A new high-performance transatlantic connection will link researchers from Europe and North America, creating one of the most advanced data transfer networks in the world.
Memorial University is playing a major role in this strategic partnership.
The IceLink Project will establish a high-capacity undersea circuit in the northern polar region linking Canada and the United States to the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
IceLink will be Canada’s first direct connection to Europe.
The new system was officially announced in early December and will provide this country with a much-needed direct path to Europe. This new network also provides an alternate connection and redundancy to the existing link which originates in New York and connects to Europe through Amsterdam.
The project is a joint venture between NORDUnet, a collaboration of the five Nordic National Research and Education Networks, and CANARIE, the national non-profit corporation which manages Canada’s ultra high-speed research network.
Close to 40,000 researchers at nearly 200 Canadian universities and colleges rely on the CANARIE network. It is also used by scientists at research institutes, hospitals and government laboratories throughout the country.
CANARIE’s contribution to IceLink is a dedicated lightpath from its equipment at Memorial University to New York.
The IceLink Project is funded largely by NORDUnet with significant support from CANARIE and the NSF GLORIAD project in the United States, an advanced science Internet network promoting collaboration among scientists, educators and students.
Memorial is a longtime member of CANARIE and Dr. Christopher W. Loomis, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore, is a member and former chair of the board of directors of CANARIE.
“Memorial’s role is a strategic one. Through our collaboration with CANARIE, Memorial will serve as the link between our European colleagues and the United States,” said Dr. Loomis.
“Connecting researchers from diverse disciplines working around the globe is critical to research in the 21st century,” he added. “Memorial’s contribution to IceLink is consistent with our commitment to advancing research, and to the development and operation of research and education networks in this province, in Canada and the world.”
Dr. Loomis noted the lead role Memorial played in the development of the Atlantic Canada Computational Excellence Network (ACEnet). Launched in 2006, ACEnet is a consortium of seven universities: University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary’s University, St. Francis Xavier University, Dalhousie University, Mount Allison University and the University of Prince Edward Island. It allows researchers to communicate and share large amounts of data for modeling and visualization purposes across Canada and the world.
CANARIE Inc. is Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network, hundreds of times faster than the internet, which facilitates leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the word.