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New experiences at TNC24

Starting on 11 June 2024, Rennes hosted the TNC24 (, the largest and most prestigious research and education networking conference. SoBigData, with Sara Lelli and Valerio Grossi, was there to present training initiatives related to the research infrastructure.

From Quality Education with AI to Future Automation and Digital Twins, TNC24 hosts research and education networks, schools and universities, IT providers, and scientific projects, counting more than 800 participants from all over the world, gathered in Rennes between the 11th and the 14th of June.

Without a doubt, Rennes is beautiful. Lively and young, the city welcomed us with its typical northern European architecture, a neoclassical cathedral, its historical center, the Parliament of Bretagne, the Vilaine River, and charming cafes and creperies.

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The check-in and opening reception was held on June 11 at RENATER, the French National Telecommunications Network for Technology, Education and Research. We met many people from GEANT, including Damien Saucez, a researcher at Inria Sophia Antipolis and Network Specialist, and Bartosz Belter, a researcher in the field of Computer Communications (Networks) and Software Engineering and Head of the PSNC’s New Generation Networks Department, who were preparing the presentation with us, along with representatives from GARR, Sparkle, NorduNet, and many more.

Finally, the day of the SoBigData Academy presentation to the public arrived, on June 12th. Firstly, we focused on SoBigData RI, highlighting the services that we already offer, such as the infrastructure with computational power, datasets, and technologies, a strong community of researchers, students, and experts to help users build their knowledge, and guidelines regarding ethical and legal aspects. We emphasized the need, as a research infrastructure, to create a collaborative community between researchers, industries, and public bodies, underlining the importance of open science for society, analyzing Big Data in various social aspects like health studies, disaster response and recovery, sustainability, and mobility.  Another point we addressed was the importance of connectivity and interaction with other RIs, creating collaboration within Europe. An important part of our presentation was SoBigData Academy, the online and free learning platform of SoBigData RI. The development of the academy started in February 2023, with the aim of offering a free-of-charge, accessible, and distinctive educational experience for every user who wants to explore Big Data for personal interests, work, or to become a more responsible data scientist. During this year and a half of work, SoBigData RI, together with me as a Learning Designer, has been creating courses with the help of renowned instructors from European universities, stakeholders, and partners, sharing knowledge in an accessible and easy-to-learn way. The courses were presented with a video demo, specifying the methodologies used for building them. In the end, we joined hands through a collaboration with Marie Isabel Gandia Carriedo from GEANT and CSUC, and with Ivana Golub from PSNC. 

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Then we continued our conference day, participating in various meetings such as “Artificial Intelligence for Research and Education - Opportunities and Risks,” “Leading the Way, Shaping the Future,” a Lightning Talk session, and on June 13, “Gender Equality” and another Lightning Talk with many interesting projects from all over the world. We also attended the conference dinner on the night of the 12th.