Dai Davies: Well, good after­noon ladies and gen­tle­men. It is indeed a great hon­or and a priv­i­lege to stand here and address you. It is real­ly remark­able, look­ing back over twenty-three years work­ing in the Internet environment.

When I start­ed in 1991, I was a hired gun. I was brought in to cre­ate a net­work, a pan-European net­work, and I was going to do it for three years. Twenty-three years lat­er I’m still involved in the same thing. What actu­al­ly hap­pened was it was­n’t just a project, we cre­at­ed an orga­ni­za­tion. That orga­ni­za­tion is DANTE, and DANTE has been respon­si­ble for six gen­er­a­tions of pan-European research Internet. And we moved from 64 kilo­bit tech­nol­o­gy to 100 giga­bit tech­nol­o­gy in that peri­od of time.

I would par­tic­u­lar­ly like to men­tion Howard Davies, was co-general man­ag­er with me and found­ing gen­er­al man­ag­er of DANTE. And the DANTE team. And also I think it’s impor­tant to put it in a fund­ing con­text as well. Because the European Commission has giv­en us tremen­dous sup­port in terms of devel­op­ing both the European foot­print, and mak­ing Internet tech­nol­o­gy avail­able both from a research per­spec­tive, but also to sup­port researchers in oth­er disciplines.

Finally, I look back at the very free­wheel­ing spir­it of devel­op­ment, which is real­ly what the Internet is all about. And I think it is vital to pre­serve that very open devel­op­ment envi­ron­ment which the aca­d­e­m­ic com­mu­ni­ty has helped so much to con­tribute. Corporatism has a place in the Internet, but ulti­mate­ly it’s about indi­vid­u­als and indi­vid­ual cre­ativ­i­ty. And that spir­it which was there twenty-three years ago is still there today, and is what we must pre­serve. Thank you.

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