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Focus: Presentation skills,  public speaking skills

The FTP Lightning Talk Challenge is a programme for young professionals to present a project or work to an international audience.  Nominated by GÉANT project partners, participants undergo specific training to help them master presentation skills and prepare for an impactful presentation at the actual event. 

FTP21 challenges participants to present their idea as part of the Lightning Talk programme of the TNC Conference which will be held from 21 - 25 June 2021. Participants whose proposal gets selected by the TNC Programme Committee ( 'finalists') will be invited to participate in the TNC conference*.  

* Participation in the TNC Lightning Talk Programme will be in accordance with TNC's rules and formats. These will be affected by the special circumstances the world lives in today. Please, read the official statement  at the TNC21 website.


What's included

Young professionals will learn how to pitch their proposal and deliver a powerful presentation. The virtual workshops offer a safe environment where students can learn and practice together, and is often a good place to build a network of peers. In addition, all participants are invited to showcase the end result of their learning in a self-recorded video which may be published through GÉANT media channels. 'Finalists' receive further support to present at the upcoming conference. 

  • Practical and interactive workshops under the guidance of a professional public speaking coach for all participants
  • Video presentation support
  • 1:1 coaching for 'finalists'
  • *Travel package  + full conference pass - if applicable - for 'finalists' (see the above statement*)


  • This challenge is open to individuals who are registered on any IT & networking (related) course(s) at a university, college or learning provider 
  • All participants must be nominated by a GÉANT participating NREN
  • The lightning talk idea must be associated with computer networking or any other technology-related areas. 
  • Lightning talk proposals must include: title, participant name, educational institution, short biography, five keywords, and short introduction of the idea (max. 500 words). Abstract must be marked [Topic title + FTP]
  • Participants commit themselves to attend the full training programme ( 3 virtual workshops in March and April)  
  • 'Finalists' commit to present their proposal at TNC
  • Excellent command of the English language, both spoken and written

What's required of the NREN  

If you are a NREN, this programme gives you great exposure in the R&E community and may help to strengthen relations with your institutional partners and users. To participate we expect the NREN to:

  • be a member of GÉANT GN4-3 Project
  • be willing to recruit, select and administer the registration of max 3 candidates 
  • have a point of contact (mentor) available who can support, encourage or promote participants locally 

What is the role of GLAD

GLAD is committed to organise the workshops and improve public speaking skills of participants. GLAD will be in direct contact with you and your candidate. GLAD will also support video presentation recording and  promotion via GÉANT media channels.   

How to Apply (NRENs)

Step 1 Register your candidate online with a brief description of the candidate's topic.

Step 2 All accepted candidates will become participants of the Future Talent Programme and will receive the training. Your participant takes part in the virtual training workshops in March and April. Dates and Programme will be confirmed.  

Step 3 Participants submit their proposal to TNC Programme Committee by 11 March 2021, midnight CET. 

Step 4 Participants will be notified by the TNC Programme Committee  of the acceptance or rejection of the proposal 

Step 5 Selected participants ('finalists') take further training and take part at TNC21

Submit Registration

Registration deadline
28 Feb 2021


28 February 2021
Deadline for NRENs to register candidates for the programme 

11 March 2021   
Submission deadline for candidates to send Lightning Talk proposal to TNC21

Mid - March 2021 
Acceptance/rejection Lightning Talk proposals by TNC21 Programme Committee

March - April 2021   
Public speaking workshops  

May 2021   
Video presentations  

21 - 25 June 2021 


 Who can participate in this programme?

Any early career candidate nominated by a GÉANT Project NREN partner studying at a university or college in a GÉANT partner country, or working at a GÉANT NREN.

 How many candidates can you nominate for the programme?

Depending on the number of  candidates in the programme, a maximum of 3 candidates per NREN.

 What kind of candidates should NRENs look for?

Ideal candidates: (under) graduate, master and PhD students (possibly interns at the NREN), who want to commit time and energy to learn and develop beyond the basic university programme.

