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A FORESIGHT STUDY APPLIED TO NATIONAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION NETWORKS

A. Yaver1, J.M. Sánchez-Torres1, M.A. Amortegui2, L. Giraldo2

1Universidad Nacional de Colombia (COLOMBIA)
2Red Nacional Académica de Tecnología Avanzada RENATA (COLOMBIA)
The aim of this paper is to show a foresight study for a Colombian NREN which has three goals:
i) to identify trends related to innovation, quality, appropriation and dissemination of services offered by several NRENs;
ii) to identify the national capabilities related to these services comparing with the international NRENs; and,
iii) to propose lines for strategy management on advanced technology services for the Colombian NREN, that is called RENATA.

The approach of this study was conducted by using competitive intelligence and foresight techniques, which means: a planning process in order to obtain the definition of the exercise scope, the establishment of relevant aspects for searching and analysing; a benchmarking process in order to identify services trends; a gathering process using a survey for RENATA’s users; a validation process with an international expert panel.

The main result related to the international benchmarking enabled to conclude, among other things, that more network services are being built to provide dark fibber links to users, increasing the flexibility and agility in the delivery of new and better services, this is a trend that will continue and that should be encouraged. Also, collaborations with mobile service providers should be established to offer academically innovative solutions to users.

Colombia, along with countries such as Canada, Spain and Brazil, reached a precedent respect to the potential that open the participation of non-university hospitals for remote care in the health sector.

Related to the perception of the RENATA’s services the main results showed that professors, researchers and TI coordinators are the most frequent users of the services. In addition to this the services of advanced connectivity, video conferencing, live streaming, and virtual office, are the most known and used by members of the network. The little relationship and collaboration with companies of the industrial sector and Government agencies is the main barrier to the development of services, according to user’s answers.

The international expert panels gave a feedback to these results and some guidelines for the direction of RENATA are obtained.