2020 ISIF Asia Grant recipients announced

ISIF Asia has awarded USD 120,000 to four organizations to support network operations research and development for the benefit of the region.

2020 Internet Operations Research Grant Recipients

Four grants of USD 30,000 each were allocated to four research and development projects focused on the availability, reliability, and security of the Internet, with a particular focus on practical solutions around operational stability and security. The 2020 ISIF Asia Grant Recipients and the main focus of their projects are:

Open Lawful Intercept for Asia Pacific. University of Waikato. New Zealand. To support further development and expand adoption in the Asia Pacific of OpenLI, the only open source software capable of meeting the ETSI standards for lawful interception.

IPv6 Deployment at Enterprises. IIESoc. India. To work collaboratively with a nonprofit industry consortium in the United States, Industry Network Technology Council (INTC), to address the issue of IPv6 adoption at large brick-and-mortar enterprises in the APAC region.

Collaborative Honeynet Threat Sharing Platform. Swiss German University (SGU), Badan Siber & Sandi Negara (BSSN) and Indonesia Honeynet Project (IHP). Indonesia.
This project aims to extend the design of the existing Honeynet Threat Sharing Platform to provide a broader range of honeypot support, a more complete threat database and threat correlation to allow organizations to easily share information with each other in a consistent format in ASEAN economies.

Experiment and improve reinforcement learning algorithms to enhance anomalous network behaviour detection. TeleMARS Pty Ltd. Australia. To research various machine learning algorithms that may effectively monitor, analyze, and detect anomalous traffic at devices connections, and/or anomalous traffic at routers/links. This project will investigate how reinforcement learning algorithms such as GANs would perform against other machine learning algorithms such as classification, statistical and deep learning algorithms.

The APNIC Foundation and ISIF Asia thanks all applicants for sharing their ideas, the Selection Committee members for their hard work, and APNIC for their generous funding contributions for 2020.

Report Available! Honeynet Threat Sharing Platform

This project, led by Charles Lim from the Swiss German University in Indonesia, in collaboration with Indonesia Honeynet Project and Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara.

With the continuous rise of cyber security threats, monitoring security potential threats and attacks become essential to plan for cyber defense. Honeypot, a decoy system designed to lure attackers, has been used to track and learn attacker’s behavior. Collecting attacker’s interactions with honeypot at different location inside different organization’s premises provide useful and more complete picture of the landscape of current cyber security threats. The log of the attacks to the honeypots become an essential cyber security threat information that could be shared to many of the security incident analyst at different organization to provide a relevant and contextual threat intelligence.

The objective of this research was to provide a sharing platform for any organizations in Indonesia (later can be applied to ASEAN and/or Asia Pacific countries) to share security threats information collected using honeypots in the relevant organization in the related countries to other organizations in Asia Pacific. To start with, the research began to develop and share the security threat information collected from different provinces to all related organizations in Indonesia.

The project is open to any researchers (men or women) who is interested to help building better security posture in their respected countries or any Asia Pacific countries. This is the first time we combine research effort between government, education institution and cyber security community to build a security threat information platform. The completed project is expected to bring significant contributions to raise not only the participation of security threat information contribution but also the overall potential security posture of the Internet in Asia Pacific.

The final technical report is available for review here.

Congratulations to the ISIF Asia Grantees for 2019

This year ISIF Asia selected 6 organizations in the Asia Pacific to receive USD 20,000 to support research and development of Internet technologies for the benefit of the region. The ideas they submitted for the 2019 call for proposals highlight the main technical, operational and development issues that concern the Asia Pacific Internet community and concrete solutions to address them. This year’s funding round marks our 11th anniversary of operation in the Asia Pacific, and a total of USD 120,000 was allocated.

The application process this year, as the topics for our grants get more specialized, attracted highly relevant proposals and highlighted how a variety of stakeholders are working towards the development of the Internet. We see those as great indicators about the relevance of ISIF Asia as a mechanism to support the development of the Internet across the region. We received 70 proposals from 17 economies.

The funding will be distributed among organizations representing Private Sector (1) and Academia (5) across 5 economies: Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

We are confident the outcomes of their work will continue to support an open, stable, and secure Internet that serves the needs of the people in our region.

