ועדה לענייני מחקר ופיתוח מדעי וטכנולוגי
ירושלים, ל' באב, תש"ס
31 באוגוסט, 2000
הכנסת החמש עשרה נוסח לא מתוקן
מישיבת הוועדה לענייני מחקר ופיתוח מדעי וטכנולוגי
שהתקיימה ביום ג', כ"א בכסלו התש"ס, 30 בנובמבר 1999 בשעה 11:99
תשתיות תקשוב ומידע לקידום התעשייה המתוחכמת והמדע
ישיבה משותפת עם משלחת חברי פרלמנט וסנאט של מדינות צפון קרוליינה
ישיבת ועדה של הכנסת ה-15 מתאריך 30/11/1999
תשתיות תקשוב ומידע לקידום התעשייה המתוחכמת והמדעישיבה משותפת עם משלחת חברי פרלמנט וסנאט של מדינות צפון קרוליינה
חברי הוועדה: ענת מאור - היו"ר
פרופ' מדרכי בשארי – המדען הראשי, משרד המדע
עמנואל מודריק – חשב המשרד וחבר מינהלת אינטרנט 2,
רפי הוידה - המדען הראשי, משרד התקשורת
אהוד גלב - אחראי על נושא המיחשוב, משרד
אבי כהן – מנהל מרכז חישובים בין אוניברסיטאי
חבר המתרגמים בע"מ
תשתיות תקשוב ומידע לקידום התעשייה המתוחכמת והמדע
ישיבה משותפת עם משלחת חברי פרלמנט וסנאט של מדינת צפון קרוליינה
אני מתכבדת לפתוח את ישיבת הוועדה לענייני
מחקר ופיתוח מדעי וטכנולוגי.
אני רוצה לברך בברכת ברוכים הבאים, בחום רב, את המשלחת של חברי הפרלמנט והסנאט של מדינת צפון קרוליינה.
אנחנו רואים בביקורכם ביקור עבודה חשוב מכל הבחינות. קודם כל, היחסים הטובים וההדוקים בין מדינת ישראל לבין ארצות-הברית במאבק למען דמוקרטיה, למען חופש, למען זכויות אדם, למען חיזוקה של מדינת ישראל כמדינה עצמאית, תרומתכם לקידום השלום. כל אלה לכבוד לנו, לחברי הכנסת, מעבר למחלוקות הפוליטית שקיימות אצלנו.
אנחנו רואים בקידום המדע וטיפוחו, ובשיתוף הפעולה בכל נושא ההשכלה, הידע, המדע, התשתיות ומהפכת המדע בה ידועה ארצות-הברית כדבר מאוד פורה ומפרה את שני הצדדים.
לכן אני רוצה לקבל אתכם במלוא הברכה הישראלית: ברוכים הבאים לכנסת.
אני חברת הכנסת ענת מאור, אני יושבת-ראש הוועדה, אני חברת סיעת מרצ. ברקע שלי הייתי מנהלת בית-ספר, מחנכת כל השנים ומרצה באוניברסיטת בן-גוריון שבנגב. נמצאים אתנו עוד מספר חברי כנסת וכל אחד יציג את עצמו ואז נשמח לשמוע עם מי אנחנו יושבים וניגש לדיון.
My name is Victor Breilovsky. I have a long story because I emigrated from the Soviet Union and I have a long fight for freedom during 15 years. Maybe somebody heard about seminars of scientist refuseniks, which was in Moscow in 1970/80. I was one of the leaders of this seminar. I was also in prison because of this and internal exile and after this I immigrated to Israel in 1987.
Since then I was a professor at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Computer Science and my field is artificial intelligence and computer science. This year I made a great mistake of my life, I entered the Knesset and now I am working here. I am a member of the Knesset in Israel and I am a member of this committee of Science and Technology.
My name is Michael Eitan the former Minister of Science and Technology, now here in the Parliament in the opposition and heading the new committee, the Internet Committee of the Knesset. It is a sub committee of this committee and it will start operating next month. It will be very nice to meet the North Carolina Parliament member who can be my counterpart and maybe we can create any kind of cooperation.
MK Breilovsky told you that he was in prison in Russia, that he spent time in prison in Russia. I spent some time in a prison in North Carolina, yes I came to visit Jonathan Pollard and I spent a few hours there. He is imprisoned in the federal prison.
I hope that we will shall broaden our cooperation and of course, I am an admirer of Beth Obertson, I met her a few times, heard about her and I appreciate very much the cooperation between North Carolina and Israel. I know that there are many difficulties, it is not so easy, we are speaking about a new route, about new disciplines, about innovations and it takes time and patience and you have to invest and invest and the fruits will come. I am sure about it, but it takes time.
So, I hope that this meeting is another meeting in a series of meetings and that the cooperation will benefit both sides, I am sure about it and I look forward to strengthening this cooperation.
