Azerbaijan and Belarus connect to GÉANT: Eastern Partnership Connect continues to bring new prospects for research and education
10 November 2016, Amsterdam, NL:
The Azerbaijani and Belarusian networks for research and education have connected to the GÉANT European network, allowing scientists and students in Azerbaijan and Belarus to exchange and collaborate with their peers from around the world.
Enabling these connections, the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project aims to create a world-class research and education (R&E) network in the Eastern Partnership region, connecting Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to the GÉANT European backbone network. This is in line with the European Neighbourhood policy that supports increased interconnectivity and economic development for the European Union and its neighbours.
Professor Rasim Alguliyev, Director of IIT of ANAS – the Institute of Information Technology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences – says: ‘’This link opens the door to new opportunities for Azerbaijan and brings our community closer to Europe. Together we can discover more solutions to the challenges we all face. I trust EaPConnect will bring positive changes across the region.’’
Professor Alexander Tuzikov, General Director of UIIP NASB – the United Institute of Informatics Problems National Academy of Sciences of Belarus – comments : ‘’This connection comes at a time when the need for more capacity and tailored services for our research and education community is high. We are proud to support the Belarusian and European researchers in their race for innovation and expect the outcomes to benefit us all.’’
Strengthening inter-regional connectivity and research collaboration
With Georgia and Armenia connecting earlier this year, the connection of Azerbaijan and Belarus strengthens the foundations of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) as a collaborative hub and allows the region to contribute to global research.
Steve Cotter, CEO of GÉANT, adds: ‘’Connecting Belarus and Azerbaijan builds up our pool of talents and resources. The Eastern Partnership is evolving quickly and GÉANT is proud to be the first to connect to the region. With many opportunities to collaborate on research in climate change, seismology, high-energy physics or high-performance computing and e-learning, we can be sure our networks will allow better cooperation and bring forth the breakthroughs the world needs more quickly.’’
Seizing the momentum, the R&E networking organisations of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine worked together through EaPConnect to organise the first Eastern Partnership E-infrastructure Conference (EaPEC) in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 6-7 October 2016. The event provided human networking opportunities for participants from the region and featured major e-infrastructure and research projects such as the Human Brain Project, OpenAire and CERN. Conference website: www.eapec.eu
The Azerbaijan link connects Baku to Budapest in Hungary with a bandwidth of 1 Gigabit per second, and allows more than 30 institutions to participate in global research. Running from Minsk to Poznan in Poland, the Belarus link offers 5 Gigabit per second capacity for data exchange across the border.
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About AzScienceNet and Institute of Information Technology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (IIT of ANAS)
AzScienceNet, the national R&E networking organisation for Azerbaijan, founded by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, has been serving the research community since the 1980s. Being the first point of internet connectivity in the country, has led AzScienceNet to advanced global networking technology. Today, with a data centre and modern network connected via a 1Gbps direct EaPConnect link to GÉANT, AzScienceNet delivers most of the modern services such as connectivity, cloud, eduroam, videoconferencing, identity and security, distant education, web hosting, storage, TV broadcasting and VoIP. AzScienceNet is the e-infrastructure of national e-science and is developing the national open science cloud in correspondence with the European Open Science Cloud.
AzScienceNet has always been strong thanks to its parent organisation, the Institute of Information Technology of ANAS. IIT is Azerbaijan’s leading research organisation for Computer Science, Information Technology and Information Society. Besides its research centres and graduate education (Masters and PhD), IIT has unique education opportunities in IT for PhD students of all disciplines, possible via distance education technology.
IIT is one of 40 research institutes in the government-funded Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, which conducts basic and applied research, coordinates research activities and educates most of PhD students in the country, works closely with government and forms science policy.
About UIIP NASB
United Institute of Informatics Problems National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
United Institute of Informatics Problems (UIIP) is the leading organisation in Belarus in fundamental and applied research on information technologies: CAD/CAM/CAE systems, applied mathematics, high-performance parallel computing, bioinformatics and medical informatics, geoinformation systems, digital cartogragraphic systems, space informatics, GRID-technologies. The Institute is the provider of scientific and educational internet networks in Belarus. It takes part in state recommendations on information technologies implementation, scientific support of informatisation processes, prognosis in related science and technology fields in Belarus, high skill specialists training. UIIP NASB is a beneficiary partner of the EU-funded EaPConnect project.
The Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project sets out to create a regional research and education (R&E) network in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus. This will interconnect the national R&E networks (NRENs) in six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and integrate them with the pan-European GÉANT network. The partner countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The overall objective is to decrease the digital divide, improve intra-regional connectivity and facilitate participation of local scientists, students and academics in global R&E collaborations. By interconnecting the R&E communities across the region and with their European counterparts, EaPConnect will create a gateway for talented individuals in the EaP countries to be truly global players. EaPConnect is managed by networking organisation GÉANT in collaboration with the NRENs in the six beneficiary partner countries, and includes ten associate partners from other world regions. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€13m) to the cost of the EaPConnect project.
GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related e-infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community.
About DG NEAR
The mission of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) is to take forward the European Union’s neighbourhood and enlargement policies, as well as to coordinate relations with European Economic Area – European Free Trade Association (EEA-EFTA) countries insofar as Commission policies are concerned. By implementing assistance actions in Europe’s eastern and southern neighbourhood, DG NEAR supports reform and democratic consolidation, and strengthens the prosperity, stability and security around Europe.