“I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from my international colleagues, and these insights inform and enrich the work I do.”
Testimonials from around the world from participants in various GÉANT community working groups were collected and displayed during a virtual infoshare about the GÉANT Community Programme (GCP) on 7 December 2021. The quotes served as a basis to discuss success stories and how participating organisations have experienced value in their daily work by joining in the programme’s activities.
In the infoshare, GCP coordinator Gyöngyi Horváth of GÉANT delivered an overview and explained the programme’s current thematic areas across special interest groups (SIGs), and task forces (TFs), and other activities that include bespoke workshops, collaborative projects, the GÉANT Innovation Programme and the GÉANT Community Awards.
The GÉANT Community Programme supports grassroots, voluntary initiatives in which experts from national research and education networks (NRENs), user organisations, research institutions, commercial and industrial sectors share information and best practices, and discuss and develop innovative ideas and services or other outputs that serve research and education.
The participants’ testimonials formed the backbone of a panel discussion with three long-time coordinators of task forces and special interest groups, Magda Haver, Casper Dreef and Laura Durnford of GÉANT. The quotes highlighted the sense of community and support, the collaboration-oriented mission of the programme, and the commitment to explore innovative solutions to common issues as the most common aspects valued by the participants.
More specifically, task force and special interest group participants highlighted their appreciation for the possibility of continuous learning via peer-review and better understanding technology trends, bringing home inspiration and practical tips from fruitful discussions and different points of view to apply locally in their own work on both a strategic and practical level, and being part of an open environment where business ideas can be bounced around.
“This workgroup has been very useful to me strategically, in helping to set-up and mature our data transfer and Performance Enhancement Response Team capabilities. It has also guided me, in exploring ways to introduce cloud services.”
“I always take home new ideas to implement. I will look at our portfolio and add into it new features.”
“Many specific services we launched after discussing them in the group (spam filtering, phishing simulation, joint purchase of digital certificates & cloud services, systems for fast data transfer of scientific files, DDoS mitigation, etc.)”
“Apart from TNC, the SIGs and TFs are the primary international contact forums for many of us.”
Participants vouched for the ‘multiplier’ effect of being part of the GCP community: valuable information can be shared in mailing lists and in meeting breaks, and some NRENs interact and collaborate outside the scheduled meetings, as a result of the trust networks developed and information shared in the working groups and events.
Besides these valuable non-tangible benefits for the participants, the Community Programme has also contributed to a number of initiatives that developed into services for the wider research and education community. Services like eduroam, InAcademia and eduMEET for example, were discussed or developed originally in TFs and SIGs. These and other successful outputs of the groups are innovative solutions that were found within the Community Programme in response to common issues.
With the ever-evolving nature of research, technology and education, the list of specialised groups and the topics they cover in order to explore and meet common needs is also constantly evolving. In fact, there were recently two additions to the Programme, a Task Force on eHealth and a Trust & Identity group, the Task Force on Distributed Ledger Technologies. To stay updated and continue to cater for the needs of the community, the GCP is always open to new projects, topics and solutions, to bring them to the attention of a large audience of like-minded peers.
To watch the recording of the infoshare, visit our Youtube website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz5BgQNOOn0
Visit https://www.geant.org/People/Community_Programme/Pages/Home.aspx to learn more about the activities of the SIGs and TFs and subscribe to their mailing lists.
To propose an infoshare or stay informed about the upcoming events, visit https://wiki.geant.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=148092161.
The successful Innovation Programme will be re-launched in January 2022. To read about the application process and stay updated about the deadlines, visit https://www.geant.org/Innovation/Pages/Innovation-Programme.aspx.