Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 - Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS)
The Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS) has launched a cutting-edge, free video conferencing communication tool called EVO. As the authorised distributor for EVO in Australia, ARCS is working with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to enhance EVO and its capability for improving education and research outcomes.

ARCS’ Executive Director, Professor Anthony Williams, said that interest in EVO is already being seen at an institutional level.

“Monash is the first university to implement the service and a number of other universities are also keen to be included in the EVO Network,” Professor Williams said.

“At this stage, approximately 30 researchers at Monash are using EVO on a regular basis, creating real time collaboration between internal and external researchers.

“Users communicate from their own PC, making the system almost as convenient as using a telephone, but with the added ability to connect more than two people.”

Paul Bonnington, Director or E-Research at Monash University, has himself used EVO for almost two years. He said: “EVO is a user-driven tool that gives control to the researchers. They are able to manage all communications elements of a meeting and are not reliant upon facilities or technical resources to enable collaboration.”

EVO has recently been awarded the 2009 Internet2 “IDEA Award”. This award recognises leading innovators who have created and deployed advanced network applications that have enabled transformational progress in research, teaching and learning.

Chosen from many distinguished nominations, the winning submissions were judged on the depth of their positive impact on primary users, their technical merit, and the likelihood that the application would be more broadly adopted. ARCS’ commitment to EVO has assisted the application in winning this prestigious award.

EVO, developed by researchers at Caltech, is the only Desktop Video Conferencing system that can be run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems. The new service also provides file sharing, instant messaging, desktop sharing, and whiteboard and provides telephone bridge access at a local call rate from anywhere in Australia. The application is in wide and continual use by thousands of collaborators in many disciplines, as well as by many groups of educators and students worldwide. And it can be accessed without cost to the user.

ARCS and AARNet joined forces to equally fund the purchase of the EVO licence in 2008. This investment has delivered capacity for over 900 simultaneous connections and this figure is likely to double over the next three months as the user-base expands.

EVO provides a one to one, one to many or many to one video conferencing system which makes it highly adaptable to many requirements. It runs on the average desktop, turning PCs into video-conference systems.
With increasing demands to operate sustainably, EVO enables companies and individuals to reduce their impact on the environment and their travel costs by enabling researchers at different locations to communicate face-to-face without having to leave their desks.

A number of research organisations have adopted EVO as a preferred collaboration tool for connecting to other research colleagues. These include IMOS, AUSCOPE, Square Kilometre Array, ANDS and many other project groups.

To sign up for a free EVO account or for more information, simply log on to

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Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS)

The Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS) offers a range of cutting-edge eResearch tools & services.

Their mission is to enable and enhance research through the provision of long-term eResearch support, services and tools for the Australian research community. ARCS is a collaborative venture of high level research organisations, referred to as the Member of ARCS (MARCS). The MARCS have a particular focus on interoperability, collaboration and authorisation infrastructure. As a result, ARCS is increasingly being promoted as the preferred vehicle for coordinating national e-Research support services.

ARCS operates through coordinated national Teams delivering high-quality, reliable, standardised hardware infrastructure and enhanced software tools and solutions to national research groups. These Teams work in close collaboration with the staff in the MARCS as well as other research organisations and discipline-based communities. They have built, and continue to form alliances with international cognate organisations that contribute to the development of international standards and activities in eResearch.
Jo Mason
P: 0411393604


The Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS) is working with California Institute of Technology to deliver the cutting edge EVO platform to the Australian R&E sector.



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