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Research and Higher Education Technology Fund

"Today we make the internet of tomorrow

The vital role of academic and research institutions in the history of the internet is difficult to overestimate: from the earliest days of the ARPAnet the scientific and higher education community was at the very center of the technological development and helped push the boundaries of technology. Not just in the US, but everywhere around the world. NLnet itself saw the light at the national center for Mathematics in the Netherlands.

As the internet grew step by step, much of the important work happened within this community. And it should be recognised that a lot of key work happened outside of the regular operational scope of organisations involved: universities and research institutes as well as individual researchers were able to contribute not because they were funded to do so, but because they were given enough freedom to deviate from their official tasks and do what needed to be done. The beautiful result is the internet: the largest communication infrastructure the world has ever built.

More recently, financial cuts and the 'publish or perish' paradigm are increasingly impacting the capability of the research and education community to contribute. While the internet needs it more than ever, potential contributions and innovations 'for the greater good' now find themselves shelved - in some cases for ever. There is an allocation problem and real funding gap between the distributed talent and ideas in research and higher education, and the current financial possibilities that allow them to contribute.

The Research and Higher Education Technology Fund was created to help fund small initiatives that can make a difference. The Fund is a collaboration between NLnet and the Vietsch foundation, which was set up by Karel Vietsch (1952-2014) through his last will and testament.

Current projects and activities within this theme

Jointly funded and supported by:

Vietsch foundation
NLnet foundation