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Louis Papaemmanuel, Project Director of iMENTORS, SU, presented iMENTORS at the IST-Africa Conference (06 - 09 May, Mauritius) during Session 8d: eInfrastructures (08 May). IST-Africa 2014 focused on the Role of ICT for Africa's Development and specifically on Applied ICT research in the areas of eHealth, Technology Enhanced Learning and ICT Skills, Digital Libraries, Open Source Software, eInfrastructures, Societal Implications of Technology and eGovernment.

iMENTORS (www.imentors.eu) is an interactive resource, the first of its kind, to contain  information about all known e-infrastructures in Africa in the past five years. Launched for public use and input in July 2013 iMENTORS provides you with the necessary tool to visualise e-infrastructures and all related projects in Africa.

Louis Papaemmanuel explained how using iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid. Data acquisition and validation will continue to progress until the end of the project. By the end of the project the interactive system will contain at least 80% of all e-infrastructure available in Africa. 

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Louis Papaemmanuel, Project Director of iMENTORS, SU, will present iMENTORS at the IST-Africa Conference during Session 8d: eInfrastructures (Thursday, May 08, 2014). He will explain how using iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid. IST-Africa 2014 is taking place in Mauritius (06 - 09 May) and is the ninth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences.

 

iMENTORS (www.imentors.eu) is an interactive resource, the first of its kind, to contain  information about all known e-infrastructures in Africa in the past five years. Launched for public use and input in July 2013 iMENTORS provides you with the necessary tool to visualise e-infrastructures and all related projects in Africa.

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Monitoring & evaluation (M&E) is an integral part of the life-cycle approach underlying RBM (see Figure below). M&E provide invaluable information for decision-making and lessons learned for the future (United Nations Development Group 2011).

iMENTORS team for Platform customization and integration has been working on the method for performing 'what-if' analyses in the context of e-infrastructure projects as well as on a method for following-up on ongoing projects relative to the expectations outlined in its early proposal stage.

The method is generalized into a method for project risk-opportunity analysis monitoring the state of expected threat to project success and expected favour to the project given that external factors develop in different ways (factors such as mobile internet speed, analphabetism, Internet dissemination).

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Africa as a region and as individual countries, is slowly making a steady progress towards establishing national and Regional Research and Educational Networks (RRENs). Although still in its infancy compared to other world regions such as Europe where each country has an active National Research and Educational Networks (NRENs) with established regional networks such as TERENA, iMENTORS database provides evidence for tremendous progress over the past few years.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are currently three RRENs in Africa namely; West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), Ubuntu Alliance which consists of Eastern and Southern African countries,  and the North African block which belongs to Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN).

Overal, iMENTORS has mapped 23 individual NRENs, 13 of which are members of Ubuntu Alliance, 6 WACREN members and 4 ASREN members. Check out our map!

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The iMENTORS project is in the process of mapping e-infrastructure data across the Sub-Sahara African region. Data captured by iMENTORS aims to support bi-regional research cooperation through interactive information search tools. Check out our map!

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Athina Vrakatseli, project Dissemination and Sustainability leader and Head of Policy Development Unit at Gov2u, was present at ICRI 2014. The 2nd International Conference on Research Infrastructures (2-4 April 2014 - Megaron Athens International Conference Centre) managed to highlight how global research infrastructures can respond to the grand challenges that the world is facing today, what lessons have been learned from the past, and what the priorities and directions are for the future.

 

“Plenary Session 1: Research Infrastructures for Global Challenges” set the tone for the whole conference while the other sessions discussed specific examples of challenges that need to be tackled for both single-site and distributed global facilities.

Research Infrastructures (RIs) play an increasingly central role in the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge. They are key instruments in bringing together a wide diversity of stakeholders to look for solutions to many of the challenges society is facing today. “We need intelligent openness”, said Geoffrey Boulton, Regius professor of Geology, University of Edinburgh, The Royal Society, UK.

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iMENTORS has embarked on a number of partnerships with external partners for the purpose of data sharing and communication. A Memorandum of understanding (MoU), a document describing a bilateral agreement, was signed in March 2013 between iMENTORS and AFRICA BUILD indicating an intended common line of action. AFRICA BUILD and iMENTORS have a common interest in cooperating closely to achieve their respective objectives and promote research in Africa. The MoU specifies the way in which such cooperation will be undertaken.