 What kind of topic can be submitted for a lightning talk

The subject matter of each presentation could be any idea, project or research or innovation the candidates have been working on which addresses a technical, economic, legal, security or environmental aspect in any IT and networks field. (see former topics below)

 How does selection and recruitment take place? done

We expect NRENs to select and nominate a maximum of 3 candidates. All nominated candidates who comply with the programme requirements (see Requirements) will be admitted to the Future Talent Programme. The acceptance of the participant's proposal for the Lightning Talk programme at TNC will be the exclusive decision of the TNC Programme Committee without any interference of the Future Talent Programme. The Future Talent candidate competes with all the other proposals submitted for the conference. Winning proposals are selected based on originality and clarity. 

 What do you need to send to Future Talent Programme to nominate a candidate?

A complete application includes the online registration at including the mentor's contact details, the candidate’s contact details,  university and a short description of the topic the candidate wants to submit as a Lightning Talk. The application must be submitted by 28 February 2021

 What will be your role as a host and mentor?

Your role as a mentor is to engage with your candidate on a regular basis during the programme, provide encouragement and advice throughout the programme and attend related events. If your candidate is selected to present at TNC, we encourage you to support him or her during the conference. All candidates' costs are funded by the programme and can be reclaimed from GN4.3-WP1-T5 following the normal GÉANT project claimant rules and procedures.

 What is the duration of the programme?

The programme runs from March to June, and includes 3 workshops for all participants. Depending on the number of participants the workshops will be organised in groups of max 5 and will run in March and April. TNC 'finalists' can expect further coaching from a professional trainer coach prior to the conference. The TNC conference will take place from 21-25 June online.

Have a different question? 

2020 Topics

What if we don’t have to type anymore? Luis Sampaio, FCT/FCCN

 Click here to expand...

This presentation outlines a new approach on human-machine interaction that is inclusive to people with hand/arm movement impediments and vocal impairments through the use of an electroencephalography headset and electromyography surface electrodes respectively, all on a decentralized application that is developed to guarantee privacy on communication between users.

Internet of Things - Alvise Baggio, GARR

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FaaSt (Forecast as a Service) is a project created on occasion of the hackathon organized by GARR (Hack The Cloud) on November 2019 whose main theme was environmental sustainability. The idea behind Faast is to use cloud communication infrastructure to improve the electric grid and provide end-users with real-time information on the sources of energy used in the grid and to opt for the renewable options.

Postquantum secure cryptographic schemes - Panayiota Smyrli, CYNET

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Recent advancements in quantum computing have brought about fundamental challenges to cryptography. The security of many classical cryptographic schemes, such as the digital signature algorithm (DSA), the Diffie-Hellman (DH) key exchange protocol, and their elliptic curve variants, relies on the hardness of the well-known discrete logarithm problem over cyclic groups in elliptic curves over finite fields.

Computer Discovery of Novel Drugs, Hanna karpenka, BASNET

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Computer molecular modeling techniques play an important role in research into the development of new drugs. The use of neural networks for these methods in the rational design of potential drugs can minimize the time and cost of searching for various targets and potential drugs! Such a computer model can, with high probability, predict the vulnerability in the structure of the infectious agent and indicate which chemical compound should be synthesized.

Challenges and Opportunities of Crowdfunding in Ireland - Kelly Wang, HEAnet

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Digital connectivity is transforming all aspects of our lives. Today information, ideas and financial flows are exchanged rapidly online and worldwide.  A case in point is Crowdfunding.  Enabling investors and entrepreneurs to connect worldwide online, to access much needed finance, this new model has emerged as a powerful disruptive force, reshaping traditional funding models and undermining traditional market dynamics.

Information-Centric Networking (ICN) - Paul Duggan, HEAnet

 Click here to expand...

