Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently announced the approval of $9.8 million in funding to build the high-speed Lonestar Education And Research Network (LEARN) for Texas higher education institutions, and to construct the Texas Internet Grid for Research and Education (TIGRE) to enable these institutions to access and share resources, collaborate on research, and facilitate online teaching and remote learning. This initiative will help Texas universities and industrial partners work together, as well as magnify their capabilities and the impact of their collective research expertise, as similar initiatives in many other states have done.
"This will not only enhance the opportunity for students at Texas educational institutions to be part of the emerging world of worldwide collaborations, but also allow them to participate in leading-edge research using state, national and global resources and information infrastructures that form the basis for a significant and rapidly growing part of the economy," said Lennart Johnsson, Cullen Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Texas Learning and Computation Center at the University of Houston. "In Houston, we are already in the process of establishing a metropolitan high-speed network connecting UH, Rice University and institutions in the Texas Medical Center to the LEARN network and the National Lambda Rail."
"The collaboration between the higher education institutions in Houston and around the state has been phenomenal," said Chuck Shomper, chief information officer for the University of Houston, chair of the South East Texas GigaPOP and a member of the LEARN Board of Directors.