KINBERCON 2017 Draws Record Attendance Showcasing How Next Generation Networks Foster Innovation and Bolster Research, Education, And Economic Development In Pennsylvania

KINBERCON 2017 Draws Record Attendance Showcasing How Next Generation Networks Foster Innovation and Bolster Research, Education, and Economic Development in Pennsylvania

For Immediate Release

Harrisburg, PA (April 14) — A record number of attendees, nearly 300 leaders and technologists, gathered April 3 – 5 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh to attend KINBERCON 2017, the sixth annual conference of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER). The annual event highlights KINBER’s key role as a catalyst for innovation and economic development and has emerged as the leading Pennsylvania conference convening people from across the commonwealth to learn about and discuss research, education and community network technologies, applications, strategies and collaborations in the region and nationwide.

“I want to challenge all of you to work with KINBER in our efforts to provide broadband connectivity to all corners of Pennsylvania, support the use of innovative technologies and foster a more diverse IT workforce. Consider what you and your organizations can do to help achieve these goals in your communities and neighboring communities,” said KINBER President and CEO Wendy Huntoon during the opening keynote.

”By leveraging our collective strengths and working together, we can continue to transform and improve our communities,” she said.

Huntoon also announced recipients of the KINBER Diversity Scholarship, which aims to broaden participation in the field of advanced networking technology. In its second year, applications for the scholarship were encouraged from women and minority applicants as well as from individuals who have never previously attended a KINBER annual conference. Each scholarship included admission to the conference and to one technical workshop. The 2017 Diversity Scholarship recipients were:

• Justin Hoenke, Benson Memorial Library
• Jennifer Kim, Montgomery County Community College
• James Monek, Lehigh University
• Marvin Roca Ruano, East Stroudsburg University

Showcasing innovative technologies and their uses is a hallmark of the conference, and attendees had several opportunities over the course of the event. The University of Cincinnati Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research, the Internet2 Metaverse Working Group, AT&T, and Samsung joined with KINBER to bring attendees the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 360 Video Experience Zone, where participants could try out virtual and augmented realities, including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft Hololens, Samsung GearVR, and Google Cardboard.

In addition, a drone flew inside the ballroom during the opening keynote compliments of Great Lakes Networking, which uses the drones to follow fiber routes for maintenance checks as well as scan remote territory for proposed fiber build opportunities.

The conference featured three working group sessions and 23 breakout sessions covering four tracks including general technology, Cloud, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity. KINBERCON 2017 also offered 10 technical training workshops including IPv6 certification, executive cyberthreat briefing, Preparing a Successful NSF Infrastructure Grant Proposal, and others.

National speakers enriched the dialogue, with presentations by representatives from Internet2, the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), and US Ignite. Attendees joining from fellow research and education networks including Connecticut Education Network, Merit (Michigan), MCNC (North Carolina), NJEdge (New Jersey), NYSERNet (New York), OARnet (Ohio), and 3Rox (Pennsylvania) also shared their expertise.

A conference highlight was this year’s riveting closing keynote, presented by David J. Hickton, founding director, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security. As a former United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Hickton has been an advocate for cybersecurity vigilance, as well as the development of methods to defend the nation’s systems infrastructure. He played an integral role in creating legal practices for cybercrime investigations and prioritized the prosecution of computer crimes throughout his tenure. During his timely remarks, he highlighted ongoing cyber threats and the need to provide a seamless and secure environment for accessing digital resources.

KINBER thanks the following sponsors for their support of this year’s conference and looks forward to KINBERCON 2018 in Hershey, PA:
• Platinum Sponsors – Integration Partners, AT&T
• Gold Sponsors – Carahsoft, VMware, Zscaler
• Silver Sponsors – Arista, Cisco, Cloudian, CONXX, Infoblox, Network Utility Force, and Palo Alto Networks
• Bronze Sponsors – Adva Optical Networking, DQE Communications, Ekinops, F5, Juniper Networks, Lightower Fiber Networks, Subspace Communications, Sun Mgt, TierPoint, and Zerto

The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) is Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education and community network. The non-profit membership organization is comprised of education, healthcare, economic development, libraries, public media, government and other non-profit organizations devoted to fostering collaboration through technology. Established in 2010 through a $99.6 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, KINBER provides network connectivity and services to more than 80 organizations in Pennsylvania. KINBER is committed to delivering equitable, reliable and affordable digital infrastructure and tools to inspire tomorrow’s scientific discoveries, enable the exchange of ideas and culture among diverse populations, educate the next generation of citizens and revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy. For more information, visit or follow @KINBER on Twitter.

Leslie Amorós
(717) 880-4196

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