WACREN collaborates with NII on research and development of Open Science infrastructure

Accra, Ghana, 15 March 2019 - The National Institute of Informatics, Research Organization of Information and Systems (NII/Director General: Dr. Masaru Kitsuregawa/Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan), and The West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN/CEO: Dr. Boubakar Barry/Accra, Ghana) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the research and development of open science infrastructure.   In the first project, NII and WACREN will start the joint development of a repository and research data management system.  The new system will encourage researchers to share their research output and consequently facilitate Open Science.

Prof. Kazu Yamaji and Dr Boubakar Barry at the signing in WACREN 2019 Conference

National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) aim to provide high-speed Internet service for research and education communities of their respective countries.  They also develop and provide scholarly communication infrastructure as “above the net” services by integrating tools to support researcher workflows across various disciplines in response to demands from member institutions, which rely on them for shared services and economies of scale.

Open Science is a new movement attracting global attention that seeks to make scientific processes and results more transparent and accessible. It involves making complete research materials, data, and lab procedures freely available online in addition to the research papers. Sharing these materials allows others to evaluate, use, and analyze them in new ways, which speed up scientific discoveries, reduce unnecessary duplication of experiments, and provide a mechanism for innovation, social justice and economic growth.

NII is developing a new e-research infrastructure for facilitating open science by using a repository system and a research data management (RDM) layer as the main components. The institutional repository is a system for collecting and disseminating the research output of institutions. NII has been developing a new repository system called WEKO3. More than 500 institutions in Japan use the current WEKO2 system through a cloud service named JAIRO Cloud. WACREN has a similar NREN-driven service model for African universities as NII, so cooperation will lead to the development of new functionality and sharing of experiences in the pilot operation.

In the research cycle, the RDM system is used before the research output is put into the repository. Appropriate management of data between collaborators can accelerate research and is important for research integrity. The RDM system is used in the researcher’s daily activities, so its integration with the repository system is expected to lower barriers and promote open science activity. Supporting RDM is new to both NII and WACREN; therefore, the collaboration will use contributions and experience from both partners to develop the institutional RDM system and deploy it in their respective communities.


About the National Institute of Informatics (NII)
NII is Japan’s only academic research institute dedicated to the new discipline of informatics. Its mission is to "create future value" in informatics. NII conducts both long-term basic research and practical research aimed at solving social problems in a wide range of informatics research fields, from fundamental theories to the latest topics, such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and information security.

As an inter-university research institute, NII builds and operates academic information infrastructure essential for the research and educational activities of the entire academic community (including the Science Information Network) as well as developing services such as those that enable the provision of academic content and service platforms. https://www.nii.ac.jp/en/

About the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN)
The West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) supports interconnections and fosters collaboration between R&E institutions in the region and international peers by building and operating a world-class network infrastructure, developing state-of-the-art services, promoting collaboration among national, regional, and international R&E communities, and building the human capacity of the REN community. 

WACREN was constituted in 2010, and membership is open to all 22 countries in the region. It currently has 13 participating National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. WACREN deploys cloud-based infrastructure to ease technological challenges experienced by many of its members. https://www.wacren.net

Press Contact:

National Institute of Informatics, Research Organization of Information and Systems

Publicity Team
Tel: +81-3-4212-2164
E-mail: media@nii.ac.jp

The West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN)

Media Team
Tel: +233 20 522 8693
E-mail: media@wacren.net

Registration for WACREN 2019 open!

You can now register for the WACREN 2019 Conference and Annual General Meeting to be held in Accra, Ghana on 14-15 March 2019.

The Programme Committee has put together an exciting programme for the participants; please do also consult the General Schedule of the WACREN 2019 Week.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a number of fun and exciting social events. Each event offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the local culture and network with fellow attendees.  

Venue and Accommodation
The venue of the event is the Accra Marriott Hotel.  The negotiated rate for bed and breakfast is $180.   

Please follow this link to book your group rate for WACREN 

A special rate of $150 (single occupancy) for bed & breakfast has also been negotiated in the nearby ibis Styles hotel.   Please use this booking form to make reservations and forward to HA0K0-RE@accor.com

These recommended hotels are close to the airport and provide free transfers.   

Forex bureaus, as well as ATMs, are available at the airport and in these hotels.  Banks are generally open only from Monday to Friday (8 am – 4 pm) and Saturday morning, but ATMs are accessible 24/7.

If you need a visa for Ghana and there is a Ghanaian embassy in your country of residence, we recommend that you apply for a visa there; this will save you some time when you arrive at Accra airport.   Visas can, however, be issued on arrival for a fee of $150 if the option is selected on the registration form before February 22, 2019.

If you hold a passport from an ECOWAS country, you don’t need a visa to enter Ghana.

Quick links:

·       Conference website: https://indico.wacren.net/event/71/

·       LIBSENSE II Workshop: https://indico.wacren.net/event/77/

Don’t miss WACREN 2019 and a historical event: the first to be hosted in a connected NREN.

We look forward to welcoming you to Accra!


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