New OFFN Connections Ready to Advance Research at Five Institutions

This month, five institutions connected to the OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (OFFN), Oklahoma’s research network, through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and OneNet. OFFN is a 10 and 100 Gbps research network that provides higher education institutions with a dedicated internet route that is much faster than traditional internet highways. This alternate pathway allows researchers to bypass slower traditional networks and transmit data at higher speeds.

The Small Institution Multiple Organization Regional OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (SI-MORe-OFFN) grant award connects University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO), Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), Redlands Community College (RCC) and Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and the to the OFFN network.

SI-MORe-OFFN Network Map

The connection makes advanced cyberinfrastructure tools and services available to the five institutions. Faculty and researchers will utilize these tools for research and education initiatives in in a variety of disciplines, including:

  • University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
    • Stereochemistry
    • Thermodynamic Favorability
    • Environmental Characteristics of Urban Areas
  • Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City
    • Resilience Academy for Nurse Science Program
  • Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
    • Cybersecurity for Institutional Resources and Education
    • Data Science and Virtualization
    • Programming with Software Defined Networking
  • Redlands Community College
    • STEM Tutoring
    • Aquaponics Greenhouse Research
    • Hemp Research
    • Science and Nursing Lab Network
  • Oklahoma Christian University
    • Adaptive Cyber Defense
National Science Foundation Logo

In August 2020, NSF awarded the State Regents and OneNet a $232,275 Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) grant to connect five institutions to OFFN over a two-year period. Administered by NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, the CC* grant program invests in campus-level cyberinfrastructure improvements for science applications and research projects.

Previous NSF grant awards connected 12 research and regional universities to OFFN. This new award specifically targeted smaller institutions to expand their research and education initiatives.

“The State Regents are pleased to connect five additional institutions to the OFFN network,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The connection through OneNet will enable new and diverse research collaborations for faculty and students, particularly in STEM areas. We look forward to the scientific discovery that results from the new computing tools available to these institutions.”

The OFFN network and the new connections are managed by OneNet, the comprehensive digital communications initiative of the state system of higher education. Vonley Royal, OneNet executive director and higher education CIO, is providing oversight for all aspects of grant implementation. Dr. Dany Doughan, associate professor of chemistry and computer science at USAO, is serving as a co-principal investigator for the grant award and is leading the research and education application adoption for all five colleges and universities.

“OneNet is higher education’s partner in research and education and ensures faculty and researchers have access to the networking and technology required to propel scientific discovery and innovation on campus,” said Royal. “Expanding access to networks like OFFN is vital to providing resources that enhance these initiatives for Oklahoma’s colleges and universities.”