Since its operational launch in 2017, the APNIC Foundation (the Foundation) has grown significantly, with 2022 being by far its busiest and most impactful year to date. The Foundation now has partnerships with 66 organizations across 75 projects.
2022 was the first year the Foundation’s Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) awarded its IPv6 Deployment grants. The funding is a key step in achieving the Foundation’s objective under its Strategic Plan to ‘enhance technical and operational knowledge’ in the Asia Pacific region. Applications for IPv6 grants are open year-round. Asia Pacific network operators ready to deploy IPv6 are encouraged to apply.
As 2022 drew to a close, the Foundation continued to expand its activities, receiving support for its first technical training activities in Lao PDR and signing a new agreement with a USAID project in the Philippines that will increase technical training there.
The Foundation also launched a new project in Afghanistan in 2022. The project ‘Technical training and mentoring support to Internet professionals in Afghanistan’ will support the career development goals of technical staff and community members in or from Afghanistan. It will use a similar professional development model as the one already tried and tested by the Foundation for the South East Asia Gender and Diversity Project (Switch!).
Launched in 2020 with funding from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Supporting Women In Technical and Research roles in South East Asia (SWITCH SEA) project grew from four to six economies in 2022. Strong new support from the Asia Pacific Internet Development Trust (APIDT) allowed the project to more than double the number of participants (from 74 to over 160, though a small number participated in both projects).
Under its partnership with APNIC, the Foundation also increased its support for APNIC’s training activities, including an expansion of the Community Trainers program. The Foundation is now the largest supporter of APNIC’s training activities in the Asia Pacific.
A highlight of the APNIC relationship in 2022 was the first dedicated session hosted by the Foundation at an APNIC conference. APNIC 54 in Singapore was APNIC’s first in-person conference held since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation’s session focused on the Switch! project, while the conference provided an important opportunity to reconnect in person with grantees, former grantees, and community members.
APNIC 54 also marked the return of the ISIF Asia Awards.
More specific information on some of the Foundation’s projects is included below. Detailed information will be included with the release of our 2022 Annual Report.
Technical training and mentoring support to Internet professionals in Afghanistan
Planning and preparation for the project commenced with a community consultation that interviewed technical community members in and from Afghanistan to understand their professional development needs and define an approach to the project that would meet participant needs.
A welcome session for the project took place in December to highlight the support that would be offered to a total of 34 participants, including 10 women. All are members of the technical community and are based in Afghanistan or among the Afghan diaspora overseas who will receive training in a wide variety of skills from recognized providers.
In 2022, the Switch! project launched as a continuation of the previous SWITCH SEA project that supported 74 participants in 2021 from Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. 2022 was also the year when SWITCH SEA concluded.
Switch! maintains the same focus on career support for women and LGTBQI+ people working in the technical sector but is expanded to include Lao PDR and Timor Leste, and is supporting a group of 161 women and LGBTQI+ Internet professionals at different stages of their careers.
Each of the six economies also held a national event to bring together participants to meet in person, network, and develop their skills. The Foundation was also pleased to hear that the Thai Switch! participants had two teams compete in a national cybersecurity competition, with one taking the runner-up prize! Congratulations to the team, it’s great to see their skills development paying off.
2022 was the first year the IPv6 Deployment grants were offered as part of the Infrastructure program. Fostering adoption of IPv6 has long been an important goal for both APNIC and the Foundation, so it was important that the Foundation could take a hands-on approach to support IPv6 deployment projects in the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, and Tonga, with our largest grants on offer.
It was also the first year of the Ian Peter Grants for Internet and the Environment. These grants were spread across the Knowledge and Inclusion programs. Grantees include the EcoInternet index, Internet of Things (IoT) deployments focusing on water management and disaster response, as well as efforts to tackle climate misinformation. It is a privilege for the Foundation to be able to honour the legacy of Ian Peter in this way and to play a part in figuring out how Internet technologies can be used to address environmental challenges.
The Foundation also provided two ISIF Asia awards to recipients who have long been contributing to the Asia Pacific Internet community. The awards recognized the hard work of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for its work on satellite connectivity in the Pacific Islands, and the work of Swiss German University, Indonesia, on its Honeynet cybersecurity project. Project leads Dr Ulrich Speidel and Dr Charles Lim accepted the awards during the APNIC 54 conference.
Supporting APNIC projects
In addition to its own grants and projects, the Foundation also supports a range of activities at APNIC and Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. The Foundation funds the development of APNIC’s training and technical assistance capabilities including the continued growth of the Community Trainers program.
It also supports the development of a digital version of the routing card game IPGO and funds APNIC’s work in the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) community, with activities in the Maldives and Myanmar in 2022. Working with agencies in Japan, the Foundation also supports APNIC in the expansion of M-Root servers globally.
The Foundation’s support for Keio University is focused on the Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives (AI3) project, which develops research and infrastructure capacities for non-terrestrial networks, as well as the School on Internet Asia (SOI Asia) project, which works with universities on technical and capacity-building education programs.
The Foundation thanks its donors and the technical community for their support throughout 2022 and looks forward to a fantastic 2023.
The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.