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IU International Networks continues to expand partnerships worldwide

Trans-Pacific collaboration with China will create opportunities for bioinformatics, other topics

TRONDHEIM, NORWAY—International Networks at Indiana University (IN@IU) and the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) have formalized their long-standing partnership by signing an agreement on continued collaboration.

Earlier this summer, Andrew Lee, IN@IU network architect, and Jianping Wu, CERNET Center director, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Trondheim, Norway, at TNC18, the largest and most prestigious European research networking conference.  

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

As we work with the Chinese, we continue to see ways where we’re already collaborating. It’s important to bring those projects into the forefront and expand on them.

Andrew Lee, network architect, IU International Networks

This signing continues IU's International Networks efforts to expand partnerships around the world, and formalizes a relationship that has been in existence since 2005. The two groups hope to facilitate more comprehensive network support of United States branch campuses in China, and to create opportunities to collaborate on workshops involving bioinformatics and other topics.

Scientific advancement between countries is made possible by partnerships like this one, which advance long-term research goals and resource sharing. The network services and infrastructure to enable large-scale data transfers between the United States and Asia are part of the TransPAC project, one aspect of the larger IN@IU portfolio. IU President Michael McRobbie is one of the co-founders of the TransPAC project, now in its fourth funding cycle as TransPAC4, supporting backbone circuits between the United States and Asia.

As co-principal investigator of TransPAC4, Lee sees great opportunities in this partnership. "As we work with the Chinese, we continue to see ways where we’re already collaborating," he said. "It’s important to bring those projects into the forefront and expand on them."

TransPAC is also working to expand the network to create new connectivity between the Guam Open Research and Education eXchange (GOREX) and Hong Kong. The Pacific Islands Research and Education Network (PIREN), a project run by the University of Hawaii for the NSF-funded International Research Network Connections (IRNC), created GOREX with the University of Guam. TransPAC capitalized on Guam's availability as a U.S. territory to begin to create a new channel of connectivity to Hong Kong, further linking the Asia-Pacific region with the global research and education community.

"Our decision to work on Guam to Hong Kong was driven by our partners in the Asia-Pacific Ring (APR) as well as our IRNC colleagues," Lee said. "It's an outward sign of our commitment to the 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 United States to Asia; and NetSage, which enables active and passive monitoring of international networks.

About the China Education and Research Network
CERNET is the first nationwide education and research network in China and includes national, regional, provincial, and campus networks. Funded by the Chinese government and directly managed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, CERNET provides discipline-specific information of various overseas universities, and a search system for higher education and key subject information.