3rd EaPEC conference brings attention to Moldovan research and education networking
High visibility for RENAM was a practical outcome of hosting the 3rd Eastern Partnership E-infrastructures Conference – EaPEC 2018 – on 17-18 October. RENAM, the Research and Educational Networking Association of Moldova, presented a rich menu of services, gathering immediate new subscriptions, and high-level speakers from Moldovan ministries and institutions helped to attract coverage by national TV, radio and press.
EaPEC 2018 was organised by the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Connect project, EaPConnect, which is led by the pan-European research and education network association GÉANT.
Around 180 people from 80 organisations and 20 countries gathered in Chisinau, to learn about research and education networks, other e-infrastructures, and services that can benefit Eastern Partnership (EaP) research and education communities and bring them opportunities to collaborate with their peers in EU countries and other parts of the world.
EaPEC 2018 attracted researchers from a diverse range of fields, as well as senior figures from institutions, academies and agencies, plus representatives of the national research and education networking (NREN) organisations from the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and beyond. In event feedback participants rated EaPEC 2018 very highly.
Elena Belei, State Secretary for Research at the Ministry for Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova said: “This conference is perfectly suited to the dynamics of time and reform, which the Moldovan Government is constantly promoting. This is a reform of the fields of research and innovation.”
Anatol Goncearuc, Executive Director of RENAM said: “Today, all EU countries are connected to the GÉANT network and technologies have been created that significantly contribute to raising the level of education and conducting qualitative research”.
Erik-Jan Bos of NORDUnet delivered the conference keynote presentation, introducing the Global Networking Architecture. Igor Serotila of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova explained how EaP countries can contribute to Horizon Europe in a session on EC-funded research. In a session on e-infrastructures, overviews of GÉANT and the European Open Science Cloud were presented by Annabel Grant of GÉANT, Marjolein Oorsprong of PRACE gave an overview of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, and Tiziana Ferrari of EGI presented EOSC-Hub.
Mary Hester of SURFnet introduced the Enlighten Your Research programme, which challenges researchers to submit proposals for projects that use NREN and other e-infrastructure services. Following a hugely successful call in the EaP countries this year, with 37 proposals submitted, seven winners from a wide range of disciplines were announced at EaPEC 2018.
In other sessions, Tomasz Parkoła of PSNC described activities in Poland to digitise cultural objects and Valentino Cavalli of LIBER explained why the libraries community needs NRENs. Cathrin Stöver of GÉANT gave reasons why every country needs an NREN and Paolo Girol of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre discussed the value of the music community to NRENs, while George Konnis of CYNET explained how cybersecurity activities in Cyprus built relationships with other NRENs. Lightning talks also introduced the Open Source Geospatial foundation, blockchain for fraud-proof video, and the ‘DICOM Network’ for medical imagery.
Panel discussions about women in IT and about the sustainability of NRENs engendered warm debate with the audience. Workshops on Clouds and cybersecurity produced valuable messages: buying cloud services is cheaper and safer in collaboration – ‘we are stronger together’; accessible training material in various languages is a key for a high quality cybersecurity service across the EaP region.
Sponsorship for EaPEC 2018 was kindly provided by Xanataro UK Ltd., Corsa Technology, StarNet and IDSI.
EaPEC 2019 will be hosted by ASNET-AM in Yerevan, Armenia – dates and venue to be confirmed. Subscribe to the EaPEC mailing list to stay informed and watch the video (click image).