Host: Maria Häll and Salam Yamout, Executive Board Member, RIPE NCC
Attendees: 18 academics and NREN representatives
Minutes: Gergana Petrova
The NREN community acknowledged that making money off the Internet had become more important than research and collaboration. Formerly, NRENs' need to cooperate and collaborate was how RIPE was born. However, NRENs hadn't been so noticeable in recent years. They only appeared in the RIPE community when issues such as legacy space arose. The fact that NRENs had a large amount of address space meant that they didn't have to be too loud in the current environment compared to commercial organisations (the latter also having more money and people). But NRENs needed to stay involved in case a policy was proposed that threatened them.
There was also acknowledgement that the NRENs were not often in close contact with academics, the latter being more interested in the scientific context rather than the operational side. Researchers needed access to facilities, and this is something that NRENs could provide.
RIPE Labs can't help PhDs with bibliometrics. However, students are also interested in solving problems of operational relevance. A suggestion was made to ask the RIPE community for operational and other problems the industry needed a solution for, and to circulate this list with academia. There were also plenty of topics fit for a Bachelor or Master thesis. The time to solve the problem could be one year, during which some kind of support would be given (internship at RIPE, mentor program, support by the company needing the solution, etc.) The rate of funding one PhD student is around €40K a year.
The question was raised whether a monetary prize might help attract RACI participants. The room agreed that the money would be better spent on travel and accommodation grants to bring more people.
There were also suggestions that the RIPE NCC should go to conferences such as TNC, IMC, etc. and start communicating on mailing lists that academics use.
The standards or guidelines for winning "RACI" were not clear. Participants didn't receive any feedback on why they were or were not selected. A recommendation was made to form an external jury. It would be useful for the programme to follow up with past attendees and see if they got an internship or a research collaboration with a company.
It was concluded that there were a number of conversations still to be had, including where the NRENs fit within the RIPE community, what the RIPE NCC role should be, and what Maria's role as the Academic Liaison on the Executive Board should be. But it was generally agreed that it was good to start the discussion and people said they would attend another meeting like this at the next RIPE Meeting.