York’s Stan Shapson completes term as Chair of ORANO

Stan Shapson, York’s vice-president research & innovation, has completed a two-year term as Chair of the board of directors for the Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO).

ORANO owns and operates the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), an ultra high-speed, 5,800 km fibre-optic network that connects Ontario’s research and education institutions to each other and to colleagues across Canada and around the world.

"Stan has been a champion for the ORION network," says Maxim Louis, ORANO’s incoming Chair. "The network was built and connected to many key organizations. As Chair, he understands the importance of increasing the network’s benefits for participating researchers, educators and institutions. Under his leadership, ORANO successfully shifted its focus from the initial build phase to developing an aggressive strategic plan to consolidate the network’s value by increasing collaborative applications and services."

Right: Stan Shapson 

Specifically designed to support specialized research and educational needs, ORION is 100 to 1,000 times faster than regular high-speed Internet and provides virtually unlimited, unconstrained bandwidth, tools and capabilities that are generally not available or affordable from the commercial world. Over 78 organizations participate in the network, including all of Ontario’s universities, 21 colleges, several major teaching hospitals, 16 school boards and the Royal Ontario Museum.

"The ORION network is playing an increasingly crucial role in providing technological infrastructure to Ontario and supporting innovation, but seizing fully upon the opportunity provided by this world-leading infrastructure will be key," says Shapson. "Ontario must ensure that it is maximizing the ORION network to achieve its innovation goals, to ensure enhanced collaboration between academia and industry, and to meet the needs of a new generation of students and the next generation of jobs that will drive Ontario’s international competitiveness."

Since March 2005, the ORION network has grown by over 600 per cent, with backbone traffic now exceeding five gigabits per second. Due to the strengths of its centralized IT resources, York University acts as a point of presence on the network, hosting infrastructure and providing access to neighbouring institutions.

"Stan has been a real advocate for pushing the innovation envelope," says Phil Baker, ORANO’s president and CEO. "We look forward to continuing to work with him and with York University on leading-edge research and commercialization initiatives that require the network resources and collaboration capabilities of our ORION network to advance Ontario’s innovation agenda."