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Gov. Barbour Announces Technology Network For Universities




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MissiON – the Mississippi Research Network will enhance state, higher education competitivenessJACKSONGov. Haley Barbour today announced the creation of MissiON, the Mississippi research network, an expanded broadband technology system to serve the state’s research universities and facilities. The project was created in collaboration with AT&T.The network will serve the Mississippi Research Consortium – comprised of the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University; the University of Mississippi Medical Center; the Mississippi Department of Information Technology; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and the Stennis Space Center.“This network will transform our universities’ research capabilities and academic competitiveness on a global scale,” Gov. Barbour said. “I thank AT&T, the members of the Consortium, our state ITS staff and other partners for making this project a reality. This will have tremendous impact on Mississippi. Researchers will be able to share massive amounts of complex data quickly, enhancing their work in a variety of areas from medicine to manufacturing. This is work that often leads to the creation of new companies and jobs for Mississippians.”The network will be completed by the end of 2011. The $16 million project is funded through the state’s existing contract with AT&T to provide technology services to the state. The network will be unique in that it stretches into all regions of the state and places Mississippi on an even playing field with neighboring states.“As the State of Mississippi’s landline communications provider, AT&T is proud to provide the robust network infrastructure and technology at the heart of the MissiON network,” said Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T – Mississippi.  “This new investment in Mississippi’s communications infrastructure enhances the already significant capabilities of our leading research universities and delivers new capabilities to the public communications network that may be leveraged by others and drive increased economic activity.”The Mississippi Research Network will provide the universities with 20 times the broadband capacity currently in use, drastically improving the research universities’ capacity to quickly crunch data and share information between campuses. The network will allow our universities to aggressively pursue grant opportunities to support academic research. Currently, consortium members have $380.7 million of federally funded research dependant on access to large data pipelines. Projects that rely on high-tech computing power include, the Jackson Heart Study at Jackson State and UMMC, agricultural and environmental modeling projects at Mississippi State, disaster simulations and marine research at Ole Miss, medical research at UMMC, and biomedical and technological research at Southern Miss.“The Mississippi Research Network will make our universities more competitive academically and boost our ability to compete for federal grants to continue the cutting-edge research we’re performing on our campuses,” said Dr. Felix Okojie, chairman of the Mississippi Research Consortium and Vice President for Research and Federal Relations at Jackson State University. “We appreciate the work by AT&T and the state to implement this program and support education.”]]]]> ]]>

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