More researchers get high speed hook up

Tuesday 22 April 2008, 1:55PM
By Pete Hodgson

New Zealand’s use of world class digital technology and high speed productivity tools was supported by grants totalling about $1.6 million, Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research Science and Technology said today.

These grants will enable 17 organisations to connect to KAREN, as well as providing funding for five projects using the advanced network.

The Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN) is an ultra high speed internet connection for New Zealand’s research and tertiary education facilities. It helps researchers sending and receiving large quantities of data in real time anywhere in the world. It also makes advanced digital tools like high definition video conferencing easy to use, bringing people together for research meetings, discussions and conferences.

Announcing the successful applicants of the final round of the Advanced Network Capability Build funding Pete Hodgson said, “Innovative digital technologies are rapidly changing the world we live in, touching all aspects of our lives.

“New Zealand’s future innovators not only need to have globally competitive facilities, they need to be effective and confident using digital infrastructure.”

Successful applicants included:

• An AgResearch project that will allow researchers from New Zealand and around the world to use their specialised electron microscopes remotely.

• A project led by Crop and Food that will allow invasive pests and diseases to be identified by experts remotely rather than the current time consuming process of sending samples overseas by post.

• Upgrading hardware and software to enable Canterbury University to operate three Planetlab nodes, allowing New Zealand researchers access via KAREN to a global research network which is used to develop and study new technologies.

• A GNS project that will enable researchers and educators around the world to use KAREN to access and interpret New Zealand’s seismographic data with unprecedented speed and volume.

• A project that will use KAREN as part of a Scion educational programme, Forests of life.