גם אני מהאופוזיציה. אני ממפלגה שנחשבת
למפלגת עולים רוסית בראשותו של אביגדור ליברמן, אבל אני עצמי צבר שנולד בארץ. נולדתי פה בירושלים, לא רחוק מכאן. הצטרפתי למפלגה הזאת משום שהיא יותר ישראלית מהישראלים בעצמם. המפלגה הולכת על רפורמות, היא רוצה לעשות רפורמה בשלטון, בקונסטיטוציה ובממשל וזה מה שישראל צריכה בדחיפות ולכן הצטרפתי אליהם אחרי 48 שנות טיסה כאשר טסתי 28 שנים בחיל האוויר הישראלי עד רמה של מפקד בסיס ומפקד אזור. במלחמת יום כיפור פיקדתי על יחידות חיל האוויר בסיני מול המצרים. אחר-כך טסתי באל על. במסגרת טיסותיי בחיל האוויר, טסתי בבסיס המרינס בצפון קרוליינה והמרינס שמתגוררים אצלכם עזרו לנו לבחור את ההליקופטרים הענקיים. אני בניתי את מערך ההליקופטרים בחיל האוויר הישראלי ובביקור אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים, 1968 I was flying with the marines there טסתי עם המרינס שם ונהניתי מאוד משיתוף הפעולה עם צפון קרוליינה כבר אז.
אני רוצה להבליט במיוחד את העובדה שבראשי שתי המשלחות עומדות נשים ואני מעריך את זה במיוחד ואני אוהב את זה במיוחד.
שלום וברוכים הבאים. נולדתי בירושלים
בשנת 1951. אני מייסד ש"ס בשנת 1983. כיהנתי כסגן ראש עיריית ירושלים במשך 15 שנה עד שנת 1998. השנה נכנסתי כחבר כנסת. לפני כן כיהנתי כרב באזורים שונים בעולם כמו מקסיקו, פנמה וארצות-הברית, ואני שמח לראות אתכם. כבוד לנו ועונג לנו. ושוב, ברוכים הבאים.
תודה. אנחנו נשמח להכיר את המשלחת שלכם.
כמובן באנו לישיבה על המדע, אבל אתם רואים שבישראל בלי פוליטיקה פנימית קשה לקדם את הדברים.
אני שמחה להעביר לג'יין פטרסון, ראש המשלחת שלכם, את רשות הדיבור, לומר דברי ברכה ולהציג לכם את חברי המשלחת.
Boker Tov. We are delighted to be here with you today and this is for a number of us we are coming now our eighth, ninth, tenth trip to Israel. The first time it is the first trip to Israel. We have about 25 members of the delegation with us, some are in other meetings this morning. It is comprised of academic; it is comprised of the three pillars of innovation, government, industry and also academia. We have with us also for the first time in Israel around ten members of our legislative delegations from North Carolina. We have today with us the Chair in the House, representatives in the Chair in the Senate of our Technology Committee and I think they will have some words to say to you later in the meeting.
I would just like to briefly tell you who else is here today in the session if I can go around the table. We have Herb; Herb is our retired advisor for everything as I call this, retired executive in business in the United States in executive research. Herb has been very much involved with us in many of our efforts in the North Carolina Israel partnership, but Deutsch is Chairman of the Western Jewish Federation in North Carolina and also a member of the American Israeli Jewish Chamber of Commerce Board.
Hope Williams is the President of the independent colleges and universities in North Carolina, such as the Duke University. She represents them in our State and manages the association for them.
Barbara Levin, to my right, has been the head of our connect and see effort working with me in North Caroline in the Governor’s office.
Senator David Weinstein is from the southEastern part of North Carolina. You may have heard that we have had a flood of water in North Carolina, similar to Noah’s flood where we have had water as high as 28 feet higher than the highest watermark in 500 years in certain parts of our State. David Weinstein is also representing the legislature in its negotiations of how to assist tobacco farmers who no longer can grow tobacco as well as they used to in the industry, buy out basically that has taken place in our country. His wife Caron is with him.
Ron is one of the young older software companies in North Carolina, Global Software, which has been around probably 30 years.
Harry Liemie is the Director of the Center for Flight Technology at the University of North Carolina, at Charlotte University. Charlotte, as you know is the second largest center in the United States now. It is now second in the US as a financial center.
To our right, You know Carol Deutsch who is the spouse of Bob. Captain Martin Lee is soldier’s company, he is an entrepreneur, his soldiers company made a lot of money in science and technology and a laboratory and he is now spending this year in Israel. So you might find it interesting to talk to him, and he can give you his address here. He has decided to take a sabbatical to Israel this y ear.
We have also Cathy Levinson who is our Executive Director in North Carolina, the counterpart to Dr. Hammi Tomieri here in Israel.
I think I have covered everyone who is with us this morning, correct. I am sorry, the two members of our science and technology committee chairs, Senator Ercrives in the Senate and Joe Tolson from the House.
We thought this morning that we would like you to let them talk with you about their activities in the Technology Committee in the House of the Senate and then I will be willing to talk to you about the NNGI Internet 2 and our vision 20/30 project that we are working on.
I am the acting Chief Scientist of the Minister of Communications.
I do not represent the in suite of Mike Chofesky. I represent the Ministry of Science and Sport and I am the Director of Finance. I can tell you that I am working very intensively both with Jane Patterson and Hamutal and we are going to organize a seminar on tele education on the Internet 2, which Rafi, myself and Avi Cohen, who is very modest, he is the Director of the Internet 2 directorate and together we will organize a seminar with Jane on the tele education.
I believe that the idea we will hear from you and we will have time for the Knesset members to ask you questions, which is the best idea. I don’t want to go behind the importance that Israel feels about science, about the new needs of the Internet and everything, so I really believe that our ability to learn, to share ideas with you is wonderful and the floor is yours.
