International Networks to Aid Global Research Collaborations in Climate, Bioinformatics and Computer Science

International “Enlighten Your Research” Program selects four global data-intensive research proposals

November 19, 2013

Five of the world’s leading national research and education networks (NRENs) yesterday announced at the Supercomputing Conference (SC13) the selection of four major research collaborations that will participate in the first ever “Enlighten Your Research Global” (EYR-Global) program. Supported by leading NRENs in the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands (NL), Finland (FI) and the United States (USA), the EYR program is designed to identify research programs that could significantly benefit from enhanced global network connectivity.

“Many research communities like those in climate and bioinformatics now need access to global network resources to support their ever-growing data needs and international collaborations,” said the CEO of SURFnet, Erwin Bleumink, whose NREN was responsible for starting this global program. “Through EYR-Global, each selected proposal will have access to higher capacity connections as well as help from expert engineers to jumpstart their research efforts. We are excited to see the outcome of each project, enabled by these new network resources.”

The EYR-Global jury, comprised of each NREN’s chief executives, chose four proposals to be a part of this year’s program, which will give researchers advanced network resources for at least one year. Each project strives to use networks to further improve their research in new and innovative ways. These proposals span a wide array of research domains, including two global climate projects, a biophysics and neuroscience project on how the nervous system instigates behavior, and computer science project that enables the analysis of massive bioinformatics datasets.

The selected projects are:

“International Networking for Climate,”led by Dean Williams of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), USA. This project compliments the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) of which Williams also leads. This work offers researchers the ability to access climate data at replication sites around the world in the USA, the UK, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands. The goal is to improve the end-to-end Internet connections between sites to 4 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2014.

“Achieving Multidisciplinary High-throughput, Quantitative Behavior Analysis with Advanced Computing and Networking Tools,” led by Stephen Helms of the FOM Institute AMOLF, NL. By employing modern image analysis techniques, Helms and his team extract data from video files that track the movement of small worms (nematodes) as they perform natural behaviors, which allows the team to empirically build simple models for complex behaviors. The project will improve the bandwidth linking their sites in the Netherlands, the USA and Japan.

“An Advanced Distributed Computing Approach to High-Resolution Climate Modeling,”led by Henk Dijkstra of the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) at Utrecht University, NL. The project investigates how changes in ocean circulation affect the Earth’s climate. The collaborators will run a Community Earth System Model, CESM, across four different supercomputers in four different countries to obtain results that will allow the researchers to view an unprecedented level of detail, which includes the full resolution of ocean eddies. The awarded network resources will vastly improve end-to-end connections between the USA, The Netherlands, the UK and Germany for this project.

“Cross-site VM Operation,”led by David van Enckevort of the University Medical Center Groningen, NL. This project aims to transfer “virtual machines” (VMs) between computing centers in Finland, the Netherlands and the UK within minutes.  This will allow researchers, like those performing genetic sequencing, to complete analyses on massive bioinformatics datasets via cloud infrastructures and virtual machines, which they could not otherwise perform locally.

These selected proposals will receive networking resources from the EYR partner NRENs ESnet, Funet, Internet2, Janet, and SURFnet, as well as resources from the affiliate partners AARNet, DFN and GÉANT. Together, these NRENs will provide high-quality network services to each research site.

Read more about EYR-Global at


About Funet

CSC maintains and develops Funet, the Finnish Research and Education Network, for the specialized needs of research and higher education. Funet links higher education institutions and research institutes and connects them to the global research network community and the public internet with superfast, reliable and secure connections. Funet’s extensive services and wide-based expertise are at the disposal of the entire Finnish scientific community and state government. In 2012, Funet had 372,000 users in 80 member organizations. Funet is one of the most advanced research networks in the world.


About Internet2

Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for USA research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. Internet2 also operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, and serves more than 90,000 research and educational institutions. For more information, visit


About Janet

Janet, part of the Jisc group, has the primary aim of providing and developing a network infrastructure and services that meet the needs of research and education communities in the UK. Janet manages the operation and development of the Janet network and related services on behalf of Jisc, the UK’s expert on digital technology for education and research. Its work is guided by its funders, owners (AoC, GuildHE and UUK) and trustees.


About SURFnet

SURFnet ensures that researchers, instructors, and students can work together simply and effectively with the aid of ICT. It therefore promotes, develops, and operates a trusted, connecting ICT infrastructure that facilitates optimum use of the possibilities offered by ICT. SURFnet is thus the driving force behind ICT-based innovation in higher education and research in the Netherlands. For more information, visit