Cleveland’s Internet2 Technology Exchange offers chance to envision, collaborate, innovate

This article originally appeared at The News-Herald and The Morning Journal

Northeast Ohio’s growing identity as a desirable place for the technology industry to thrive will be getting another upgrade when the Technology Exchange presented by Internet2 comes to the Cleveland Convention Center, Oct. 4-7.

Internet2, a global community of research, academic, industry and government leaders focused on innovative technology creation and collaboration, is bringing the conference to Cleveland in its second year with a theme of “Envision. Collaborate. Innovate.”

According to the nonprofit’s website, the Technology Exchange’s goal is providing opportunities to share expertise and advance the state of the art. Technologists, scientists, students and others will have a chance to build new connections and redefine the future of research and education in high-performance computing, virtualization, cloud services and a variety of other disciplines.

The event is hosted by a partnership between Case Western Reserve University, the Ohio Academic Resources Network and the Ohio Valley Internet2 Consortium, with additional support from OneCommunity, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit working to expand high-speed broadband access and adoption in the region.

Sue Workman, chief information officer of CWRU, cites several reasons for Cleveland being chosen as the site for this year’s Technology Exchange, including the people resource, the attractive climate for industries to settle here and OneCommunity’s 100-gigabit fiber optic network along Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor — the nation’s first commercially available network of its kind.

“Those kinds of things really are attractive to technical environments,” Workman said. “There’s also now several data centers popping up. The use of commercial data centers, to be able to host the kinds of infrastructure that you need is really an attraction as well.”

Focused on higher-education technology, the conference will have people from universities and institutions, as well as vendors, advanced technology demonstrations, workshops and keynote presentations from industry leaders.

Featured speakers include Susan M. Gordon, deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Charlie Catlett, founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data who will speak about open data and instrumenting cities based on work with the city of Chicago; and Workman herself, presenting with radiology professor Mark Griswold.

They will cover insights about how the partnership between CWRU and Microsoft HoloLens — the first fully untethered, see-through holographic computer — is transforming learning.

“HoloLens is a holographic, mixed-reality experience, really,” Workman said.

A Community Showcase is also planned, offering an informal venue featuring topics and demos given by the community. Those wishing to utilize the venue can submit abstracts aimed primarily at innovative research, new technological breakthroughs and in-session demonstrations that provoke discussion and interaction with attendees.

Programming isn’t just limited to the Convention Center, either, like an evening reception on Oct. 5 planned at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“And right before the Tech Exchange will be the think[box] grand opening,” Workman said. CWRU’s renovated new home for the innovation center, a $30 million facility, is set to open Oct. 1. “We’re hoping to get people through to see tours of that. The Health Education Complex will have a tremendous amount of technology, and we’ll be using the HoloLens to look at ‘how do we teach differently?’ There’s a lot going on right now.”

Registration information for the Technology Exchange is found on Internet2’s website, and the community has a #TechEX15 hashtag on Twitter for keeping up-to-date with news.

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