HEAnet Accelerate Programme

HEAnet is Ireland’s National Education and Research Network, providing cutting edge Internet, ICT and e-Infrastructure services to Educational and Research organisations throughout Ireland. Established in 1983 by the Irish Universities with the support of the Higher Education Authority, HEAnet provides essential shared services across all levels of the Irish education system. Their high quality resilient network connects all Irish Universities, Institutes of Technology and other higher education institutions (HEIs), along with research organisations, and all primary and postprimary schools across Ireland. HEAnet’s Client list is available at: www.heanet.ie/about/client-list The HEAnet network also provides direct connectivity for its client community to other networks in Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. Approximately 200,000 students and staff (at third-level) and approximately 800,000 students and staff (at first & secondlevel) rely on the HEAnet network each day for access to online learning and research resources. 

Connecting Academia & Industry Researchers:

The Accelerate Connectivity Programme is a new HEAnet initiative inviting applications from HEAnet client members for provision of network connectivity between their research entity and their chosen industry research partner(s). The objective of the programme is to provide HEAnet network connectivity between academic and industry research organisations to enable deeper collaborative pre-commercial research, or to facilitate pre-commercial technology testing that does not lend to experimentation over a general Internet connection. The HEAnet network differentiates from general internet connections in terms of superior network speed, security and privacy, which may be necessary considerations for your research collaboration. The aim, therefore, is to create a collaborative pre-commercial research environment through a shared domain to accelerate innovation and faster progression of research into commercial products and services. The nationwide reach of the HEAnet national network allows for cost-effectively connecting industry research partners, oftentimes by means of a single network hop to the closest academic institution (already connected to HEAnet). The Accelerate Connectivity Programme thus offers a cost-effective conduit to your chosen industry research partner by leveraging the national and international reach of the HEAnet network.

Enabling a Collaborative Network & Integration of Test-Beds:

Academia-industry connectivity use-cases could serve to connect researchers to new technology test-beds or create a network of integrated test-beds. HEAnet currently connects the SmartBay test-bed in Galway Bay and the ICHEC supercomputer in Waterford. Interconnectivity of academic and industry test-beds may give rise to new areas for collaborative research and technology experimentation. Further ambitions under this programme include the establishment of a middleware broker component, (to be developed by TSSG), to facilitate access to test-bed resources and interoperation of Future Internet enablers. The ultimate goal of the Accelerate Connectivity Programme is to foster collaboration across academic and industry research organisations by leveraging the nationwide HEAnet network in a cost effective manner. This initiative aligns with national policy which aims to position Ireland as a global leader in emerging technologies by allowing Ireland to build capability in high potential industries such as: big data and analytics, smart sensors, cloud computing and the Future Internet. The Accelerate Connectivity Programme serves to provide a secure, technology-neutral integration platform for academic and industry researchers in Ireland to accelerate innovation and faster progression of pre-commercial research into commercial products and services. In considering applications for academia-industry
connectivity, HEAnet advise potential applicants of the following:

• Applications shall only be considered from HEAnet
client members;

• Applications shall only propose research activities that
relate to pre-commercial research. (HEAnet are precluded
by its Acceptable Use Policy from carrying commercial
traffic over their network and this will be prohibited

• Applications shall describe the nature of pre-commercial
research requiring HEAnet connectivity (under NDA if

• Any intellectual property arising from collaborative
research should be mutually agreed by those research
parties prior to negotiating access via this Accellerate

• Applications involving more than a single HEAnet client
and a single industry partner are encouraged;

• The applicant will be required to cover the full cost of
connectivity, installation, recurrent rental and operation.
HEAnet recover costs on a not-for-profit cost-recovery

• The required contract term for connectivity must equal
or exceed one year’s duration;

• Applicants will be required to complete an Accelerate
Connectivity Application Form (available upon request);

• Successful applicants and their industrial organisation
will be required to adhere to the terms as set out in a
Memorandum of Understanding (available upon request).

If you are involved in a research program that would benefit from having access to national or international test-beds or desire improved bandwidth access to industrial partners, please contact: NOC@HEAnet.ie or telephone: 01 660 9040.