UPF and DE-CIX create chair and an Interconnection Academy to promote global knowledge-base on network interconnection



One of the main objectives of partnership is to create the DE-CIX-UPF Interconnection Academy, offering joint training and certificates of achievement and excellence.

DE-CIX , the world’s leading Internet Exchange (IX) operator, and the Pompeu Fabra University , a leading institution in Barcelona with international standards in research, innovation and teaching, announce today their partnership in the field of interconnection, to create a standardized global education and training program for developing talent in the interconnection industry. The DE-CIX UPF Global Interconnection Academy will be established to promote teaching, research and the transfer and dissemination of knowledge in of the interconnection of data networks. The training program will prepare high potentials, well recognized and highly knowledgeable interconnection professionals for the market, by combining advanced technical, operational, and business-related knowledge. At a signing ceremony on October 15, the new Chair, which is linked to the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the UPF, was formalized.

One of the main objectives of the partnership is the creation of the Interconnection Academy, with the aim of standardizing knowledge related to the interconnection of networks to exchange Internet traffic, with the definition of a training curriculum in this topic area. At the same time, a further aim of the partnership is to create a joint and globally recognized certification of achievement for the multiple levels of this training program, and disseminate the activities initiated in Barcelona worldwide through further partners in the interconnection and educational sectors.

Promoting talent creation for the coming digital decades

"We are delighted to be working with the Universitat Pompeu Fabra on developing our global training program to support the creation of talents worldwide with advanced interconnection business and engineering skills and knowledge. Developing talent for the interconnection industry is of major importance for the coming decades, as increasing numbers of newcomers from the enterprise sector recognize the advantages of taking their interconnection needs into their own hands. As our first partner in this educational endeavour, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra will support us in creating a structured and relevant curriculum for the DE-CIX Interconnection Academy, and will remain our long-term partner for training within Europe, as we roll out the training program globally," states Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International, on the signing of the collaboration agreement.

"The knowledge we generate at the university impacts positively on societal wellbeing. UPF is a good university in terms of teaching and research but we need to intensify our transfer of knowledge activity. To intensify our collaboration with strategic stakeholders, such as DE-CIX, will be a priority for the coming years. Today’s agreement joins two leading actors in their respective areas of work. The pandemic has shown us how important a functioning, secure, and reliable digital infrastructure is for all areas of life. There is no need to emphasize how much we can achieve by working together on this strategic area.", states Oriol Amat, rector of the Pompeu Fabra University.

For Miquel Oliver , Chair of the newly-founded Interconnection Academy, "having DE-CIX, a world leader in Internet interconnection, as an ally at the University is a privilege. It allows us to help enhance the Internet connectivity of Catalonia, and all its business networks, with the world." Oliver adds: "The UPF’s involvement in the creation of the Interconnection Academy, a joint training offer endorsed by the University, will allow us to attract talent in this field - one of the fastest growing sectors before, during and after the pandemic." Finally, he assured that "it is essential to have good professionals - network engineers who master topics such as Internet protocols, advanced communications services, and cybersecurity, as well as the associated business models."

The collaboration agreement between DE-CIX and the UPFwas signed by Oriol Amat , rector of the UPF, and Ivo Ivanov , CEO of DE-CIX International. On behalf of the UPF, the event was attended by Daniel Serra , Rector’s Delegate for Business Chairs; Sergi Jordŕ , Director of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies; Miquel Oliver , professor of the same department, who assumes the position of Director of the Chair, and Pau Fernández , Head of Institutional Fundraising (UPFund). Representing DE-CIX were Theresa Bobis , Regional Director Southern Europe, and Alberto Egido , Senior Marketing Manager Southern Europe.

Activities to be developed by the Chair

The Chair will be based at the Poblenou campus of the UPF, which will allow the use of its classrooms and facilities to develop the objectives of the agreement. The University will contribute to the development of the Chair’s activities by providing teaching and research staff, scientific-technical and administrative infrastructure.

The actions to be carried out by the Chair will include activities, such as the organization of conferences with relevant experts in the field, the definition and development of joint research lines, the promotion of joint doctoral theses or cooperation in obtaining research projects, both national and international.

Training activities will also be developed, including the creation of prizes for end-of-degree, master’s or thesis projects, as well as for works or other competitions, internship plans in companies, or cooperation in the design and teaching of subjects.

Finally, knowledge transfer activities will be developed, such as the organization of dissemination events on technical and technological aspects, the industrialization of research results in commercial lines, or the promotion of research publications.

Two leading institutions in the Internet world

With more than 25 years in business, DE-CIX runs close to 30 Internet Exchanges globally and is home to the largest neutral interconnection ecosystem worldwide. DE-CIX has been a part of the global Internet community ever since its establishment and sees itself as an independent trailblazer for digitalization. Since the very beginning, DE-CIX has had a decisive influence on the shaping of the Internet - in a range of leading global bodies, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) - by co-defining framework conditions for the Internet of the present and the future, and also heavily investing in its own Research & Development approaches for the future of the Internet and data traffic.

UPF is a leading university in Barcelona, with international standards in research, innovation and teaching, which includes a set of research groups within its Department of Information and Communication Technologies that deal with the topics of interest of DE-CIX in the field of interconnection. The Research Group on Telecommunication Technologies and Strategies (NETS), led by Miquel Oliver, is one of the UPF groups linked to this area.


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