2019 Network Operations Research Grants

  • Modelling and identifying IP address space fragmentation pressure points. Curtin University. Australia. USD 20,000
  • Honeynet Threat Sharing Platform. Swiss German University (SGU), Badan Siber & Sandi Negara (BSSN) and Indonesia Honeynet Project (IHP). Indonesia. USD 20,000
  • Implementation and Utilites of RDAP for wider usability among Internet Stakeholders. University of Malaya. Malaysia. USD 20,000
  • Network coding over satellite links: scheduling redundancy for better goodput. The University of Auckland. New Zealand. USD 20,000

2019 I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Grants

  • Telemetering the telltale signs of power issues of wireless internet relays. Rural Broadband – AirJaldi. India. USD 20,000
  • Network Remote Powering through Quasi-Passive Optical Nodes. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University). Australia. USD 20,000

The 2019 I4D Award was not granted this year, instead one additional grant under the Network Operations Research was allocated.

The APNIC Foundation and ISIF Asia thanks all the applicants for sharing their ideas with us, the Selection Committees members for their hard work to arrive to this great outcome, and to APNIC for their generous funding contributions for 2019.

2019 Call for Grant Proposals and Award Nominations Extended until 21 June

ISIF Asia has extended the deadline for the 2019 Call for Grant Proposals and Award Nominations Extended until 21 June midnight UTC.

This year ISIF Asia will allocate USD 115,000 in funding across 2 categories.

Five grants and one award will be allocated to projects that have a clear development outcome aligned with the focus areas and that demonstrate a concrete contribution to research and/or implementation of Internet-based solutions, Internet operations, Internet infrastructure, technologies and protocols within the Asia Pacific region.

2019 Grants

The Internet Operations Research Grants will support research focused on the availability, reliability, and security of the Internet, with a particular focus on focus on operational stability and security. The research outcomes should aim to expand access to knowledge, expand coverage for research applications and maximize the benefit to the community. Three small grants of USD 20,000 USD will be allocated, for a total of USD 60,000 in funding. 

The I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Grants will support the research and development of software and/or hardware solutions that can improve the stability and reliability of how Internet infrastructure is powered. This includes but is not limited to solar, wind, and hydraulic solutions used to provide Internet access in remote areas, during disasters, or to power other infrastructure such as IXPs, root servers, datacentres, etc. The monitoring of batteries and their consumption, energy efficiency tools, the management and administration of micro-grids will be considered for this call.  Two small grants of USD 20,000 will be allocated, for a total of USD 40,000 in funding. 

To know more about each of the grants categories and apply, check the focus areas, eligibility criteria and guidelines provided.

2019 I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Award 

The 2019 Internet for Development Award will be given to one organization working on research and development of software and/or hardware solutions that can improve the stability and reliability of how Internet infrastructure is powered. This includes but is not limited to solar, wind, and hydraulic solutions used to provide Internet access in remote areas, during disasters, or to power other infrastructure such as IXPs, root servers, datacentres, etc. The monitoring of batteries and their consumption, energy efficiency tools, the management and administration of micro-grids will be considered for this award. The award includes a cash prize of USD 3,500 and a travel grant to attend the Internet Governance Forum 2019 in Berlin.

To know more about the 2019 Award and apply, check the focus areas, eligibility criteria and guidelines.

 

APAN 46 Best Student Paper Award Went to ISIF Asia Alumni

Lei Qian, team member of ISIF Asia 2017 Grant recipient – Coding Internet satellite links for better goodput under bandwidth and latency constraints, was awarded APAN 46 Best Student Paper at Auckland, New Zealand.

APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) meeting and research workshops provide global research and education networks with an environment to exchange research ideas, best practices, and real-life applications in the broad field of all working groups under APAN. In APAN 46 in 2018, Best Student Paper was selected based on the technical merit and significance of the paper. Lei Qian presented in the research workshop to introduce their project ‘Stimulating Satellite Internet Performance on a Small Island’ and went home with the Best Student Paper Award. His presentation slides can be found here.

Leading by Dr. Ulrich Speidel, the ‘Satellite Internet’ project focused on establishing realistic satellite simulator of UDP flows, and automated experiments run on non-coded and coded configurations in small remote islands at South Pacific. This satellite simulator is able to improve the dominant Internet transport protocol TCP that usually underperforms in remote islands. To find more details about their project on the technical side, read their paper submitted to APAN 46.

The Final Technical Report for their ISIF Asia 2017 grant was published in January 2019. It builds on their previous work also funded by ISIF Asia during 2016 and 2014 (download reports in PDF). To learn more about the work of the Systems Development and Evaluation Group of the Computer Science Department at the University of Auckland, follow their blog.