Thank you for having us. This is my first visit to Israel. I am Joe Tolson; I do chair the House Technology Committee. This is my first term as chair of that committee. We have been working extremely hard, and I might add I also represent the rural area of North Carolina and we have been working extremely hard to try to make sure that what we do in technology, we do from the standpoint that it reaches out all across the State. We want to make sure our rural families, our rural people have the same opportunity to get all the Internet and have the same opportunity to technology that our people in our urban areas have.
We have got a long way to go, we have got a lot of challenges, but this is one of the things that Senator Terize and I have spent a lot of time talking about, to make sure that what we do, we do it in a manner that allows us to reach out to all levels of our people throughout the State. A majority of our State is ruled, so we have got a lot of work to accomplish this task. But this is one of the goals that we have with the work of our two committees in the House and the Senate to work from there.
Our two men educator, I worked in the community college system in North Carolina. In North Carolina we have 58 community colleges spread across the State. We have educational opportunities that is within 30 miles of each citizen. A citizen can get to one of our community colleges with no more than a 30 mile drive and so we feel like that we have made great strides in helping our people get the education necessary to go into our job market. That is one thing that our community college system has done, has done an excellent job of preparing our people to go into the work force.
Now, one of our problems is attracting the industries into our rural areas, and so one of the things we are working on is to make sure we add the connectivity to the Internet, the infrastructure necessary to make sure that our citizens in the rural area have these opportunities. We see that with the growth of E-commerce and so far as a critical issue for us.
So, I will stop there and let Eric say a few words and then we will talk a little more about what we are doing in North Carolina.
I represent the Raleigh area of our State, which is part of the research triangle park as representative of Tolson has alluded to, we have some difficulties and challenges in our State regarding the infrastructure for communications.
My part of the State is very well connected. Indeed, we are one of the most connected communities in the nation. But our stay as a whole ranks in the bottom of all the states. So, you can imagine living in the area that I live in where everybody is talking about economic commerce.
How do you measure with it, I mean its percentage of populations that is connected?
Right, you are looking at your online populations, Internet connections.
What are the numbers in North Carolina, in y our area and in the rural area?
Well, my area is say 55% or relatively half of them, I think a little higher than that in my area. Then in other parts of the State, the rural parts of the States it is hardly at all. So, a lot of that is your infrastructure.
What is the average in North Carolina?
Eric is correct in terms of his areas, 67% of his area, but 55% of the people in North Carolina have computers in their homes and around 36% of those are connected to the Internet. But all of our State universities and most of our community colleges and the majority of our high schools actually are connected to the information highway in the backbone infrastructure.
I am very interested in the rural area, because that is part of the problem here. How do you solve it?
In terms of dollars, a recent study just came out. A high-speed connection line in Raleigh will cost you around $200 a month. Say a similar connection in the rural part of the State may cost you around $3,000 a month. We have got to close that gap, which is something critically important to our economic development as a State, as we go into globalization and get more involved in the new economy that is transforming our state economy.
Usually when you speak about rural areas, it is also lower class areas, economically too? Low income.
Aside from the connectivity issues, where also one of the issues that we are working on that you may find interesting serving on the Internet committee, is we are trying to create a legal framework for electronic commerce. There isn’t much of a legal framework right now. We are going to be looking a at trying to create a uniform electronic transactions act.
Is it done on a state level or a national level?
A state level.
But if you speak about an equal merit in the United States it is, I mean it should be at least on a state level, maybe on an international level, but equal merits according to education of laws and how it will work if it will be limited only to North Carolina.
Well traditionally the American system of government is a strange animal and I understand that. You have federal laws and then you have state laws. There are boundaries between the two. Traditionally commerce rules a consumer protection, those types of issues, the contracts.
But the Internet doesn’t have boundaries.
One of the most intriguing questions I have been asked, as we move into delivering government services online is, do we really need to have state boundaries? Maybe during the course of my lifetime, maybe asking the question, do we need national boundaries as more and more people are hooked up? It is an intriguing question. But for the time being we feel a need to have a way to interpret electronic transactions that are enforceable in our courts of law and we want to create a uniform transactions act.
It can give an economical advantage to North Carolina on other states in the United States, if North Carolina will lead in equal legislation in the security?
Perhaps. We think that and that is why we want to take that approach. We feel like that eventually, federal laws will be developed and approved that will effect the commerce. So in North Carolina we want to make sure that we move ahead and try to be prepared for what is coming with E-commerce. One of the things we have done in North Carolina is in trying to be prepared, is to make sure we have online services for our citizens to get the basic gamut services that they expect. You know, if you want to start a business in North Carolina, you ought to be able to go on to Internet and go to your state agencies that handle that process and get that information through the Internet without having either write or call someone and talk with them.
So, we are in the process now of trying to develop those processes, trying to get them online and we hope that by next May that we will be having some of these services ready to start being used by our citizens.
A funny recent example of the use of the Internet happened to me. My wife’s car broke down and we had to buy a new one and I finally found a car that she wanted, not in North Carolina but it was in Katanuga, Tennessee and on the day that I found it, I happened to be in the State of Indiana. Well, I was able to communicate with the car deal in Tennessee, I was able to transfer money from my bank account all electronically to the dealer’s bank in Tennessee and as soon as that transaction was completed, I could not take possession of the car until I signed a form, a government form from Tennessee. So, I had to watch in the mail for this form and yet they had my money.
You know, the government is lagging behind the private world and we want to catch up so that we are not, the float on that money was enough to irritate me. But there is no reason at all why I should not have been able to transact the complete thing over the Internet.
