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

On the left: DFN CEO Christian Grimm receiving the Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour. On the right: Valentino Cavalli, Chairman of the Board of the Vietsch Foundation’s Trustees
On the left: DFN CEO Christian Grimm receiving the Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour. On the right: Valentino Cavalli, Chairman of the Board of the Vietsch Foundation’s Trustees

On Thursday 13 June the TNC24 stage in Rennes hosted the ceremony for the 2024 Medal of Honour by the Vietsch Foundation. Valentino Cavalli, the Chairman of the Board of the foundation’s Trustees, presented the prestigious award to Christian Grimm, CEO of DFN, the German NREN.

“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 achievements in research and education networking at the European as well as international and global levels.” Valentino commented. “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 helped to shape the organisation with 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 NRENs. The whole R&E community will benefit from this for a very long time to come.”

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.”

About Christian Grimm

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 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 Hannover. He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and a Doctoral Degree in Information Technology.

About the Vietsch Foundation

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:

GÉANT CONNECT Magazine - CONNECT 46 -TNC24This article is featured on CONNECT 46, the latest issue of the GÉANT CONNECT Magazine!

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