The NATO Science Programme & Cooperation Partners
Priority Area on Computer Networking

Computer Networking

  1. Introduction
  2. As a result of political and economic developments in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the science decision makers and the scientific and technological communities in these countries are faced with new and challenging problems. Under these circumstances the need for close ties between NATO and Cooperation Partner (CP) countries is essential. Within the framework of the Workplan for Dialogue, Partnership and Cooperation established by the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), the NATO Science Committee has introduced a number of priority areas of concern to both NATO and its Cooperation Partners.

  3. Objectives and Areas of Interest
  4. The Priority Area on Computer Networking is intended to provide support for the enhancement of the communication infrastructure available to scientists rather than to support fundamental and applied research in the field. The initiative encompasses a two-pronged strategy for improving computer communication between scientists in NATO countries and Cooperation Partners:

    1. firstly, a top-down approach focusing on policy, with the organization of workshops to help Cooperation Partners elaborate their computer networking policies and strategies and increase their know-how; and

    2. secondly, a bottom-up approach focusing on infrastructure, with the provision of support to improve connectivity and to facilitate electronic communication to the scientific communities of Cooperation Partners countries.

  5. Implementation
  6. The activities supported in this field have essentially a catalytic role and are complementary to, rather than conflicting or competing with, activities of parallel national or international programmes. These activities take advantage of the special bilateral and multilateral relationship which NATO membership makes possible.

  7. Support Mechanisms
  8. Support in this Priority Area is provided through a variety of mechanisms to be pursued in collaboration between scientists from NATO countries and Cooperation Partner countries. The mechanisms are:

    • Advanced Networking Workshops

      Advanced Networking Workshops are of two types:

      • the first category (Policy) is aimed at increasing the level of harmony among the various network policies at national and international levels. These workshops provide a strong base from which can be laid down a better coordinated collaboration between Cooperation Partners and NATO countries. They provide unique fora for users and policy makers in which those responsible for the scientific infrastructure acquire a better understanding of the need for coordination in the planning and development of research networks. Among expected concrete outcomes of such workshops are sets of recommendations for follow-up activities and policies.

      • The second category (Training) is aimed at transferring technical know-how to network administrators. These workshops are the forum for advanced level, extensive discussion among qualified network managers from various countries. They become a unique opportunity for the transfer of knowledge and the exchange of experiences between managers coming from different environments and backgrounds.

    • Computer Networking Supplement to Linkage Grants

      NATO supports, through Linkage Grants, reciprocal visits of research teams conducting common research. In order to improve the communication between the teams, Linkage Grant holders are invited to consider whether the upgrading of the CP participants' networking equipment could facilitate the quality and the quantity of the exchanges. A Supplement for Computer Networking is available for purchasing small equipment that can enhance the communication level between the collaborating teams. Typical grants cover the cost of modems, software, leased line service fees and subscriptions.

    • Networking Infrastructure Grants

      Networking Infrastructure Grants are expected to promote local and international collaboration through the setting up of links and networking capabilities. A key aspect of the economics of international connectivity is the promotion of collaborative local infrastructures. A Networking Infrastructure Grant provides assistance to the CP country institutions primarily for purchasing equipment that will improve the level and the quality of the telecommunication facilities. The infrastructure projects supported by these grants are regional by definition. They are aimed at improving the general connectivity of a whole community in a specific geographical region; they build upon existing infrastructure and propose ways to improve the quality of the network by increasing the bandwidth between major sites and by distributing access to larger communities. Institutes from a CP country involved in collaborative projects with counterparts in a NATO country and interested in improving their networking facilities are not eligible for a Networking Infrastructure Grant; to be eligible for support they must first be awarded a NATO Linkage Grant and then may apply for a Computer Networking Supplement as outlined in the previous paragraph.

    • Other mechanisms

      Other mechanisms such as Expert Visits are additional tools available to the Panel. They may be used as the initial phase to more complex and larger collaborating projects.

  9. Application Procedures
  10. Applications for support of one of the above mechanisms are evaluated by the Advisory Panel on Computer Networking. In order to be considered by the Advisory Panel an application must not duplicate similar efforts elsewhere and be prepared on the specific application forms.

    The Advisory Panel normally meets three times a year. Deadlines for receipt of applications, as well as application forms and guideline Notes for Applicants are available from the address below, and may also be downloaded from the NATO Gopher site.

      Scientific Affairs Division
      B-1110 Brussels

      Tel: (32-2) 707 4520
      Fax: (32-2) 707 4232

NATO Scientific & Environmental Affairs