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IU International Networks formalizes vital trans-Pacific collaboration with Japan

Partnership advances research goals, breakthroughs for trans-Pacific collaboration

HONG KONG—International Networks at Indiana University (IN@IU) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan have formalized their long-standing partnership by signing an agreement on continued collaboration.

On August 3, Andrew Lee, IN@IU network architect, and Fumihiko Tomita, NICT vice president, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Hong Kong at the 42nd Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meeting.

The new document states that they will continue to work together on sustaining network performance, supporting research and science and conducting ongoing investigation to better implement the networking infrastructure for community use. The contract will last a year and can be renewed for up to five years.

As IU’s International Networks looks to continue and expand its vital partnerships across the world, this recent MOU signing with NICT signifies a new era.

On August 3, Andrew Lee, IN@IU network architect, and Fumihiko Tomita, vice president of NICT, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Hong Kong at the 42nd Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meeting.

Andrew Lee (left), IN@IU network architect, and Fumihiko Tomita, NICT vice president, sign the MOU.

"Japan has made major investments in information and communications technology and considers network research fundamental to its long-term prosperity," said Dr. Eiji Kawai, director of the ICT Testbed Research, Development and Operations Laboratory, NICT. "We welcome extending the MOU to continue our collaboration with TransPAC. We expect that by working together we will be able to not only create better network interconnections but encourage new value creation in various social and economic fields." 

The continued partnership will help advance long-term research goals and resource sharing that makes scientific advancement between countries possible. One of the many examples of this is a collaboration between Indiana University, Stanford University and the Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNET) in Osaka, Japan, that is studying human brain tissue in relation to disease, development and behaviors. The network services and infrastructure to enable large-scale data transfers between the U.S. and Asia are part of the TransPAC project, one aspect of the larger IN@IU portfolio.

IU’s relationship with NICT dates back to 1997, when NICT was one of the co-founders of APAN along with IU’s President Michael McRobbie. McRobbie also started the TransPAC project, now in its fourth funding cycle as the TransPAC4 project, which supports backbone circuits between the U.S.

Lee, who is also co-principal investigator of TransPAC4, sees a bright future ahead for the two partners. "We’ve done a lot of good work together in the past and we’ll continue to do ground-breaking things in the future," he said.

The MOU follows NICT’s letters of support in application for further National Science Foundation funding for TransPAC4 and shows the importance and seriousness of these collaborations for the future of international networks across the globe.

"TransPAC and International Networks at IU have a long history of collaboration with NICT," said Dr. Jennifer Schopf, director, International Networks at IU. "We cooperate on network links and research, and are very pleased to reaffirm our ongoing partnership as part of the recently renewed TransPAC4 project."

Through identifying projects of mutual interest, exchanging information and human resources, and jointly organizing network experiments, the partnerships promise to deliver high-quality collaboration for the benefit of all parties involved, and for the broader U.S.-Asia collaborative research community.

About International Networks at IU
International Networks at IU leads several projects related to large-scale international research networks that link scientists around the world. These include the NSF-funded America Connects to Europe network; TransPAC4, which connects the U.S. to Asia; and NetSage, which enables active and passive monitoring of international networks.

About the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
NICT is Japan’s sole national research and development agency specializing in the field of information and communications technology (ICT). It is charged with promoting ICT, ICT research, and development in ICT in an effort to drive economic growth and create a safe and secure society.