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Jun 19, 2022
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OpenAIRE CEO receives the 2022 Medal of Honour

Jun 19, 2022

The recipient of the 2022 medal of honour of the Vietsch Foundation is Natalia Manola, Chief Executive Officer of OpenAIRE.

The medal is awarded annually to people who have made a contribution of lasting value to the research and development of advanced Internet technology aimed to support science, research and higher education. The medal was presented to Natalia on 14 June, during the award ceremony at TNC2022, the leading European networking conference organised by GÉANT.

In the spirit of the award, which recognises individuals who have proved their organizational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of long-term value, “the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation chose to award the 2022 medal of honour to Natalia, as a recognition of her continuous and successful dedication to the management of OpenAIRE across many years of project activity, making it now an independent stable and sustainable legal entity” said Valentino Cavalli, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation, explaining the rationale for the choice. In accepting the award Natalia said:

“Building OpenAIRE from scratch with a dedicated group of visionaries has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. In OpenAIRE the spirit has been, is and will be about “we”, about our collective goals and accomplishments. A spirit that has largely contributed to its success. The Vietsch Foundation medal is a great honor for me and for all my colleagues who diligently work to make Open Science and OpenAIRE an integral part of the research and development ecosystem. A great incentive to do even more.” 

The mission of the Vietsch Foundation is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education. The Vietsch Foundation fulfils its goals in two ways: First, it contributes funding to specific research and development projects that demonstrate potential value to progress European and global research and education networking. And second, each year it awards a medal of honour to people who have contributed to the development of services or technologies of lasting value that are used by the networking community and its users in research, development and education. The Foundation was created through the last will and testament of Willem Karel Vietsch (1952–2014), a Dutch expert, a leader of the international Internet community, and also the Secretary-General of TERENA, a former association of European national research and education networks. For details visit:

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