BCNET Conference 2014
Canadian Advanced Networks Panel: Digital Infrastructure

BCNET is part of a larger network — Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE), collectively manage this powerful digital infrastructure. It connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today's digital economy.

In this session you will hear from the CEOs of Western Canada's provincial partners in Canada's NREN — MRnet, Cybera, and SRnet. They will each share their organization's mandates, projects, accomplishments, synergies and vision for the future.

Shared Services in a Smaller RAN

MRnet is the regional advanced network (RAN) in Manitoba which serves the R&E community and connects to the national CANARIE backbone network. MRnet members share a number of services through Merlin, a provincial government special operating agency and a member of MRnet. Recently a project is underway to look at expanding the catalogue of shared services in both the short and long term. This presentation will discuss existing services and their success, short and long term opportunities for new shared services as well as barriers to implementation. This will be done in the context of a small RAN with limited resources.

In Praise of Plagiarism

Members of the not-for-profit research and education community often do not have the staff, budgets or time to do all the projects they want or need to do. Instead, they must leverage the work and experience of others. While events like the BCNET conference are great places to share ideas and report results, sometimes to adopt a great idea, you need to see how your colleagues in other organizations really work, think, and get the job done. To that end, Cybera has started experimenting with short-term work exchanges, placing Cyberans alongside colleagues in sister organizations in Canada and abroad. In this session, Cyber's President and CEO will share some early results of these work exchanges, and speculate on how the program could benefit others in the research and education community.

Being Integrated and Relevant

In those jurisdictions where a regional or national research network is integrated into government’s plans to build next generation digital infrastructure (DI), that research network is deemed to be significantly better placed. This is a significant challenge in Saskatchewan where SRnet, the regional REN, can be eclipsed by the Province’s crown-owned telecommunications corporation, Sasktel. This presentation asks the question(s), “How does a small REN gain a more integrated place amongst the regional DI solution providers and provincial decision makers? How to build an environment of partnering, constructive differentiation and innovative action; versus continuing with an environment of resistance and reaction? How to best serve those in education, research and innovation in a way that enhances the public good?

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