Charting a Global Course in Clean, Green Technology

Montreal and San Diego, Oct. 14, 2010 -- Calit2 will participate in a workshop in Montreal, Canada, next month to support continued research and development as well as activities to secure public and private sector investment from both California and Canada aimed at launching a bilateral 'Green ICT' consortium by 2012. The Montreal meeting was confirmed in a news release from Prompt, Québec‟s premier information and communication technologies (ICT) R&D consortia, announcing new strategic partnerships with China and California. 

Delegates from Calit2 and Canadian agencies including Prompt and CANARIE attend the first Canada-California planning meeting in September at Calit2. The follow-on meeting will take place in Montreal in mid-November.

"Calit2 believes it is essential to develop testbeds that support the measurement of ICT carbon footprint and demonstrate that the smart application of ICT can create new opportunities for GHG reductions," said Dr. Larry Smarr, the founding Director of Calit2, a research institute between the San Diego and Irvine campuses of the University of California. “Our participation in the development of this Canada-California consortium directly supports this goal, and builds on a growing number of Calit2 projects that use our universities as ‘living laboratories’ to showcase how to create a greener future."

Prompt said that its new strategic partnerships with China and California will help to bolster Québec‟s global leadership in Green ICT, and create new R&D and business opportunities for researchers and companies in Québec and across Canada. With an emphasis on cooperative action and delivery on its Green ICT strategy, Prompt co-hosted bilateral workshops in China and California that brought together industry, academic and government leaders, and achieved initial outcomes that will enable broader global collaboration in Green ICT. These include: 

  • The engagement of the Shanghai Research Center for Wireless Communications (WiCO) of China in the GreenStar Network (GSN), a CANARIE-funded initiative led by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) that aims to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) emerging from ICT-based services. WiCO‟s participation in GSN further evolves this pan-Canadian consortium into a broader global R&D initiative. WiCO will help to facilitate bilateral research in the application of wireless technologies that reduce carbon emissions.
  • A commitment to connect the GreenLight Project (an energy-efficient computer processing initiative led by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the GreenStar Network, enabling researchers in Canada and California to access a broader array of tools, technologies and testbeds at a distance, and collaborate on the development of Green ICT solutions. This was one of several outcomes emerging from the first strategic planning meeting (hosted by Calit2 in San Diego in September) on the development of a proposed Canada-California Green ICT consortium. This initiative aims to create a strategic bilateral approach to Green ICT R&D, commercialization and funding.

Calit2 director Larry Smarr (far left) meets with representatives from Canadian agencies involved in developing a bilateral Green ICT consortium.
These outcomes mark important progress on the implementation of Prompt‟s Green ICT Strategy. By delivering on key objectives with international partners, Prompt is further leveraging provincial and federal funds, and helping to create a global Green ICT community of interest with greater critical mass. This collaborative approach is required to fully realize the global potential of Green ICT – from the reduction of more than 1 billion metric tons of carbon to $800 billion in projected worldwide annual energy cost savings by 2020. It will also deliver economic benefits to local researchers and companies in Québec and across Canada, facilitating access to new global R&D expertise, investment, and markets. 

Prompt is coming together with researchers at McGill University and the UCSD division of Calit2 to pursue a bold vision: the development and application of high performance networks, ICT-based infrastructure and solutions that increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. This green cyber-infrastructure will enable the storage, processing and transmission of information, maximizing positive environmental benefits while minimizing negative impact. It has a wealth of applications, from university campuses to governments, and industrial sectors across the economy.

Last month, with support from the Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP), Prompt, McGill and Calit2 co-organized the first of two working meetings that will help to propel the launch of a novel Canada-California Consortium that enables the development and application of green cyber-infrastructure. The organizations have established a bilateral team that brings together 10 Canadian universities, two UC campuses and CANARIE in support of this goal. 

On September 20 and 21, 2010, more than 15 academic and industry stakeholders from both jurisdictions convened in San Diego, California to begin the development of an R&D business plan that will help turn their vision into reality. This meeting facilitated discussion on complementary R&D strengths, shared priorities, market opportunities, and funding strategies, and generated three key outcomes:

  • A commitment to connect California‟s GreenLight initiative and the GreenStar Network, and enable researchers in Canada and California to access a broader array of tools, technologies and testbeds for Green ICT – in the lab and at a distance
  • The identification of initial priorities for the consortium, including: the development of international standards for quantifying ICT-based Greenhouse Gas emission reductions; collaborative Green ICT R&D with potential application in intelligent transportation
  • The definition of near-term actions that increase advocacy and educate key stakeholders in industry, academia and government about the value of Green ICT

“Building on the objectives of Prompt’s Green ICT strategy – and with a strong focus on market pull, this proposed consortium will give lift to Green ICT R&D projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. Charles Despins, President and CEO of Prompt. “This includes the development of low-carbon networks and ICT applications, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standards and Green ICT business models that could establish a blue print for innovators around the world.”

Related Links

Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership 
GreenStar Network

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825,