UNH News Release: NH Optical Systems Awarded Technology Innovation Grant to Research and Design the First Software-Defined Network Services in New Hampshire
December 6, 2012
NH Optical Systems Awarded Technology Innovation Grant to Research and Design the First Software-Defined Network Services in New Hampshire

DURHAM, N.H. New Hampshire Optical Systems, Inc. (NHOS), a Nashua-based telecommunications provider of fiber optic infrastructure solutions, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Strategic Technology Office of Information Technology at the University of New Hampshire in a project funded by NHOS and matched with a Granite State Technology Innovation Grant awarded by the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC). Principal investigators at UNH will research software-defined networks that offer increased broadband speeds and capabilities to businesses of all sizes across the state. The anticipated result is that NHOS will be able to bring network technology to broadband companies who want to expand Internet and communication products to underserved and un-served areas in New Hampshire.

“We are proud of the technologies and talent we’ve employed to bring our company to this point, and the market has clearly indicated an opportunity for a next-generation service product offering,” said Rob Carmichael, president of NHOS. “If this project is successful, we will be able to help smaller New Hampshire businesses cost-effectively enter the broadband market, hire more technical personnel – including UNH students – to support our growing clientele, and ensure growth and sustainability of the fiber optic networks extending across the state.”

According to Scott Valcourt, director of strategic technology at UNH, “software-defined networking (SDN) connects big broadband users to technology resources across the country and around the world. Rather than transfer every packet of data, one-by-one, across the Internet, SDN establishes flows of communication based on the type of data being transmitted—voice, video, text, images, transactions. When voice and video are on busy networks, traditional packet networks drop some of the packets which we notice as noisy calls, choppy video and interruption of Internet-based communication. SDN flows, when established between a sender and receiver, allow the time-sensitive data to move without dropping packets and the flows are faster than traditional packet-based networks. This technology was developed in other parts of the U.S., but as a result of new, dark fiber optics, it now becomes possible to consider its use here in New Hampshire.” 

“The funding that more than 120 New Hampshire companies, which now include NHOS, have received through NHIRC has led to the creation of over 650 jobs and greater than $900 million in follow-on capital,” said Marc Sedam, executive director of the NHIRC. “Granite State Technology Innovation Grants promote promising university-industry collaborations that turn research, conceptualization, and product development into clear economic impact.”

Granite State Technology Innovation Grants support projects under development in the private sector. Projects vary from proof-of-concept to a substantial product or process design. Companies are required to provide matching dollars or services and to receive additional NHIRC-sponsored training in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant writing in an effort to improve leverage of NHIRC dollars.

To learn more about the NHIRC and how to apply for funding, visit http://www.nhirc.unh.edu.

The NH Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) was created in 1991 by the New Hampshire Legislature to increase collaboration, technology development and innovation between New Hampshire businesses and universities. Businesses match their project awards to fund research, which often leads to new products and processes. Goals of the program include increased competitiveness and profitability for businesses, an increase in the tax-base and in the number of quality jobs for the state of New Hampshire, federal funding of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards, and additional funding from venture capitalists. For more information, visit http://www.nhirc.unh.edu/.

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Media Contact: Gretchen Smith | 603-862-0123 | New Hampshire Innovation Research Center
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