We thought that our bureaucracy is the worst, but I see that we are not lonely in this frame.
I am really fascinated in your approach to research and development. As a State we traditionally have had some good investments over time, but you all seem to be really leading the way in this arena, and I would love to hear from you all what your strategies are in that environment.
Thank you. The basic philosophy was like this and there is a lot of achievement in Israel, but let us see regarding to the health research. Only last week we had a very very important meeting here in the Knesset with the academia and the professional team of the health authority and the situation is really not enough nowadays. So part of our discussion, our struggle even of our committee is how Israel will continue to invest and to believe that referred is the key point for the future. Maybe we will be able to hear about the education field. It is very important for part of our discussion. Another question may be about the difficulties that you find in the Internet system. Everybody appreciates very much and we believe that is the future, but as an example, crime or pornography. How do you solve these problems?
In North Carolina in the schools, the schools have been given screening software so that all of the schools must in their libraries, must in fact use screening software on the Internet, so that students who are accessing the Internet really abort from the pornographic sites and the sites, I am not sure how you define a crime site, but the pornographic sites are from the schools accessing those in the libraries and that is true in the public libraries as well.
You need to understand though that the public libraries, the librarians have been very much opposed to that. The librarians are very concerned about first amendment rights and issues like that. But in our state, so far the public libraries have been required to use some kind of screening activities and some of the public libraries, the screening activities go from very young up to age 21 and beyond that, there are some computers that are accessible just to adults in the public libraries.
There has been a move in the public in North Carolina to fund computing facilities that make them available for access to the Internet in all the public libraries in the State. We have about 460 public library facilities in North Carolina. They also now have connected to, what is called the North Carolina digital library for Instig Live Library. That is where the libraries have access to 5,000 journals that run across the digital library and they buy them in bulk. The libraries, the university, at the community college and the public schools, both public and private libraries, universities go together to help purchase and do aggregated purchasing so that it is cheaper for them to be able to have these facilities on line.
Recently, in some of the larger cities and actually in the rural areas, you can go to the public library and get a pen number, a personal identification number and you can sign on from home to the public library and get access to the digital library. We hope to be able to have that all across the State in all the rural communities and the public schools as well. I know I can go where I live and get a pen number and sign on as a citizen to that digital library and get access to these journals etc.
So, we have a long way to go in our schools. Our schools have across the State K2-12 schools; we actually rank fairly high in our K2-12 schools in access to connectivity in the State in our K2-12. Our university system ranks about 4 to a fifth in the country in connectivity. Our community college system in our State we have not funded our community college system as well as we have our university system and our K2-12, but our State spends 60 cents or 64 cents of every dollar on education in our State budget, tax dollars.
I would like to tell you briefly though about Internet 2, because I knew you had a question about that. North Carolina is in the leadership in the whole of the United States in Internet 2. We have the first giga pop in the country and that was four years ago and we now have the information highway in our State. There is a backbone OC3, OC12 network. It connects more than 18,000 wide area networks and about 172 interactive video sites. Next up the line is a network that is a 2.4 giga byte network that is funded by Cisco, Ericson, IVM, also Nautal and the universities in the research triangle area are also members of that. It is a production network. I mean they actually are working on this network.
We are now testing a 5.6 giga byte network with a new form of technology that will be the highest level that is out there. We have just been selected in the project Aberlene to be the text center; the MCMC will be the text center for Aberlene in the United States.
So, while we have some problems in the rural areas, at a university level we are well above the rest of the country, indeed most of the world in our very sophisticated networking capabilities. The big issue for the universities is how can they take that Internet access to the dorm room and that is expensive. How can they make it available in the dorm rooms?
Another big issue for the universities as well is how do they translate their libraries and transfer them to fully digital libraries at the universities? But we are very fortunate in North Carolina that our universities, public and private work together. We are very fortunate that the commercial company, such as Nautel and Cisco and Ericson and IBM etc., support those efforts. In many cases at our universities they actually funded the universities 10 to 20 million dollars worth of research, such as an MC State university in Raleigh and in Duke University in UNC at Chapel Hill. They are paying for funding in many other universities, for example, Ericson is opening at the MC State University all its IP Wireless research, which will now take place at MC State University on campus at the Centennial campus at the university there.
So, as I have said, we are rich in many of our universities. The universities don’t say that, our universities say that they are poor, but they are rich compared to what
These universities are also connected on the Network to the other universities all over the country
So it is on a national basis?
Yes, they are part of the next generation Internet. There are only 150 universities in the country that are in the NNGI right now. They are part of that initiative and they are taking part in an Aberline, which is where the railroads first connected that is how they got the name. The railroads connected in Aberline Kansas, so that is why the name Aberline is project Aberline. We are leading in that effort. At many of the Internet, on the national meetings, our universities have to show other universities how to do many of the applications across the next generation Internet. Recently at the big next generation Internet meeting in California, MCMC had to provide the technical support for the other universities to be able to do the application there. So, we are very fortunate in that sense.
These projects, Aberline and NNGI
In the NNGI effort in North Carolina, for example
Not only North Carolina, I want my friends to know what we are talking about, because our imagination as you know, maybe we can buy such a project. They have to know how much they have to pay for it.
How much the State has invested, how much the private sector has invested?