Drawing Synergies Between Community Networks and Community Radios – ISIF Asia Sponsored CNX 2018

In October 2018, Internet Society (ISOC) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) concluded the 2nd edition of the Community Network Xchange (CNX) 2018 event in New Delhi, India. ISIF Asia honoured to be one of the sponsors, CNX 2018 events focused on ‘Synergies Between Community Networks and Community Radios in Promoting Public Wi-Fi Access in Asia Pacific Countries’ and welcomed representation from nine countries in Asia Pacific, and more than 30 community network providers, community radio stations and practitioners across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, and South Africa.

The representative Ronel Vincent from ISIF Asia 2018 Award winner, University of the Philippines, attended CNX 2018. “Our recognition at the 2018 Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia Award for Community Networks inspired us to continue our work in this space and to collaborate to other community networks all over the world,” said Ronel Vincent. “Representing the team and the Philippines, CNX 2018 was a great venue to share best practices, ideas and possible issues regarding community networks. The possibility to connect rural sites to community radios was also discussed in the exchange,” he added.

Community Networks are communications infrastructure that are built, managed and used by local communities to provide a sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps in remote areas. So far, DEF has established community networks at more than 140 locations across 15 regions, including Baran in Rajasthan, Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Nuh in Haryana, Asoor in Tamil Nadu, Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and Nagaon in Assam. The Community Network Exchange event launched as a platform to promote the creation and growth of Community Networks, increase collaboration between community network operators in the region, and to provide an opportunity for them to engage with other stakeholders such as content producers, regulators and policymakers.

CNX 2018 also followed by Digital Citizen Summit (DCS) 2018, and an immersive training on Community Wireless Networks in Guna, as part of Community Network Champions (CNC) program. CNC is a certificate programme for community network providers across the globe to gain hands-on experience in the operation and management of community networks.

Support ISIF Asia to win one of the WSIS Prizes 2019 on International and Regional Cooperation: Vote by 10 February!

ISIF Asia has provided key funding, mentoring and visibility for the work that innovators and researchers across the Asia Pacific are doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, integrating Internet-based technologies to tackle community challenges.
The program work is based on international and regional cooperation among funding partners committed to Internet for development. The program has supported research and implementation projects that are helping to advance the knowledge and understanding required to design and maintain reliable, efficient and secure Internet networks as well as
projects promoting affordable access to services and applications that have a positive impact in a community.
The ISIF Asia program has also supported women’s participation and leadership across the Internet industry.
If you’d like to show your support for the work ISIF Asia does, take a moment and vote for ISIF Asia in the WSIS Prizes.

About WSIS Prizes

The WSIS Prizes contest serves as a mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.
ISIF Asia was recognized as a Champion in 2018 and we hope to get a prize this year on the 10th anniversary of WSIS!

How to vote

Register on the WSIS platform and vote for one project on each of the 18 WSIS Action Lines categories.
The voting phase is open until 10 February.
The 18 winners will be announced and presented with an award at the WSIS Prizes ceremony during the WSIS Forum 2019, 8-12 April 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, while the remaining 72 will be recognized as WSIS Champions during the special ceremony dedicated to their achievements.
Thank you for your ongoing support of ISIF Asia.

ISIF Asia Alumni Are Getting Recognised For Their Great Work

ISIF Asia former award and grant recipients recently won prestigious international recognition, giving the credit to their continuous dedication of time and effort to empower disadvantaged communities.

Vashkar Bhattacharjee of YPSA Bangladesh, ISIF Asia 2014 Award winner, has been awarded UNESCO/Emir Al Ahmad al Jaber Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities 2018 at UNESCO, Paris, France on Monday, 3 December 2018. This Global prize was given to him in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the empowerment of persons with disabilities through the application of ICT to access information and knowledge. This is the first time a Bangladeshi has received the prestigious award, according to press release of Bangladesh Embassy. Vashkar’s project introduction can be found on ISIF Asia website here

At the 3rd Commonwealth Digital Health Awards 2018 held at Colombo on 12 October, ISIF Asia 2015 Grantee – ‘Telemedicine Program’ of Dhaka University won the Award in Telemedicine category for their outstanding contribution to develop healthcare quality in rural areas of Bangladesh. Director of the program, Dr. Khondkar Siddique-e Rabbani, received the award on behalf of DU. The Telemedicine Program is being conducted by the Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology of Dhaka University. They developed low-cost Telemedicine systems with diagnostic equipment to facilitate the healthcare in low-resource rural areas in Bangladesh. Refer to their technical report on ISIF Asia website here to know more about their outstanding project.

