services that power the world's internet and our digital economy.

According to Rodney Wilson, Senior Director, External Research & Incubation Programs, at Ciena, the NORDUnet Emerging NREN fellowship is unique in the industry.

 Ciena's reasons for joining

- I am part of the CTO group at Ciena, and we are responsible for external research, cooperating with universities and research & education networks. We collaborate with researchers and NRENs in exploring next generation technologies, and the emerging NREN fellowship program is a great opportunity for us to encourage further collaboration and knowledge sharing to a larger audience

- I'll attend the conference, and I truly look forward to meeting the nominee. This conference and our support provide a unique hands-on opportunity that will allow the person we support to gain an in-depth look into the operations of the network. As far as I know, this is the only knowledge exchange program that includes that. For me that is the most exciting element of the program, even more so, as NORDUnet is one of the most advanced NRENs in the world.

- As we are always trying to stay ahead of industry trends and developments, I think it’s good for Ciena to be an early participant in this initiative. It’s important to mention, that the sponsorships for meetings and trade shows usually come from Ciena’s marketing department. This, however, originates in the research department, and that is quite unique.

In a wider perspective, according to Rodney Wilson, the Emerging NREN Fellowship Program could potentially have a broad effect.

- Research and education networks in developing countries are often faced with the question from government and funding bodies, why the services they provide couldn’t just be bought from a commercial vendor. The answer to that is that research and education need specific and flexible infrastructures and services that would be inadequate and more expensive, if bought from a commercial vendor. Governments and funding bodies have to understand that. I hope this program can help bring that message across, by showing staff from emerging NRENs how advanced NRENs use public funding to provide the infrastructure and the services, that are so important for research and education and consequently also for the development of a country as a whole.