Focus: Presentation skills,  public speaking skills

The Future Talent Programme's Lightning Talk Challenge (FTP22) offers students and young professionals an opportunity to present their project or idea to an international audience at GÉANT's annual TNC conference.  Nominated by GÉANT project partners, participants are given training to help them master presentation skills and prepare for an impactful presentation.

FTP22 challenges participants to present their research or idea as a 5-minute "Lightning Talk" at the TNC Conference which will be held from 13 - 17 June 2022 in Trieste, Italy. Participants whose proposals are selected by the TNC Programme Committee ('finalists') will be invited to participate in the TNC conference and their travel fees paid*.  

* 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 TNC22 website.


What's included

Students and young professionals will learn how to pitch their proposal and deliver a powerful presentation. The virtual workshops offer a safe environment where participants can learn and practise 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. 

  • 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 fees + full conference pass for finalists (see the above statement*) The hosting NREN is asked to pre-pay the flights for the students and claim the cost back from GN4-4-WP5-T1 through its regular monthly cost claims.


  • This challenge is open to i) students who are registered on any IT & networking-related course at a university or learning provider and ii) young professionals working in IT & networking-related areas.
  • All participants must be nominated by a GÉANT member NREN. If in doubt, applicants should select the NREN in the country where they study or work from this list of GEANT members.
  • The lightning talk idea must be associated with computer networking or 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 April-May)  
  • Finalists commit to present their proposal at TNC 2022 if selected
  • Excellent command of the English language, both spoken and written

What is 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 the NREN must:

  • Be a member of the GÉANT GN4-3 Project
  • Be willing to recruit, select and administer the registration of up to 3 candidates 
  • Offer students a local contact (mentor) to support, encourage or promote participants locally.

What is the role of GLAD

GLAD is committed to:

  • Providing training workshops designed to improve participants' public speaking skills.
  • Liaising with NRENs and their candidate(s).
  • Paying successful participants' travel and conference fees for attendance at the TNC conference.

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 April and May. Dates and Programme will be confirmed.  

Step 3 Participants submit their Lightning Talk proposal to TNC Programme Committee by 14 March 2022, 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 TNC22


Submit Registration

Registration deadline
11 March 2022 12:00 PM CET

registration is closed


11 March 2022 12:00PM CET
Deadline for NRENs to register candidates for the programme 

14 March 2022   
Submission deadline for candidates to send Lightning Talk proposal to TNC22

April 2022 
Acceptance/rejection Lightning Talk proposals by TNC22 Programme Committee

April  - May 2022   
Public speaking workshops  

13 - 17 June 2022  
TNC22, Trieste, Italy


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.

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

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.

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)

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. 

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 14 March 2022

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.

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? 

FTP22 Lightning Talks

Artificial Intelligence for the early diagnosis of cardiac comorbidities associated to COVID-19 - Chiara Leonie (GARR)  

COVID-19 is an infectious disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2, that mainly affects the respiratory system. Unfortunately, it can also have serious impact on cardiovascular system, triggering the occurrence of cardiac diseases that must be timely identified. Thus, this project aims to contribute to the diagnosis of cardiac comorbidities associated to COVID-19, with the development of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool.


Embedding a culture of internationalisation into the curriculum through "Internationalisation at Home"- Preparation for the changing context of Higher Education in Ireland - Nidhi Piplani Kapur, Waterford Institute of Technology, HEANET

My proposed research seeks to address the ‘gap’ in the Irish National Strategy for Internationalisation, by delving deep in how ‘Internationalisation of Curriculum (IoC)’ can provide internationalisation experiences to the 98% of students in Ireland who currently do not travel abroad. My research will investigate ways to provide an international experience ‘at home’ to all students, mainly using technology-based interventions. It will seek to inform a strategy that will drive the development and embedding of a culture of ‘Internationalisation at Home (IaH)’ in the curriculum. This will bridge skill deficits in Irish graduates and build multicultural competencies required by industry.

Why we need a collaborative DDoS protection architecture in Europe - Marion Dübendorfer (SWITCH)

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have the potential to disrupt access to critical infrastructure for population groups across the world – yet their mitigation capabilities lie largely in the hands of private tech companies based in the US. This lightning talk explores the opportunities and benefits of an open, federated DDoS protection architecture in Europe.

Fake News Detection Models — Introducing GAN Generated Synthetic Samples to Improve Performance - Bruno Gonçalves Vaz (Universidade do Porto) FCT/FCCN

News datasets are extremely imbalanced, with the fake news not being as well represented as the real news. Thus, machine learning models for fake news detection do not perform as good as expected. Hence, Generative Adversarial Networks can be used to produce high-quality synthetic samples to better represent the fake news data, improving the models’ performances.

AI for Heritage ─ SOS digital collections: classifying and characterizing - Ana Carneiro (School of Arts | Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto) FCT/FCCN

A presentation that focuses on finding solutions that use AI to catalogue and categorize archival collections. Firstly, the difficulties that archivists have in the transition to digital followed by the various problems when one tries to implement AI. Finally, the necessary steps to carry out a project in partnership with a heritage space and a potential workflow.