I have to tell you that the next generation got their initiative when the North Carolina was funded by the Research Triangle Park Foundation, Tukasy, the universities have a foundation that is part of the Research Triangle Park and they took 4 million dollars to fund the NNGI initiative, that is where that came from. That combined with investment from Duke, from UNC at Chapel Hill and from NC State, about another 4 million dollars and that is combined with probably another 15 to 20 million dollars from the companies, the private sector companies in the park in the Research Triangle. So it is about a total of about 30 something million-dollar effort
It is based on a national
This is just the State, nationally you have got an investment by the Federal Government in the next generation initiative and that depends on whether you add everything together, how big that investment is. But there is a major new initiative of the Clinton administration to do another 4 to 5 billion dollars in this area. Hopefully whoever gets elected next time it will continue.
Okay, I want to open the floor to other questions. Thank you very much for the information. So my colleagues, if you have any questions.
I would like to ask you a question. Practical university life, access to libraries it is okay, it is clear. What about lectures and lessons in the university. There is a serious part of Internet base that lectures from other universities, from other sources, or is everything going on according to the rural standards? How does the real university life is changing as a result of this new technology?
I have a question, which I would like to ask you.
There are a couple of people here who might want to respond to that as well, not just me. But one of the big issues at the universities today is the whole issue the faculty member and what happens to them in terms of the copyright issues of their lectures? Some of the universities now are requiring that if you develop a course on the Internet based course that that belongs to the university now, not to the faculty member.
In our State, in most States in the past, the copyright laws allow the university faculty member who developed a textbook; they own their copyright. But for example, at Carnegie Mellon now, if you develop an Internet base class, Carnegie Mellon owns that copyright. So there are some big issues that have to do with faculty members as it relates to the development of courses in ownership now.
Secondly, there are big issues for the public universities and I want to speak to private universities and Hope public. There are big issues affecting the whole question of new commercial education degrees, master’s degrees and doctorate degrees that can be offered across the Internet. One of the largest universities in our country now is Phoenix University in Phoenix with 45,000 students. They are totally based on networks, not just Internet, but networks. So that is a big issue for universities on how they begin to grant credit, which has the right to grant credit for those degrees? There are major issues affecting this. Hope you might want to say something about that. She represents the private colleges, you know.
One of the issues for faculty is making sure that the faculty who have been at the colleges and universities for a long time are technologically trained to be able to deliver a number of their lectures and other things in a way that would be up to date in terms of being able to provide multi media type presentations, being able to do e-mail with their students. The number of our faculty is finding now that they have much more interaction with students, because they do a lot of e-mail between faculty members and students, and also students amongst themselves, back and forth about things.
A number of faculty will put their syllabus on the Internet, expect papers to be delivered over the computer. A big issue for our colleges, especially for our smallest institutions is how to provide a computer for every student. We have all had computer labs, but students are coming into colleges and universities now with very high expectations what colleges should have available in technology. Not only the most up to date hardware and software, but essentially what we call a port for every pillow. They don’t want to go to a computer laboratory, they want to be able to be in their room and be able to do it on their own.
Do they check it before they decide where to study? Do they check it before they decide where to study?
Yes, they are looking at colleges. They want the computer labs; they want to see how wide the dorms are. One of our universities, a private university in North Carolina increased tuition fees and provided financial aid for the financially needy students, as part of a larger program. But one component of that was to provide a laptop computer for every student. They receive a laptop computer as a freshman, and they receive another new laptop as a junior and they keep that with them when they graduate from college, it is theirs to keep.
But their concern is that no student can operate in the way they should as a college graduate without that knowledge and they don’t want the students who are financially needy to suffer. So they provide it for everybody. But it becomes a financial issue for the students who are financially needy. Also, the thing that Jane mentioned, in terms of licensure is a big issue. We can bring in now and provide courses over the Internet, certainly bring in courses over the Internet, but how you manage that in terms of licensure, to be sure that the quality of education meets certain standards.
We have, for example, at the state level, we have a licensure requirement, but it focuses specifically on a physical presence in the State. If you were delivering courses over the Internet and you don’t have a physical presence in the State, we have regional accrediting bodies, but they also are faced with, “How do you measure the quality of these; programs, especially if they are coming from other parts of the country?”
You can ask Harry Liemie.
Well, I do. We have the experience at our university that when faculty members put their course work on line, both students enroll in those courses from remote locations, that the students enroll in those courses on campus often prefer to sleep late and access the material on the Internet. So we see a clear trend towards a demand by students that all materials be available on the worldwide web.
I am a member of our university’s committee on intellectual property and we are having an exceedingly interesting discussion about who owns the material that is developed? That discussion is still far from complete.
In North Carolina, if you are interested, we have the international center for academic, I think it is called Online Training and it operates out of Wakefast University, it is an IBM supported facility. I am sure they would be glad to send someone here to talk to you, the former provost there, Dr. David Brown would be glad to come here and talk to you about how they are literally changing the way faculty members interact with students; how they are changing their requirements etc.
One other interesting fact about what Hope mentioned about Wake Forest University, which is the name of the university. When they finish with their laptops they give them to the public schools, so the public schools each year, every two years and Forsythe County are getting laptops that the students have had when they turn over their laptops, which is the name of the university. When they finish with their laptops they give them to the public schools, so the public schools each year, every two years and Forsythe County are getting laptops that the students have had when they turn over their laptops.
I want to add two questions. One I want to come back regarding to the rural area or maybe to put it stronger. Is the Internet making a difference between the rich people and the non-rich people? How do you solve the problem? I understood the gap between two line and 3,000 this is the problem here too. How do you solve it? Does the State invest? Number two is regarding women. Are women the same as men, or women students, or is there any gap between men and women?
