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Sun Microsystems Launches Academic Resources Initiative

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-27

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Program Includes Free Training, Free Sun Software Solutions and Collaborative Communities.

Continuing its mission to provide access to technology and technical resources for higher education and K-12 schools and research institutions, Sun Microsystems announced the Sun(SM) Technology and Academic Resources (STAR) initiative. STAR brings together several strategic programs that can reduce the cost and complexity of managing network systems for the education IT community.

By bringing these valuable programs under one initiative, STAR provides a unique advantage for educational institutions. STAR consists of seven strategic programs that include academic equipment grants, academic courses in Sun and related technologies, and centers of excellence that forge partner relationships with universities and a third party. When combined, these programs can offer tremendous value to participating institutions and can reduce the cost and complexity of managing network systems for the education IT community.

A highlight of the STAR programs is the Sun Academic Initiative. The Sun Academic Initiative offers academic and research institutions training at no cost. In just over a year, more than 1,350 institutions have saved more than $28 million dollars in training costs.

One of the institutions belonging to the Sun Academic Initiative is the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. "The goal of our department is to give its students an 'advantage' as they progress in their careers," stated Dr. James H. Curry, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "Clearly, knowledge of Sun technologies, especially the Java platform and the Solaris Operating System, provide such an advantage as they are key elements of leading network computing environments."

Another valuable program within STAR is EduSoft. Sun makes its software available at no cost to institutions for teaching and research purposes. The over 120,000 software downloads to date have saved participating facilities an estimated $90 million dollars.

Other advantageous components of the STAR programs include:

-- Java Enterprise and Learning Community (JELC) -- Newly announced, the JELC is a gathering place for Java technology-related researchers and educators. It provides a medium for sharing open source educational tools, open learning standards and implementations and open course learning materials.

-- Centers of Excellence (COE) -- COEs, either a physical place on campus or a virtual space on the Internet, provide a unique opportunity to showcase Sun technology in use, demonstrating how such technology can improve learning.

-- Academic Excellence Grant Program (AEG) -- Sun grants equipment to eligible organizations who have developed creative projects that address our investment priorities and create partnerships for success.

-- External Research Technology Collaboration (ERO) -- Sun started in the academic community and has always fostered a close relationship with researchers in academia, national labs and nonprofit organizations. ERO creates significant technical interactions with the research community.

-- StarOffice software -- StarOffice software is the right choice for education -- a full featured office suite delivering significant savings before you even install it.

"Sun's objective in launching the STAR initiative is to get Sun solutions into the hands of educators, students and researchers, to help them build a collaborative environment where best practices can be shared," said Kim Jones, Vice President of Global Education and Research at Sun Microsystems. Through the STAR initiative's no-cost training and software programs, Sun is able to offer educational institutions an affordable competitive advantage, unmatched on the market today."

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