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Athina Vrakatseli, project Dissemination and Sustainability leader and Head of Policy Development Unit at Gov2u,will be present at ICRI 2014. The 2nd International Conference on Research Infrastructures (2-4 April 2014 - Megaron Athens International Conference Centre) offers a high level international forum where key stakeholders can meet, discuss and contribute to bringing forward global issues related to Research Infrastructures. Co-organised by the European Commission and the Greek EU Presidency of the European Union, it will take forward the recommendations of ICRI 2012, which took place in Denmark and the 3rd EU-Australia Research Infrastructure workshop that took place in Canberra in November 2013.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The conference is expected to attract more than 700 international participants during three days and will include an exhibition of demonstrations and videos of international research infrastructure projects. It will include intense deliberations, discussions and exchange of knowledge, opinions and ideas among the leading people in RI development today around the globe! And in just the right place: Greece, where science and research were raised to one of humanities most prominent and valuable pursuits!

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A paper presenting iMENTORS tool for analysis of contextual factors will be presented at the World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (WorldCIST) under the "Intelligent and Decision Support Systems" section, on the 15th April 2014 at Madeira Island, Portugal and will be published by Springer in a book of Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing series.

The paper is titled "Quantitative scenario-based assessment of contextual factors for ICT4D projects: Design And Implementation in a web based tool", written by iMENTORS team members: Anton Talantsev, Aron Larsson, Florence Nameere Kivunike, David Sundgren.

 

Image courtesy of sheelamohan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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iMENTORS is mapping terrestrial networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The goal is to identify areas on the map underserved by network operators and providers.  These areas also represent good opportunities for governments and the private sector to invest in e-infrastructure projects. 

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The dawn of the final launch of a new and comprehensive database on einfrastructures across Africa is steadily approaching. After a successful initial round of data extraction and recording, the iMENTORS team has now embarked on the validation of the information, in addition to further data collection regarding any infrastructures that are not yet recorded in the system.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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iMENTORS is able to synchronize its data with other databases, fully utilizing Open Data and  Web 2.0 interconnectivity. Our development team has created API processes to include information from CORDIS and the World Bank database, in order to create the largest online repository of eInfrastructure data. 

Join us, learn about eInfrastructure projects in the area you are interested in and contribute your own information to our constantly growing database!

 

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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The iMENTORS e- newsletter keeps you abreast of any new project developments and relevant topics.

Click here to read the latest issue

Click here to join our newsletter

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iMENTORS statistics have now been completed for all data recorded up until Dec. 15th!  During the last recording period, we added a total of 1398 new organizations and 413 new projects to our database, an increase over the last recording period of approximately 67% and 290%, respectively.  In addition, we recorded 330 research infrastructures - a brand new category of information now uploaded and available for search in the iMENTORS database. 

Is your organization among the new additions to the iMENTORS database?  Check our map today!


 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The latest addition to the iMENTORS database is the Connect 4 Change project.  Connect 4 Change is a consortium of five Dutch development and ICT organizations collaborating to accelerate the realization of the Millennium Development Goals through the use of ICT. The program supports ICT initiatives in the areas of education, health and agricultural and economic development, and members of the consortium have funded nearly sixty different ICT projects in Africa. The consortium works with local partners in many different countries, including Burkino Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

 

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Holiday greetings

Posted by on in Project Updates

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Louis Papaemmanuel, Director of the iMENTORS project was invited to speak at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, in the framework of the AUC Internet/ICT Week held on Dec. 2-6 2013. The week is part of a series of events organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) / African Union (AU).

Image courtesy of Kookkai_nak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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iMENTORS hosted  a workshop with the e-infrastructure stakeholders in Africa, to collect input and encourage the crowdsourcing efforts and participation on the platform.

Over 200 delegates attended the event including: institutions, national and international companies, SMEs, academia, research institutes, etc. Louis Papaemmanuel had the opportunity to showcase the 3rd release of the iMENTORS platform, and introduce the novel functionalities which were launched in October 2013, including amongst other the latest data inventories added to the database, the new crowdsourcing functionalities, and brand new slick design of the interface. Louis shared the panel with other representatives and stakeholders of the e-Infrastructures realm, such as the directors of the Nigerian NREN and representatives of the WACREN RREN.

With a wide range of themes explored, a comprehensive programme ensured all participants developed international, cross-cutting contacts and enhanced their knowledge and expertise.

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iMENTORS version three went live today and is one step closer to mapping the majority of e-infrastructure (resources, tools and data supporting community research and development) of the past five years in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to lay a foundation for better services, encourage research and connect cross-continental progress. The aim of iMENTORS is to help scientists, universities, research and education networks as well as policy-makers and international funders to gain valuable insights on the gaps and progress made in the region and to identify synergies when planning future ICT initiatives within the African continent.

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Access and make creative use of the huge amount of data available!

iMENTORS version three went live today and is one step closer to mapping the majority of e-infrastructure (resources, tools and data supporting community research and development) of the past five years in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to lay a foundation for better services, encourage research and connect cross-continental progress. The aim of iMENTORS is to help scientists, universities, research and education networks as well as policy-makers and international funders to gain valuable insights on the gaps and progress made in the region and to identify synergies when planning future ICT initiatives within the African continent.

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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