Speaking from the rural area, this is, as I said earlier, one of my major concerns. I said we have 58 community colleges across the State. One of the ways we try to reach our lower income people is through access, through computers at the community colleges. We are very concerned that we have computers in our libraries, in our community colleges so that those people, who do not have them in the home, have access to this through the community college. As I indicated, we have a community college within 30 miles of each citizen of the State and that is the maximum range. They are open five days a week and some are on Saturday. None of our community colleges I know of open on Sunday. But the hours are usually 8.00 in the morning until 10.00 at night. So there is ample time, Monday through Friday and then Saturday some schools are offering classes. I think as we move into more of the electronic era we are going to have to see those hours expanded.
I know that the officials at our local community colleges are eager to do so if the use justifies the expenditures of having personnel there to maintain, keep the equipment operational and so forth and so on.
Could I just add one thing to what Joel said. We just did a poll of the State for a division 20-30 project that we are working on, and 75% of the citizen’s poll, at least it was a very standardized valid poll, 75% of the citizens say they have access to the Internet, either at a school or a public library or a community college near their home, that they feel they can go. But the majority of them want to be connected from home. They will come back and say, “I want a home connectivity.”
Our country faced this similar type problem 40-50 years ago with electricity. The electric utilities only wanted to hook up electricity in the major metropolitan areas where the users were. It is very expensive to hook up people in rural areas. We are currently looking at what we did as a nation and as a State to hook up our rural people to electricity and basically what we did was we subsidized through co-ops world electric association, which was a Franklin Roosevelt effort.
We are studying representative Tolson and I am studying what that would mean for the State as far as what would it take investment wise to do that?
How would you subsidize today the Internet or the It technology in order to diminish the gap between those who have and those who do n to have? Do you do it, I know the Federal Government does it and they try to do even more, but the FCC, there are some conflicts between the telephone companies and the government but still I know it is subsidized. The American government subsidizes the rural areas.
This is what happened with the electricity as you have indicated. The Federal Governments subsidized the development half, the co-ops to go in and offer services to the rural areas because of the cost factor. The connectivity, the four companies did not want to tackle that because the number of houses were not sufficient enough to justify their expenditure, so the Federal Government stepped in and subsidized that.
We just in the past session approved the expansion of the services that the rural co-ops can offer. So we are hoping that this is one thing they will look at as a way to expand their services to the rural areas. That is why we received such a high vote in both the House and the Senate to prove this measure, because so many of our representatives and Senators are representatives of the rural area that they saw a need for these co-ops to be able to expand their services.
We think this may be a way that we will solve some of the problems, but we have just approved that, none of our co-ops have started moving in that direction, but we hope that is something they will look at and that is something we will try to encourage them to do.
Let us see what will happen with the next generation, they are learning in schools. All of the classes are connected, the schools are connected. I mean, can you say in North Carolina every pupil who is finishing the elementary school knows how to get information from Internet?
Yes, let me just say that there is a requirement, I think we talked to you about it a couple of years ago, that in order to graduate from high school, to get a diploma, you must have passed a competency exam in information technology skills. There is a curriculum in the schools that start at kindergarten, goes to the 7th grade, and in the 7th grade the test is given and then you have three more chances to pass it in order to be able to get out of high school with a diploma. The issue is, passing in the 7th grade so that you can use it in high school. Really use it so that when you can get out of high school you are fit to go into work with the information technology skills.
I just wanted to add one thing to what they are saying about the use of subsidies. You can subsidize and get the service out there, but there has to be also, there was in the United States as well for telephone service a subsidy to poor families and that is called Lifeline and Linkup. In the United States, if you meet certain requirements, such as you are eligible for food stamps, or you are eligible for services for welfare. If you meet that requirement, you can in fact get a telephone, you get installation with a two years to pay for the installation interest free and you only have to pay $5.63 a month for telephone service.
We tried with the national information infrastructure advisory counsel, which I served on, to get that carried to access for network services. So that you would subsidize network services as well.
Who finances these subsidies?
The Federal Government pays half and the State Government has a tax credit. Tax credits that they pay for this. North Carolina signed up in 1984 and has been a part of that effort. Some of us would like to see the legislature go ahead and say it extends to network services, not just only to telephone services. The tax credit is already in place in North Carolina for that.
Let me give a chance to the people that fit with us in the periphery, I mean far from us.
I have a question for both delegations actually. I am only a port biochemist, so I mean I understand technology, I know scientifically as compared to the level of understanding of the people directly in the electronics area. But I tried to follow and some people say I may be too visionary.
My question comes, I see us addressing the issue of rural areas and poverty and bringing this access to people who cannot necessarily afford what is happening in the hi-tech centers. My question then with that is, it seems to me what has happened technologically is that the streaming audio on video technology that is available today currently allows people anywhere technologically to see audio and visual lectures on educational programs from any university in the world anywhere, wherever they are. So, isn’t it possible that the answer is how to afford, provide high level education and communication to whether it is a Bedouin or a rural Carolinean maybe through the streaming technology that is beginning to break down the issue of walls of university and how far one is physically from the university. We may have to rethink where students are, as compared to where they are studying. That is the question I have addressed on these issues.
I am the chief information officer of the Ministry of Agriculture. My question will probably make you feel back home. What does all this do for farmers?
