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Quilt Fall Member Meeting spotlights R&E challenges and opportunities

Our 2014 Fall Member Meeting was a great success this month on the shores of Lake Monona in Wisconsin. We had more than 80 networking leaders from around the country attend this year for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet the infrastructure challenges of the research and education communities we serve.

David Hotchkiss, CIO at Medical College of Wisconsin and member of WiscNet Board of Directors, provided an outstanding discussion on large-scale medical research and education by sharing some his experiences with the group from the largest research institution in eastern Wisconsin.

“Please don’t let anything happen to your R&E networks; we need you in order to carry-out our mission,” Hotchkiss said during his keynote remarks.

Dr. Mark Luker, Associate Director for the National Coordination Office for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program, also provided a valuable framework for Quilt members to understand how the NITRD program is serving as a great catalyst for collaboration and innovation for U.S. global leadership in networking, information technology and applications.

Kevin Thompson, program director at the National Science Foundation, was excellent in his remarks providing an overview of current NSF Advanced Cyber Infrastructure initiatives including the CC*IIE program.

Kim Milford, executive director of REN-ISAC, provided great insight into network security issues for our R&E networking community.

Two very impressive sets of Quilt-member panels focused on grant opportunities and strategic planning within the R&E community followed by a smaller group discussions regarding SDN exchanges, connecting and supporting community anchor institutions as well as network security. Finally, we had a strong end to our time together with a Quilt-hosted leadership workshop facilitated by Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit Networks in Michigan and current chairman of The Quilt Board of Directors supporting our Quilt member professional development programs.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our meeting this month and special thanks once again to WiscNet for hosting such a great event. And, while we have your attention, please go ahead and mark your calendars for our 2015 Winter Member Meeting scheduled Feb. 10-12 at the La Jolla Shores Hotel and La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in La Jolla, Calif. More details about the event and program agenda will be coming soon.