"Sun's objective in launching the STAR initiative is to get Sun solutions into the hands of educators, students and researchers, to help them build a collaborative environment where best practices can be shared." - Kim Jones, vice president of global education and research at Sun. With its eye most likely on programs such as the Microsoft Academic Alliance, Sun Microsystems on Monday announced a new program to help aid academic institutions with their network systems and computing, it has been revealed. The Sun Technology and Academic Resources initiative will offer equipment grants and training in Sun and related technologies. It will also aid in the set up of centers promoting academic partnerships with third parties. The program has existed in some fashion for several years, as Sun has provided more than 1,350 institutions in the past year alone with similar work. Now, the program has become formalised.