Congratulations to the ISIF Asia Grants and Awards winners for 2018

This year ISIF Asia will award USD 210,000 to 10 organizations in the Asia Pacific to support research and development of Internet technologies for the benefit of the region. This year’s funding round marks our 10th anniversary of operation in the Asia Pacific.

We received 236 applications in total for the four funding categories that were announced earlier this year. The applications came from 28 economies across the region. We were very excited to see that around 60% of the applications received were submitted for our new “Gender Empowerment and Innovation” category. It was also very encouraging to receive applications from economies that have never applied for our funding before. Similarly, the application process reflected a variety of stakeholders working towards the development of the Internet. We see those as great indicators about the relevance of ISIF Asia as a mechanism to support the development of the Internet across the region.

The funding will be distributed among organizations representing a wide variety of stakeholders: Government (1), Civil Society (3), Private Sector (2), Social Enterprise (1), and Academia (3) as well as very interesting geographical spread across 9 economies: Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Awards

The ISIF Asia 2018 Award winners will each receive USD 3,500 plus a travel grant to the 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that will be held in Paris, France from 12 to 14 November 2018. Their work will be featured as part of the Seed Alliance Awards ceremony, which will be held on 13 November 2018.

“The 2018 ISIF Asia Award winners are truly innovative initiatives, where access to Internet technologies with a social purpose, clearly show a positive impact to improve the lives of people in the communities they serve in the Philippines and Myanmar. Their experiences and knowledge help overcome the challenges that the developing world faces,” Duncan Macintosh, APNIC Foundation CEO said.

Award winners

Community Networks

  • Community Cellular Networks in Rural Aurora, University of the Philippines – Diliman, The Philippines.

In partnership with a local telecom, the team has developed and deployed a GSM Community Cellular Network in rural Philippines to bridge ‘last mile’ connectivity issues in isolated and relatively poor communities. As of 2017, they have also begun deploying them in partnership with local NGOs, primarily cooperatives, to provide basic cellular services to subscribers.

Gender Empowerment and Innovation

  • Tech Age Girls Myanmar, Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation, Myanmar.

This initiative has successfully supported female community leaders (aged between 16-20) through the ‘Tech Age Girls’ program from community libraries that have been playing a key role in digital inclusion and gender equality in Myanmar. The finalists are selected to implement their own community projects ideas to support their communities.

Grants

As Head of Programs for the APNIC Foundation, I am really impressed by the proposals selected for the ISIF Asia 2018 Grants and how they highlight the main technical, operational and development issues that concern the Asia Pacific Internet community. I am confident the outcomes of their work will continue to support an open, stable, and secure Internet that serves the needs of the people in our region. The APNIC Foundation is particularly glad to see how the distribution of funds reflect regional and stakeholder diversity and the clear links that every project has to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Grant winners

Network Operations Research

  • Measuring and Detecting Network Interference in Southeast Asia, Sinar Project, Malaysia. Grant award: USD 20,000.

This network measurement research aims to show current and past Internet censorship and network interference in media, political criticism, religion, gender and social media networks in South East Asian economies using network monitoring nodes around the region. There will also be a pilot gender gap social audit conducted for a marginalized urban community in Malaysia to research and measure non-technical gaps in Internet access such as affordability, Internet literacy, knowledge or rights, and accessibility and availability of gender-related content.

  • Establishment of a Carrier Neutral Software-Defined Internet Exchange (IXP) Point and Training Programs for Capacity Building in Managing IXPs, Lahore University of Management Sciences – LUMS, Pakistan. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project aims to deploy a Software-Defined IXP and training programs for IXP development in Pakistan to assist operators to enable new applications such as application-specific testing, traffic redirection through middleboxes, and inbound traffic engineering. While the project centres on a Pakistan IXP, it will eventually be made available to other least developed economies in the region. Another benefit of the project will see costs associated with IXPs reduced via automatic configuration management and dynamic policy assignment.

Community Networks

  • Community LTE in Papua, Yayasan Noken Baliem Mandiri, Indonesia. Grant award: USD 23,000.

