Proponent Capability Statement

1. The University of Amazonas (UA)

The University of Amazonas is a federal public university and has about 20,000 students. The university is the main high education in west northern Brazil. Among its strengths we highlight its strong presence in many inner areas of the State of Amazonas. Amazonas represents about 42% of the Amazona region, which is composed by seven states and occupies 52% of the Brazilian territory. For the sake of comparison, Amazonas is bigger than Texas in the USA.

Having the responsibility to cover such a huge geographical area, the University of Amazonas has invested in what is called "interiorization." This means that it is physically present in nine inner cities of the state.

The university has developed important projects in sustainable development funded both by private organizations (e.g.: Kellogg Foundation) and Brazilian Government. To make its operation more bureaucracy-free, the university has created a Foundation, Fundação Uni-sol, which is now responsible for significant source of revenue.

Pursuing the implementation of this project, the university, through the Center for Environmental Sciences, has embarked in a very aggressive regional building up capacity. As a result, we succeeded in having approved US$2,800,000 by the Brazilian Congress for a part of the financial resources required for this CampusNet Amazonia project. We also were able to have all six federal universities of the region signed a protocol for the CampusNet.

2. Global University System (GUS)

The Global University System (GUS) is a network of networks formed in particular by higher education institutions, but also by other organizations sharing the same objectives of developing a co-operation based on solidarity and partnership aiming to:

GUS has group activities in the major regions of the globe, i.e., Asia-Pacific, North, Central and South Americas, Europe, and Africa to establish pilot projects. Each of these regional groups, with partnerships of higher learning and healthcare institutions, will foster the establishment of GUS in their respective regions, with the use of an advanced global broadband Internet virtual private network that would be financed through the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF). They will then become the GUS counterparts of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking program.

This project of helping establish CampusNet and Community Development Networks in Amazon region with the Japanese government’s funds is the forerunner of this approach of GUS. Namely, the GUS will combine the Japanese funds and electronic equipment and hardware with the expertise of telecom and content development of North America to help closing the digital divide in developing countries. GUS will emulate this approach in other developing countries around the world in the future, e.g., Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, the Philippines, etc., from which GUS has already received preliminary inquiries and requests.

The GUS at the University of Tampere, Finland is the headquarters Chair of the GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Program. The GUS has invited the University of Amazona to be its counterpart Chair, and expect to have similar ones elsewhere around the world.

The officers of the GUS are: P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D., Acting President, (University of Tampere, and a former rector of the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica); Marco Antonio Dias, T.C.D., Vice President for Administration, (former director of Higher Education at UNESCO); Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Vice President for Technology and Coordination (Chairman of GLOSAS/USA). The trustee members are: Dr. Pekka Tarjanne, (former Director-General of the ITU) and Dr. Federico Mayor (President of the Foundation for Culture of Peace and a former Director-General of UNESCO). The special advisors are: David A. Johnson, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee) and Fredric Michael Litto, Ph.D. (President of the Brazilian Association of Distance Education at the University of Sao Paulo).

3. The GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)

The GLOSAS/USA is a publicly supported, non-profit, educational service organization - in fact, a consortium of organizations -- that is dedicated to the use of evolving telecommunications and information technologies to further advance world peace through global communications. GLOSAS fosters science- and technology-based economic development to improve the quality of life.

Over the past three decades, GLOSAS/USA played a major pioneering role in extending U.S. data communication networks to other countries, particularly to Japan, and in the deregulation of the Japanese telecommunications policies regarding the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet (thanks to help from the Late Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge) -- this is now referred to as "closing the digital divide." This contribution of GLOSAS/USA triggered the de-monopolization and privatization of Japanese telecommunications industries, and the liberalization of the telecommunication industry has now created a more enabling environment for economic and social development in many other countries. This type of reasoning has since been emulated by many other countries; at present, more than 180 countries have Internet access, and more than 500 million people are using e-mail around the world. Academic programs of universities in America and other industrialized countries now reach many under-served developing countries.

Another major contribution of GLOSAS towards fostering global dialogue and creating learning environments has been the innovative distance teaching trials conducted in our Global Lecture Hall (GLH)TM - multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferencing, using hybrid delivery technologies. Thanks to these efforts, Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, its Chairman, received the prestigious Lord Perry Award for the Excellence in Distance Education in the fall of 1994 from Lord Perry, the founder of the U.K. Open University. The two-year senior recipient of the same award was Sir Arthur C. Clark, the inventor of satellite.