Kees Neggers appointed Officer in Order of Orange-Nassau on retirement from SURFnet

Utrecht, June 21, 2012

During yesterday's symposium at the Media Plaza in Utrecht, Kees Neggers was appointed an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. He was presented with the Royal insignia by the Mayor of Heumen, Mr Mengde. Kees Neggers will say farewell to SURFnet -- the Dutch education and research network -- on 1 July. Mr Neggers is an important figure -- both nationally and internationally -- in the development of the Internet in general and research networks in particular.


Together with other pioneers in the field of networks, Kees Neggers was able in the 1980s to persuade politicians and policymakers that the Netherlands would face major risks if it did not invest in a high-quality research network. This led to a large-scale Information Science Incentive Plan and the establishment of SURF (the Dutch higher education and research partnership for ICT) and the setting up of SURFnet.

Mr. Neggers was appointed director of SURFnet together with Boudewijn Nederkoorn. He directed SURFnet from 1988 to the present, a period during which it has grown to become one of the most advanced and respected education and research networks in the world. SURFnet has ensured that scientists -- and Dutch scientists in particular -- have been given new opportunities to make discoveries, for example in astronomy (JIVE and LOFAR) and high-energy physics (CERN).

Open and accessible Internet

Kees Neggers' guiding principle has always been that the Internet should be open and accessible to everyone. He has also been one of the initiators or a board member of numerous national and international organisations aimed at the further development and spread of the Internet. He has also ensured that the Netherlands now has a special position on the Internet, for example with the Amsterdam Internet Exchange -- the world's largest Internet node -- and the establishment of TERENA and RIPE NCC in the Netherlands.

After his retirement, Kees Neggers will continue to act as a strategic adviser to SURF and as the Dutch representative within e-IRG, an organisation that promotes the shared use of e-infrastructure facilities within Europe.

After 1 July, SURFnet's management will consist of Erwin Bleumink (CEO), Karen de Bruijn (CFO), and Erik Huizer (CTO).