Grant-Funded Project Expands Oklahoma’s Research Network to Four Additional Campuses

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and OneNet a $1,014,757 Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) grant to connect four additional campuses to the OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (OFFN). This marks the fifth award to OSRHE and OneNet to expand the OFFN network.

Administered by NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, the CC* grant program invests in campus-level cyberinfrastructure improvements for science applications and research projects. Previous NSF awards have connected a total of 26 Oklahoma research and regional public and private college and university locations to OFFN.

Under the terms of this two-year grant cycle, Connors State College (CSC), Eastern Oklahoma State College (EOSC), Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), and Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) will be connected to the OFFN network.

“The OFFN connection enhances research collaborations and educational opportunities in a variety of critical degree programs for faculty and students throughout the state,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett.

OFFN is a 10 and 100 Gbps research network that provides higher education institutions with a specialized internet connection dedicated for research. This specialized connection is much faster than traditional internet highways, allowing researchers to transmit large amounts of data at higher speeds. It also provides a pathway to connect to other resources, such as supercomputers, that empower more sophisticated research capabilities for students and faculty that are not geographically limited.

CORE-MORe-OFFN Network Map

This CC* project will support a wide range of scientific disciplines at the four newly connected sites, including biology, behavioral/social sciences, mathematics, aeronautical engineering, information technology, nursing and other STEM-related fields that meet workforce needs outlined in the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Blueprint 2030 strategic plan. Once connected to the network, institutions will begin implementation of the projects, known as science drivers, that drove the need for the expanded capabilities.

The project will increase connectivity to 10 Gbps to OneNet and the OFFN network for all four campuses. The grant award also will fund an optical fiber build from NEO’s main campus to its animal sciences building and a 10G service upgrade for OPSU.

The award will be managed by OneNet, the state system of higher education’s comprehensive digital communications entity. Brian Burkhart, OneNet’s chief technology officer, will serve as principal investigator. Paul Wills, chair/instructor of psychology, sociology and child development for EOSC, will lead research and education application adoption, and Heath Hodges, chief information officer for the Oklahoma State University A&M system, will lead campus technology deployment. Bill Bradford of OneNet will manage network technology implementation and training, and April Goode of OneNet will provide planning, communications and coordination services for grant implementation.

“OneNet continues to build on the success of the OFFN network to expand cyberinfrastructure resources to Oklahoma’s colleges and universities,” said Burkhart. “OFFN’s high-speed connections and data transfer capabilities make research computing possible for campuses previously without access to these capabilities. As Oklahoma’s research and education network, OneNet’s mission is to advance research, science, innovation and discovery through initiatives like OFFN.”