​2018 GÉANT Community Award: A unanimous decision


One winner and one category triumphed at the 2018 GÉANT Community Award; this year’s awards panel had no hesitation in selecting the successful nominee in the category ‘impactful contributors to the GÉANT project or wider community activities over a sustained period of time’: the decision was unanimous.


Andres Steijaert (SURFnet) was honoured for his contribution to research and education networking, but specifically ‘for perseverance and dedication in the work undertaken to bring cloud offerings to the GÉANT community’. The award was presented on Monday 11th June, during TNC18’s opening plenary session, in Trondheim, Norway.


About Andres Steijaert

Andres Steijaert from SURFnet is cloud activity leader in GÉANT. He coordinates the cloud collaboration of the European NRENs in GÉANT, to make clouds safe and easy to use. The NRENs share expertise and resources, align road maps and jointly engage the market. The GÉANT cloud team works on business processes for service delivery and adoption, does joint procurements to establish favourable conditions of use and provides an underlying infrastructure that links cloud services to the identity management and network capabilities of GÉANT and the NRENs. Andres is also a frequent speaker, nationally and internationally on cloud computing.


Andres said: “Receiving the GÉANT Community award is a big surprise. I am honoured and grateful, especially because this award shows the appreciation from the community. That means a lot to me. Working together with colleagues from GÉANT and the NRENs is a pleasure. I am proud that through our collaboration we can make an impact and help research and education use cloud services in a safe and easy manner. For me, the GÉANT Community Award is an encouragement to continue these joint efforts. Thank you!”


The following words, which summarise the reasons behind the nominations submitted in favour of Andres, are a heartfelt testament and recognition of the vital role that he has played, and continues to play, within the European NREN community.


Inspiring nominations

Andres has been the driving force behind the innovative cloud services activity for many years. It is time to recognise his perseverance and dedication to the work he has undertaken to bring cloud offerings to our community. With limitless optimism and energy, but also great organising and negotiating skills, Andres has driven the cloud project from a first idea to the current state. The cloud initiative has spanned many GÉANT project phases, it has been a long journey that is now starting to see the fruits of all the work, which was specifically praised at the most recent EC review, and the benefits of this new procurement tool to the NRENs’ user communities. Andres should be commended for at all times remaining committed and professional to achieving the vision, he’s been the ideal person for the role. He values and welcomes the contributions from all who are able to provide resource and has overseen and managed successfully the transition between individuals and teams through the phases of the project.


Ingrid Melve, on behalf of the award panel, commented: “With his persistence, ability and consistent effort, Andres has changed the way NRENs collaborate and has harmoniously brought the community together.”


More about the Community Award

With the Community Award, GÉANT honours people who have contributed significant ideas, time and expertise to the development of the research and education networking community‘s collaborative achievements. This year’s panel of judges comprised: Valter Nordh, chair of the GÉANT Community Committee, Christian Grimm, chair of the GÉANT Board of Directors, Ingrid Melve, host of TNC18 and chair of the Programme Committee, and Tor Holmen, interim CEO for Uninett.