I would like to talk about the rural areas. But I told you before that I represent both, actually more, science, sport and culture, I would like to quote from Shakespeare, that is an answer to you Nissim and also to the rest of the MP’s, Mikki, Anat and Victor. “The fault dear Brutus is not on the stars but it is within ourselves, but we are underlings,” which means that in order to help the rural areas such as the Bedouins in the north and the Jews in Kiryat Shmonah, after the government already spent or is going to spend 40 million dollars in communication to the United State of Israel and Europe in the NGI, you know that the network is almost empty. Do you know why the network is empty?
If the Ministry of Science is issued proposals on Internet 2 research and Hamutal Me’iri from the Upper Galilee is giving us an excellent proposal and we are willing to support her, you know why? Because there is still a monopoly, which is called Bezek, which blocked the network, no any external user, apart from the academia is allowed to enter the network. You the MPs won’t support us in order to block, in order to influence the industry, the R&D in industry and the R&D in research in the Galilee and in Beer Sheva are not yet allowed to enter the network, because there is one monopoly in Israel, which is called Bezek, which is making all the problems.
We are investing a lot of money and the lady like Hamutal cannot enter North Carolina via the Internet 2, because of Bezek.
Maybe to our guests we have to clarify that Bezek is a governmental company, owned by the government now.
Part of the discussion now, there is for an Israeli, how much to go with the competition. We opened the limits. Regarding the telephone system is an example, but part of our struggle behind the Internet is to open more and more and I am talking about this as a social democrat. But I really agree that in communication, there is no advantage to the closed system that we used to work with. But at the same time, I believe that we heard a few points how to help the poor people, how to help to the rural area, to be part of the future society. The Internet will not be part of the gap in the society.
Can I comment about the streaming role, a streaming video and audio that was mentioned. The technology there is still not that good and it really is not very good at all with wireless. So, you don’t have the capability yet with wireless to do the streaming audio in video to the Bedouins that he is talking about.
But what the US is doing, you could do with Bedouins, the US has now offered to communities in our country, a way to have community centers that would be open to folks who could go to that community center in a rural area, get on the Internet, even places to work a tele community working place they can work from close to there, and that has just been released this year by our Federal government. It is a new project. So you might want to take a look at that. They are not giving a lot of money out, but it is not a huge sum of money that it takes to see some of this.
Even though I don’t represent rural or North Carolina, the question that was asked about what does it mean for farmers? I do represent a lot of people involved in the new economy businesses and that is a common complaint and question that I get asked a lot.
Basically, my viewpoint is that we want to try to have economies throughout North Carolina that are vibrant, and our farmers, through technology over the years have been able to increase their yields without having to hire more people. So you have less people working in agriculture, where those people they are living in rural North Carolina are going to go if they don’t have a job in agriculture, they are going to move to my part of the State.
Well, wouldn’t it be great, if through having a robust communication system that the businesses that want to be in e-commerce would locate in rural North Carolina, where those people can go and work within those communities. So, I don’t look at it as the farmer, I look at it more as the agricultural community being strengthened through communications.
Thank you. Maybe if you have questions to ask, I want to remind everybody that at 12.30 we invite all of you and the Knesset members to lunch. You asked before about our research and our programs, so I will give you the chance to answer. Is there another question from you to us?
May I make one comment about the farming aspect. Our farmers are using the technology. Our larger farmers, as we are getting more and more in North Carolina, the age of our small farmer is almost out of existence. But our larger farmers are using the satellite position into test for fertilizer. How much fertilizer to put on, the pH value. So they are using this, but it has got to be our big farmers that can afford to purchase the technology. So, that is a way that our farmers are beginning to use the technology in North Carolina.
Can I ask you a question? What kind of metrics do you use to determine how well your investment in science and technology is doing as a government? How do you hold the community that you give the funds to accountable? I mean, do you actually say that you must return X number of dollars for research that you are doing? X percentage must be commercialized within five years or that type of thing.
Any other questions?
I just want to raise a question that was raised earlier.
I am not sure there is time. Is there another question please? Okay, I appreciate very much that you will begin.
I would like to apologize, I was in the Educational Committee so this is why I was late for this committee. Later on, I guess Anat, I will have my comments about education in science and common problems that I know North Carolina and Israel share and maybe we can work together in the area of science education as an infrastructure of investment and so on.
About the situation in Israel, for the last one, one and a half years we are part of the Internet 2 initiative year. We have, of course, the backbone within Israel that connects all eight universities, not the colleges, just the universities to the backbone, which consists of 155 mega bytes per second. We are also connected to the United States via satellite. We have a 45 mega byte per second connection. The connection point within the US is in Chicago, the startup, which actually the jiga pop for the rest of the world to connect to the US Internet 2. Today we are also connected to Europe and this is part of the EC, the European Commission initiative. We have a 34 mega byte connection to Europe via cable optic line.
As you heard, we are still in negotiation of how to connect the rest of the country to this backbone, since this is a national initiative and not just an academic one, and we are very concerned about the situation as it is now. The emotion of the point that Emanuel put here is part of this concern, because we are a year already within this project and we would like very much the industry and the R&D industry to be part of this initiative. We think that this is actually one of the main goals. So we hope that this session will allow us,
What are the obstacles?
The industry has enough motivation to enter?
Of course. But I think we should solve this problem on some other occasion.
