Eleven global leading-edge research and education networks in North America, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania have announced a collaboration to improve high-speed network services in the Asia Pacific Oceania region. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the participating networks on 16 June 2021.
The Asia Pacific Oceania network (APOnet) collaboration will connect East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and North America. The networks and organisations involved are:
- Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet),
- Arterial Research and Educational Network in Asia-Pacific (ARENA-PAC),
- University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development d/b/a (Internet2),
- Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI),
- National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT),
- National Institute of Informatics (NII),
- Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN),
- Pacific Wave International Exchange
- Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ),
- TransPAC, and
- University of Hawaii (UH).
These research and education networks and organisations support important multidisciplinary discoveries made by teams of experts spread around the world, collaborating and sharing data and scientific instruments across national boundaries. Explosive growth in the resolution of sensors and scientific instruments, very high-resolution imagery and video, coupled with global scale instruments, has led to unprecedented volumes of experimental data.
This APOnet collaboration enables large-scale scientific workflows to accelerate discovery in all areas of science and engineering, including high-energy physics, earth sciences, astronomy and astrophysics, biology and biomedical engineering, as well as scalable visualization, virtual reality, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI). Many projects, like the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), Square Kilometer Array (SKA), International Rice Research Institute, Mekong Water Initiative, and international Supercomputing Conference, feed increasing amounts of data to collaborating scientists served by the APOnet networks.
To support these multinational collaborations and associated data requirements, these global research and education networks will contribute resources that together can be managed to create a high-speed trans-oceanic network services delivery system that is more resilient, flexible, and consistent than any individual network on its own. The intent is to elevate the services available for research and education across all of the collaborating networks.
The scope of this collaboration includes enabling multiple paths between R&E networks, providing backup connectivity in case of network outages, coordinating engineering and management activities, cooperating on deployment of emerging network technologies and services, experimenting with and developing applications with high-bandwidth demands, supporting shared routing practices, and sharing of measurement data.
“Operating in one of the more remote countries in the world, AARNet has always valued working closely with our NREN partners to support ground-breaking research between Australia and our regional neighbours,” said AARNet Director, International Steve Maddocks. “This new agreement will further improve the diversity and resilience of dedicated high-performing international connectivity in the region to ensure we meet the future data transfer needs of big science, collaborative research, and transnational education.”
“Global grand challenges — the climate crisis, our need for clean energy, public health emergencies like COVID-19, conserving our marine resources, and many others — require global scientific collaborations,” said Pacific Wave Board Director and CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “These scientific collaborations, in turn, are supported by our shared infrastructure among Asia Pacific, Oceania, and North American R&E networks that empower our research communities.”
“Our ongoing partnership with colleagues in the US and across the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions is an affirmation of our shared commitment to developing resilient and coherent architecture for advanced networking,” said Howard Pfeffer, President and CEO of Internet2. “This coordinated effort is necessary to ensure that scholars, researchers, and students continue to collaborate with colleagues in their region and across the world. This partnership provides the secure and reliable high-speed connectivity and customized services that ultimately bolster scientific discovery and innovation.”
“NICT has been enhancing high-speed network testbeds for research and development as well as global research activities, as a verification platform for information and communication technology (ICT) development. NICT will provide a testing environment for verifying the social and technical needs of the Beyond 5G era,” said NICT Vice President and member of the Board of Directors Dr. Ibaraki Hisashi. “With the expansion of collaboration to 11 networks in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania region, it is expected to further enhance collaborative R&D activities with research institutions around the world on high-speed network testbeds.”