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"Research and Higher Education Technology Fund" kickstarted

Vietsch Foundation and NLnet cooperate in internet R&D for research and education

Amsterdam, September 28th 2016 — The Netherlands based Vietsch Foundation makes the first donation to the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund. The new thematic fund is managed by NLnet foundation, a public benefit organisation founded in 1989 with the mission to promote the exchange of electronic information. As a framework for this initiative, the two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding collaboration possibilities.

Our mission is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology, services, processes for scientific research and higher education, states Valentino Cavalli, chairman of the Vietsch foundation. and NLnet has the same goals but for the entire internet community, so the collaboration is quite a natural match. The broad experience in supporting open source projects related to network technology and the extensive network of NLnet Foundation built over decades extends our own operational capabilities. And of course we hope that our example will inspire others to contribute to the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund, because it really delivers a lot of value for money.

NLnet Foundation has a long history in supporting projects around the world that contribute to a free, secure and robust Internet, adds Marc Gauw, chairman of Board of NLnet. There is an overwhelming need for the type of small-scale funding NLnet provides, clearly also from the Research and Education network community. Contrary to popular expectation (and perhaps commons sense) there is only very limited funding available for independent contributions in the area of internet infrastructure. So important and urgent projects actually struggle to get funded, which is a loss for everybody. Through the new fund and the launching contribution of Vietsch Foundation, we are now able to select and award additional project proposals - which is of course wonderful.

The Vietsch Foundation was created by an endowment from the late dr. W. Karel Vietsch, who was the Secretary General of TERENA, the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association. Karel was very involved in the Internet community, says dr. ir. Antoinette Vietsch, member of the Board of Trustees at Vietsch Foundation. He spent a large part of his life working in the area of research and education networking, which he help developing with his energy, creativity and thorough methodical approach. Through the projects supported by the Vietsch Foundation and now the Research and Higher Education Technology Fund his mission to support people and new developments continues this after his unfortunate death.

The fund is already operational. Proposals can be sent through the website of NLnet, at The next deadline for submission is October 1st 2016.

Not to be published

More information about the "Research and Higher Education Technology Fund" can be found on its homepage:

About Vietsch Foundation (

Vietsch Foundation

The Vietsch Foundation is a charity that was established in February 2014 by the will of the late Secretary General of TERENA, Dr. W. Karel Vietsch. The mission of the Vietsch Foundation is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education.

Each year, the Vietsch Foundation awards a medal of honour to people who have contributed to the development of a service, technology or approach that will be of lasting value to the research and education networking community and its users.

The Foundation also contributes to the funding of specific research and development projects that demonstrate potential value to progress European and global research and education networking.

For further information contact:

  • Valentino Cavalli
  • John Dyer
    secretary at
    Phone +31 20 530 4488

About NLnet Foundation

NLnet Foundation

NLnet foundation is an independent organisation whose means come from donations and legacies. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to UUnet (now Verizon) and since that time NLnet has focussed on supporting the open internet, and the privacy and security of internet users.

Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. The articles of association for the NLnet foundation state: "to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose". NLnet's core business is to support independent organizations and people that contribute to an open information society and to a safe, secure and open internet.

A number of times a year NLnet organises a worldwide open call for projects to be supported. The long list of NLnet-supported projects includes NLnet Labs, Tor Hidden Services, Unhosted, Qubes, NOMA, Lantern project, FLOSS Manuals, KORUZA, RFID Guardian, WebODF, Jitsi, ARPA2, NoScript, CeroWRT and GNUnet.

Developers and researchers are invited to apply for grants.

For further information contact NLnet