We very much in North Carolina would like to be able to pick that up,
Of course, we are now in the state of finding out what projects are really in need of this backbone, of this infrastructure and we were really eager to find out communication and collaboration with the other parts of the world. As you mentioned here, digital libraries, we are part, of course, of this technology as well, and we are already enjoying communication connection to digital library all over the world and this is part of the achievements that we already achieved, but there are lots of projects that are now of tele medicine, tele irrigation and so on and Hamutal is part of this initiative that we would like her to succeed. Thank you.
I would like to mention two points actually, two issues. One concerns teacher preparation, in-service and pre-service via the Internet or via information technology and advanced technology. I know we in Israel have a problem, a big problem regarding teacher preparation. I talked with some people in North Carolina. I guess what I heard is, you have the same problem and maybe we can use or we have to think how to use the advanced technology in order to be able to improve future preparation for science education, in general and for science education in particular. This is one point.
The other point is, since the advanced technology allows kids to study together within the Us and Israel and the Europeans, South America, wherever, all over the world, there is no problem now regarding the technology to create joint projects where kids all over the world work together. I mean there are problems, it is not a new issue altogether. There are some initiatives in this direction. I think we can carry it out and have a big problem, a very nice project where the kids in North Carolina or in the States in general, North Carolina can also communicate with other States in the US, Israel and other countries and also within Israel. We can talk about the Arab students, the Jewish students, the Druze, you talked before I came about the Bedouins, working together, studying together without being connected to the wall of the classrooms. Thank you.
I would like to add a short fact. I am acting chief scientist, Minister of Communication. Two comments. First, we have here a booklet of the development of the Israeli telecommunication industry in the recent years, which describes the achievement of this industry, opening for competition in international carrier, as well as a cellular system. We are now in the stage that state monopoly of Bezek was cancelled by the Parliament, by the Knesset as to the 1st June, 1999 and we are now in a process, I hope in the beginning of next year, to publish all the regulations which may have more competition in the fixed services.
As to the Internet, there is a lot of activity; ADSL technology will be introduced by the beginning of next year. There will also be a public ATM network, which will enable high broad bent communication, business to business, etc. There is a large development in the content industry, the domain names are doubling every year and there is a new industry, which is around it.
The last comment, the Counsel of Higher Education just recently published an internal call in the academic universities, calling for tele education, tele learning projects, which might be very applicable for a collaboration with North Carolina, and I think that we are now in the stage, as the metric is operating to initiate more collaborating projects, not only in education, as well as in other areas. Thank you.
One comment. Very often in projects marked with different administrations and you start with one, it changes, you loose a project. We would like to thank you and North Carolina, we began a project with Minister Neeman, the Finance Minister in the Financial Science Foundation project with North Carolina, and yesterday with Minister Shohat came and said they would continue this project. We have more than a million dollars of capability for sponsor research between North Carolina and Israel for professors in universities working together. It is extraordinarily popular, well over subscribed and we are delighted. We would like to thank all of the political parties in Israel for being very much a part of this.
תרשו לי להוסיף בשתי מלים ולספר על הוועדה. בהקשר לשאלה מה בכלל קורה בישראל בהקשר לנושא המדע. אנחנו לא יכולים לנוח על זרי הדפנה של העבר. זה נכון שבישראל הטכניון נבנה לפני 75 שנה ומכון וייצמן שהוא על-שם נשיא המדינה הראשון חגג לפני חודש חמישים שנה והמודעות הייתה מאוד גבוהה, ולכן גם ישראל היא בין המדינות שהתפתחו וצמחו בצורה מרשימה ואנחנו גאים על כך.
עם זאת היום אצלנו ההשקעה במחקר היא 2,6 מהתמ"ג. אנחנו נאבקים לחזור לשלושה אחוז ואף להגיע לשלושה וחצי אחוז כמו במדינות מתקדמות. אנחנו רוצים כועדה לשקוד על שיתוף פעולה הדוק יותר בין האקדמיה, שם מתבצע מחקר לשמו שהוא הכרחי, לבין המחקר התעשייתי ולבין המחקר הלאומי שהוא מחקר יזום.
אנחנו רוצים לעבור יותר ויותר ממחקר צבאי. היינו מדינה עם חמישים שנות מלחמה וכרגע פנינו לשלום, וזה אני אומרת בשם כל המפלגות ואין כאן מחלוקות פוליטיות, כי הוויכוח הוא על איך אבל כולם רוצים להגיע לשלום. זה מחייב שינוי חברתי ושינוי במחקר. הרבה מאוד מההישגים היו בתחום התעשייה הצבאית ועכשיו נעביר אותם יותר ויותר לתעשייה רפואית ולמחקר חברתי.
אלה יעדים שאנחנו עובדים עליהם ואני בטוחה שהפגישה הזאת תרמה גם לכם.
נשמח מאוד להמשך שיתוף פעולה.
תרשו לי להעניק שי צנוע בשם הכנסת ליושבת-ראש המשלחת שלכם ולעשות זאת בכל הלב.
Thank you very much. We would like to accept it and we would like very much to have this wrapped up in North Carolina.
We would also like to, as a token of our appreciation for having us here, it has been very interesting, enjoyable, I have learned a lot, and we would like to extend an invitation to you to come to North Carolina, let us continue this relationship, let us build this relationship, because we see so many good things that can have for two, our people, your people in the process. We too have a little small token that we would like to give to you in remembrance of our visit here and we hope that you will come to North Carolina and visit us, and we hope that you will come to North Carolina and visit us.
Thank you very much and you are welcome to our lunch.
הישיבה ננעלה בשעה 12:30