This project seeks to deploy the first locally-owned and operated handset to support LTE networks in the world to rural Papua, Indonesia, using low-cost eNodeBs and a custom developed enhanced packet core. YNBM was granted a special experimental cellular license to explore this new rural access technology in Indonesia by the Indonesian Telecom Ministry.

  • Connecting the Unserved – Bhutan’s First Trial with TV White Space Technology, NANO, Bhutan. Grant award: USD 30,000.

Given Bhutan’s challenging physical environment and Internet connectivity issues, this project aims to explore the feasibility and suitability of TV white space technology as an alternative broadband option to unserved areas in the economy.

Cybersecurity

  • RPKI Monitor and Visualizer for Detecting and Alerting for RPKI Errors, ZDNS Labs, China. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project will implement a RPKI security mechanism to offer a distributed, stakeholder-based counter to the power imbalances arising from RPKI’s hierarchical system. The proposed mechanism detects adverse actions in the RPKI and alerts resource holders to these actions that adversely affect their holding, so that errors can be quickly fixed. The mechanism also enables each ISP to decide whether to accept or defer accepting PRKI database changes that appear to be adverse.

  • A novel graph analytics theory model to mitigate IoT botnets attacks for big data, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Malaysia. Grant award: USD 13,000.

This research aims to use the Graph Analytics Theory model to analyse the behaviour of IoT botnets using a reverse engineering approach to distinguish IoT botnets from raw infection codes and develop a new Graph Analytics Theory model for detecting IoT botnet attacks. The expected outcome of the research is to be able to remove and quarantine the suspicious codes as well as be able to detect behaviour changes in IoT devices.

Gender Empowerment and Innovation

  • NextGen Girls – Internet Security Ambassadors Project, Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project aims to upscale the ISOC 25 Under 25 Award winner, ‘Respect Girls on Internet’, by developing a network of university and high school girls studying ICT. The goal is to develop females to pursue emerging IoT security careers to help build a safer and secure IoT environment for women, including training 40 female university students to become Internet Security Educators.

  • Increasing the Safe Use of Internet by Women and Girls, Child Helpline Cambodia, Cambodia. Grant award: USD 22,000.

This is a project to strengthen the capabilities of 16 existing helpline ambassadors on the safe use of the Internet and how to report online abuse to Child helpline Cambodia. The 16 ambassadors will organize five pilot ‘echo awareness’ sessions on the safe use of the Internet for girls and women in their communities. The project will also support: free helpline telephones; an online question and answer platform, with information on the safe use of the Internet and gender equality; response to reports of online abuse; and refer victims to psycho-social support services.

The APNIC Foundation and ISIF Asia thanks all the applicants for sharing their ideas with us, the Selection Committee members for their hard work to arrive to this great outcome, and to APNIC, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Internet Society for their generous funding contributions for 2018.

WSIS Champions 2018: ISIF Asia recognized on its 10th anniversary

 

WSIS Winner and Champions on International and Regional Cooperation with ITU Secretary General ©ITU/I.Wood
WSIS Winner and Champions on International and Regional Cooperation with ITU Secretary General ©ITU/I.Wood

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2018 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The annual WSIS Forum is a global multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development. The Forum provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

The WSIS Prizes contest, an integral part of the WSIS stocktaking process, serves as a mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.

90 Champions of the prestigious WSIS Prizes contest while the 18 Winners, out of these 90 Champions, were recognized at separate ceremonies at the Geneva International Conference Centre today, as part of the annual WSIS Forum 2018. The submission phase which began from 11 September 2017 to 10 January 2018 received a record number of 685 project submissions, out of which 492 exceptional projects were nominated for WSIS Prizes 2018. Close to a million online votes were cast from 29 January till 18 February 2018 for these projects and following a comprehensive review by the Expert Group lead to the selection of 90 extraordinary ICT-related projects and initiatives for the seventh edition of the WSIS Prize contest.

ISIF Asia was recognized among other 4 projects as a Champion on Category 18 for International and Regional Cooperation. The winner on the category was the Internet Society Digital Schools Chapterton. The other Champions on the category are: African fiber optic Backbone Trans-Saharan (BTS); IST-Africa Institute; and the Satellites for Sustainability project from Inmarsat and the UK Space Agency. 

We are honored to share the recognition among such distinguished organizations and we remain committed to champion regional and international collaboration around Internet for development.