Traffic analysis of communication and collaboration apps bloomed with Covid-19 via advanced Deep Learning approaches -  Idio Guarino (University of Naples Federico II) GARR

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in interactions via digital tools has deeply changed network traffic. To manage these changes, network operators need advanced tools for classification and the prediction of internet traffic. To face these tasks, the idea is to design advanced deep-learning based techniques with a special focus on traffic generated by social communication and collaboration apps.

Roman Emperors and Facial Recognition - Karel van Klink (GÉANT)

Facial recognition and Roman emperors: a unique application that will allow for the preservation of culture for generations to come.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) for Future-Proof Digital Wallets - Frederic Gerber (SWITCH)

When the Internet was introduced at the end of the last century, it was not clear what use it would have. Today, we are at a similar crossroads with SSI, which consists of a set of principles for digital identities that users directly control. While it is not certain that SSI will change our society as groundbreakingly as the Internet did, it seems to be establishing itself as a paradigm that will endure for some time. From the user's perspective, it is important to understand the power of digital wallets, which is why this presentation will go through the main principles of SSI and convince everyone that a digital wallet is just as vulnerable as a physical one.

Multi-factor authentication support between eduGAIN federations - Hilco de Lathouder (SURF)

Lightning Talk proposal featuring the results of a 1 month research project conducted as part of the University of Amsterdam's Security and Network engineering Master Program. The results are a start for improving support for (standardized) multi-factor authentication methods between eduGAIN federations.

Guessing PINs, One Partial PIN at a Time - Ashley Sheil (Maynooth University)HEANET

We created different methods of guessing a person's PIN, by attempting to guess their partial PIN incrementally in an in-the-wild scenario. We look at the different patterns that result, as well as lengths of guessing time. We wanted to see how secure, in comparison, a full PIN is compared to using partial PINs as means of authentication.

Challenges in processing and knowledge discovery in specifications of scientific resources - Witold Taisner (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center)PSNC

The talk will focus on major challenges present in both processing and further utilization of the data, such as specifications of certain scientific resources: articles, computational resources or datasets. Our goal is to create a recommender system for the aforementioned data
utilizing linguistic and natural language processing techniques, with a special focus on deep learning.

Archived FTP Lightning Talks


A testbed to bridge the cybersecurity skills gap in industrial control systems - conrad-ekisa/HEANET

ICS cybersecurity is of increasing concern and this is evidenced by the mounting reports of cyber threats and attacks on ICS infrastructure that are referenced both within the technical community and the public media.

Telomerase – eternal life or a panacea for all cancers ?! - hanna-karpenko/BASNET

Telomerase is considered the key to cellular immortality, the “fountain of youth.” This enzyme allows cells to multiply rapidly without aging. At the same time, telomerase allows cancer cells to divide indefinitely, which is the reason for the formation of tumors. Scientists from all over the world have been trying to solve this problem for a very long time. But today there is no exact model of the structure of human telomerase, due to the complexity of the structure and the high cost of this study. Computer modeling methods make it possible to quickly and cost-effectively reconstruct the spatial structure of human telomerase by homology based on the structural data of related templates. The work is done with the help of the State Supercomputer Multi-access Center of the UIIP NASB and the NREN BASNET network infrastructure. Computer methods of molecular dynamics optimize the model and make it accurate enough for rational design drugs and will help to understand that telomerase is eternal life or a panacea for oncology.

A Hierarchical Learning Approach to Enable Network Slicing in Future Telecommunication Systems federico-mason/GARR

In this work, we designed a hierarchical learning architecture, where multiple agents cooperate to orchestrate network slices under different working conditions. Our hierarchical architecture will support PSC in a much more efficient way than conventional approaches, allowing the current telecommunication networks to assist emergency operators (e.g., firefighters, policemen, healthcare professionals) without the need for a dedicated infrastructure.

Indoor Localization Service based on Beacons: A System to Save Your Life! - sara-raggiunto/GARR

Navigation systems help users find their way around the world. But what if we wanted to reach the exact platform of our departing train and it’s a matter of minutes? Or what if in the earthquake/fire event we wanted the shortest path to the escape route? The skill is to move from a problem to an extremely innovative solution. Indoor localization allows users to access unknown environments. The main challenges of the proposed system are the safety, the access control, and the activity monitoring. In fact, knowing instantly the exact position of the people to be assisted is extremely important in an indoor environment.

Biometrics-based scheme for public key agreement protocol in wireless body area networks - anna-valeria-guglielm / GARR

Wireless body area networks (WBANs) are becoming increasingly popular as they allow individuals to continuously monitor their vitals and physiological parameters remotely from the hospital. With the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the availability of portable pulse-oximeters and wearable heart rate detectors has boomed in the market. At the same time, in recent years we assisted to an unprecedented increase of healthcare breaches, revealing the extreme vulnerability of the current generation of WBANs. Therefore, the development of new security protocols to ensure data protection, authentication, integrity and privacy within WBANs are highly needed. In this context, we target a WBAN collecting ECG signals from different locations on the individual’s body, and we propose a new information theoretic key agreement protocol that exploits the inherent randomness of ECG signals to ensure authentication between the nodes within the WBAN.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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