1st International Platform on Integrating Arab e-infrastructure in a Global Environment
Recommendations and Decisions
December 12-14, 2011
The Jordanian Capital, Amman, hosted the 1st International Platform on Integrating Arab e-infrastructure in a Global Environment in the period 12-14 December 2011under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and the chairmanship of Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN). The event witnessed wide and effective participation of more than 200 figures of high-ranking decision-makers from governments, enterprises, NGOs, academia, and civil society.
The event is considered the first of its kind in the Arab region and the world, and is a distinguished opportunity for the Arab researchers and those developing scientific infrastructure in the Arab world to benefit from this gathering. Also, the event constitutes a forum through which partnerships are motivated and encouraged and best practices are exchanged to integrate scientific research networks with the global ones as well as in the field of such network sustainability.
The event also promotes Jordan position as a regional hub for scientific research and Arab e-infrastructure integration to establish a real network between Arab researchers. ASREN, headquartered in Amman, will seek to complete the requirements of such significant achievement.
The Conference was organized by:
o The Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN)
o Delivering Advanced Networking Technology to Europe (DANTE)
o Trans European Research & Education Association (TERENA)
o EUMEDGRID Support, CHAIN & EPIKH projects
o INTERNET 2
o Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
o Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization
o Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
The Sponser’s Speech
His Majesty King Abdullah II deputized HE Dr. Ruwaida Al Ma’aitah, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research to attend the Conference. Dr. Al Ma’aitah delivered a speech in which she conveyed His Majesty’s greetings to guests and participants, appreciating their efforts and wishing them success in reaching their objectives while pledging to provide all necessary support and facilitation.
In addition, HE thanked Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization under the leadership of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh for his continuous efforts exerted in various professional fields to develop the society, in particular, in the fields of education, training, qualification, and capacity-building, as well as his ongoing efforts in the field of education and scientific research.
HE added that Jordan national strategy focuses on achieving advanced search and educational standards to meet the present and future needs of our society to keep abreast with the international development in the field of education and scientific research.
Conference Chairman Speech
HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh delivered a speech at the opening session where he called for selecting Jordan as a a regional hub for e-integration where he said, “We look forward to have national scientific research netwroks in all Arab countries, and the non-member NRENs in the Arab countries to accede to ASREN confirming that ASREN is ready to extend all required assistance to establish NRENs in accordance with the internationally recognized model to join this Organization.
He also announceed that three important projects will be launched at the outset of 2012; namely: TAGITOP®, TAGIPEDIA®, and TAG Corporate Virtual University which shall provide all educational and training programs for both the public and private sectors as well as the education sector at the Arab world level.
The Speech of his Excellency Minister of Information and Communications Technology
HE Eng. Basem Al-Rossan, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, delivered a speech during which he addressed in details Jordan experience in the field of e-infrastructuer where he said, “The Government of Jordan started the e-integration plan in 2003 to link the schools and universities technically in line with the vision of HM the King towards an an integrated knowledge-based economy in Jordan.”
His Excellency added that these programs expanded in 2007 to include the public institutions, medical centers and hospitals, and the schools in rural areas were chosen as distribution points for the Internet services.
Dr. Khalid Touqan, president of Jordan Atomic Energy Commission gave a detailed explanation about the scientfic research in the e-integration. He also delivered a technical presentation on SESAME.
The Speech of the Arab-League Secretary – General
A speech was also delivered at the opening session by Dr. Fa’eqa Al-Saleh, representative of League of Arab States and Arab League Research and Education Department Director who conveyed the greetings of the Secretary-General of the Arab League Mr. Nabeel Al-Arabi and his wishes that the forum be a success.
Dr. Al-Saleh appraised the cooperatoin between Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization and the Arab League in the field of education and scientific research, and the care of the youth, pointing out to the Knowledge Youth Summit which will be held in Morocoo in March 2012 jointly by the Arab League and Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization.
A speech was also delivered by Mr. Kostas Galenus, Head of the Technical Unit in the e-infrastructure at the European Commission, and Mrs. Juana Ronika, head of the EU delegation to Jordan.
Participations and Topics
The participants tackled topics focusing mainly on infrastructure and its development and sustainability as well as its benefit for research and educational communities. These topics include:
- E-Infrastructures and their requirements
- Use of academic/educational software
- Network communication tools such as visual and audio communication and their applications
- Search Engines
- GRID computing and scientific calculations
- Research and education as well as 21st Century challenges
- Education for all in the digital age
- E-Learning, tele-teaching, e-content
- Digital Repositories
- Innovative applications and technologies in addressing the era’s issues such as energy conservation, resource and food protection, water production and distribution, waste management, weather prediction and control and climate change.
- Information and knowledge exchange.
Moreover, special sessions were dedicated to specific domains such as Digital Cultural Heritage, Climate Change, Economic Crisis, Global Warming, Environment and Energy
The following meetings were held in conjunction with the Conference:
• EUMED Event 4
• Internet2 SIG Middle East Meeting
• ASREN 1st Annual Meeting
After presenting topics, holding meetings and deliberating between delegations and participants, the Conference concluded the following decisions:
- To address thank you and appreciation telegraph to His Majesty the King in the name of the participants for his sponsorship and supprt to the forum.
- Selecting Jordan as a regional hub for e-integration of educational networks in the Arab countries.
- Adopting ASREN programs and strategy for the upcoming stage.
- To hold the second international forum of the e-integration of the Arab e-infrastructure in Doha in December in 2012.
The forum raised the following recommendations:
First: Accelerate the integration of EUMED third phase, which is based on supporting integration of e-infrastructure and connecting them with the European Network for Scientific Research.
Second: Emphasize the importance to extend effective participation of ASREN, integrate Arab unified e-infrastructure and promote the role of research and education communities in the Arab world.
Third: Supporting sustainable research and the educational network in the Arab region connected with European, American and other regional networks all over the world.
Fourth: To benefit from and build upon the success of EUMED previous meetings in the field of developing cooperation and coordination between Arab and European researchers, and should tackle joint scientific research projects that use scientific infrastructure between countries.
Fifth: To encourage and attract donors, research foundations and supporting organizations in the Arab region, Europe and the world to support the ASREN development as well as the research infrastructure in the Arab world.
Sixth: Promoting private sector’s participation and cooperation in developing research and education.
In conclusion, the participants emphasized that the Arab countries face scientific and knowledge cultural challenge and that the Arab youth, including experts, specialists and researchers, are capable of overcoming such a challenge by working hard, as the development of our nation depends on those knowledge makers according to the saying “the best way to predict the future is to create it”.
Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Issued in Amman on December 13, 2011
From right to left: HE Eng. Basem Rousan, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, HE Dr. Rowaida Maaitah, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Dr. Fa’eqa Al-Saleh, representative of League of Arab States during the 1st International Platform on Integrating Arab e-infrastructure in a Global Environment in Amman- December 12, 2011.
Participants of the 1st International Platform on Integrating Arab e-infrastructure in a Global Environment in Amman- December 12, 2011.
e-AGE 2011 Press Clippings: