The new director of CESNET, which develops the national e-infrastructure for science, research and education, is Jakub Papírník, the current director of the Charles University Computer Centre. The decision was made by the Board of Directors of CESNET in an open selection procedure. Jakub Papírník took office on August 1st and replaced the long-time director Jan Gruntorád. Jakub Papírník has been a member of the Supervisory Board of CESNET until now.
You are therefore not unfamiliar with the environment of CESNET. How do you perceive it? And what is your vision for its future direction?
I met CESNET when I worked for Czech Radio and then we worked together quite intensively during my time at Charles University. I perceive CESNET as a very interesting company with a broad scope in cutting-edge IT, both in research and practice. That’s why I also applied for the tender and tried to succeed.
CESNET has and will have no shortage of “work” in the current dynamic development of IT. Some topics are becoming more and more important, for example cybersecurity. And CESNET’s position in the market is unique, especially as a “common denominator” for the IT departments of academic institutions.
As the director of the the Charles University Computer Centre, you perceived CESNET from the position of one of its members. What experience do you have with CESNET and what changes are you planning in this context?
CESNET is a very important partner for large academic institutions. I have been able to verify this many times in practice. Although it was a good cooperation, it was from the position of a key partner that I had ideas on how it could be even better. Now I will just suggest in general terms that it might be a matter of a more precise specification and offer of services to the members of the association.
In addition to providing IT infrastructure and a range of services to its users, CESNET carries out its own research nationally and internationally and focuses on innovation. What do you see as the priorities in this area?
Own research and the promotion of science and research in general is one of the fundamental reasons why CESNET was created and why it exists. In this respect, I do not intend to undermine CESNET’s activities in any way. However, the activities of the association should be more clearly defined and defined in terms of scope and competences, so that we can satisfy CESNET partners and their needs, as fairly as possible.
Together with Masaryk University and the Technical University of Ostrava, CESNET forms the national research e-infrastructure e-INFRA CZ. How will you approach the integration of the hitherto separate services of the individual consortium members?
I respect the purpose and meaning of the consortium, but also the sovereignty of the individual organisations. Again, it is a question of defining competences, which will not be possible without appropriate negotiations. And it is not only a question of the institutions named, but also of the Prague organisation PASNET and others. The only thing I can say at this point is that I will strive for functional and non-conflicting agreements.