Information-Centric Networking (ICN) is an alternative approach to the Internet networking architecture. The main idea behind this approach is that information is identified by name, rather than by IP address. Due to this capability, this information can be cached on some or all hops on the delivery path between a source and an end-user, depending on a caching policy. For example, if an end-user requests a video, a copy of this video may be cached at every hop along the path between the source and end-user. When an adjacent user requests the same video, the request may be serviced from a node closer to the user instead of from the source. This can lead to significant savings in quality, costs and latency

FTP finalists at TNC (Archived Lightning Talks)

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Democratizing Smart Farming with AI on LoRa Sensor Networks – Luca Coviello, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy (GARR)
2A Lightning Talks: First Strike
Minute: 54:28 Luca 

Building Community Machine Learning Tool for Agriculture and Forest Species Identification – António Ferreira, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal (FCT/FCCN).]
2A Lightning Talks: First Strike
Minute: 54:28 Antonio 

Sport-Related Sudden Cardiac Death: A New In- Cloud System for Athletes Prevention – Agnese Sbrollini, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy (GARR).
2A Lightning Talks: First Strike
Minute: 49:40  Agnese

Content-Interaction-Powered Distance Learning – Contact, pointing, immersion and feeling of presence – Enrico Pietrocola, Conservatorio G.Verdi, Milano, Italy (GARR).

6A Lightning Talks: Second Strike
Minute: 35:20 Enrico

Project Fox, a Quest for a Statically Typed Embeddable Programming Language – Pierre van Houtryve, HEPH Condorcet, Mons, Belgium (BELNET).
6A Lightning Talks: Second Strike
25:34 Pierre

FOG Computing as a Lifeline for E Health Users – Era Ajdaraga Krluku, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Macedonia (MARNET)
Minute: 29:45 Era


Hey network, what's going on? -- Virtual assistants for networks - Rüdiger Birkner, ETH Zurich/ SWITCH, Switzerland
Minute: 48:45 Rudiger

Back to the future: let’s bring schools to XXI century! - Ilaria Bortolotti, Università di Roma La Sapienza/GARR, Italy
Minute: 37:45 Llaria

Efficiency is the way to go: get to know EnkiJosé Pedro Guerra Brito, UTAD, Universidade de Tás os Montes e Alto Douro / FCT/FCCN, Portugal
Minute: 43:29 José

Empowering student involvement in campus network deployment - Antonio Angel Cruzado Castillo, University of Málaga / RedIRIS, Spain 32:25 Antonio

mySense - AI and Big Data for agroforestry applications Jorge Mendes, UTAD, Universidade de Trás os Montes e Alto Douro / FCT/FCCN, Portugal
Minute: 27.09 Jorge

V-Labs: autonomous provisioning of virtual environments using PaaS approach Simone Feretti, INFN Sezione di Roma Tor Vergata / GARR, Italy
Poster Presentation

SCOReS: A dynamic cache system for e-Science applications Davide Michelino, Università di Napoli Federico II - INFN Sezione di Napoli/ GARR, Italy
Poster Presentation

Network installation upgrade, done with students? Melchor Alejo Garau Madrigal, University of Málaga / RedIRIS, Spain
Poster Presentation

Privacy-Friendly Threat Detection Using DNS Gijs Rijnders, Eindhoven University of Technology / SURFnet, Netherlands
Poster Presentation


Beyond Touch, Swipe and Tap for Smart Clothing! Retro brings Nostalgia Adwait Sharma, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Hagenberg/ACONET, Austria Security risks and ethical
Minute: 23:40 Adwait

implications of sensitive data on the Internet of Things Ernesta Grigaityte, The University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (UCLan Cyprus)/CYNET, Cyprus
Minute: 38.49 Ernesta

“SmartWindow”- Pablo Picasso meets Graham Bell Rafay Iqbal Ansari, Frederick University/CYNET, Cyprus Distributed
Minute: 17:58 Rafay

learning based on free open educational resources Tiago José Castro, ESMAD - Politecnico Porto/FCT/FCCN, Portugal
Minute 50:24 Tiago

Switches - routers in disguise. Software router acceleration using OpenFlow hardware Norbertas Kremeris, Kaunas University of Technology/LITNET, Lithuania
Minute 1.00:26 Norbertas

Using Raspberry Pis for cheap Wi-Fi monitoring Fredrik Strupe, Norwegian University of Science and Technology/UNINETT, Norway
Minute: 55:30 Fredrik

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