Connectivity boost accelerates Moldova, EU and Eastern Partnership science collaborations
22 March 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Chisinau, Moldova
Students, researchers and academics in the Republic of Moldova will be better able to collaborate with their peers in other countries and participate in international research projects following an increase in connectivity between the Moldovan research and education (R&E) network in Moldova and the pan-European backbone network, GÉANT.
A 100 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) network link was installed between Chisinau, Moldova, and Bucharest in Romania as a 100% upgrade to a previous link. This boost in connectivity was achieved by the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project and partners including the national R&E networks of Moldova and Romania – RENAM and RoEduNet, plus commercial partners Felix Telecom and Ciena.
The new network link completes the EaPConnect project goal of improving connectivity between all six Eastern Partnership countries and the rest of the GÉANT community.
Supporting Moldovan research and education
The new Moldova link went live towards the end of February 2018, providing around 50 Moldovan R&E institutes, libraries and universities with improved network connectivity, access to online resources, and opportunities for international collaboration. A new cross-border optical connection provides two 10 Gbps channels – one for direct access to the GÉANT point of presence in Bucharest and the second for peering with RoEduNet, which increased connectivity between the Moldovan and Romanian R&E communities.
“We are delighted that researchers and students in the Republic of Moldova will have greater bandwidth to support their work and international cooperation in research and education. This enhanced connectivity will promote collaboration between research institutions in Moldova and international partners in various areas: the development of a regional distributed system for medical image data collection and processing for research purposes; AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) program data exchange; nuclear physics experiments data processing for ATLAS, CMS (CERN), JINR (Dubna, Russia), DESY (Hamburg, Germany); support of data collection and exchange in digital holographic microscopy; and joint computational experiments for crystals structural study and modelling. The improvement in the connection capacity is also important for international cooperation in education and will support access to international educational content for students. “ Peter Bogatencov, Vice-Director Executive, RENAM
Reducing the digital divide
The EaPConnect project – led by the GÉANT organisation – is integrating the Eastern Partnership national networks with the GÉANT network in order to decrease the ‘digital divide’ between countries and facilitate the participation of local scientists, students and academics in global R&E collaborations. The other Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine – have all received project-funded connectivity links and/ or upgrades since EaPConnect began in July 2015.
“GÉANT is pleased to help strengthen the bonds between Eastern Partnership countries, Europe and the rest of the world. We hope that this increased connectivity will support the growth of skills, contacts and knowledge in Moldova and across the region, and that this will contribute to the growth of international collaboration in research and education.” Erik Huizer, CEO GÉANT.
Community and commercial partnership
Cooperation between the GÉANT community, including the national research and education networks RENAM and RoEduNet, and commercial partners was vital to the successful deployment of this new network link. Testing was completed on 26 February 2018.
“CIENA is proud to help the R&E community extend their network coverage and bring high bandwidth connectivity to Romania and Moldova.” Jean-David Fabre, CIENA, Head of Research & Education market – EMEA
By interconnecting the R&E communities across the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region and with their European counterparts, EaPConnect is creating a gateway for talented individuals in the EaP countries to be truly global players. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€13m) towards the cost of the EaPConnect project, providing funding under Grant Agreement 2015-356353; the remaining 5% is being co-funded by the six beneficiary countries.
RENAM is the national research and education network of Moldova – a non-governmental, non-commercial and not-for-profit network. The main activity of RENAM is focused on the continuous development of the communication and information infrastructure for the scientific and educational community of the Republic of Moldova. RENAM represents the interests of its Association members – research and educational institutions and government bodies of Moldova – in the GÉANT Association and other international organisations. The RENAM network acts in close cooperation with different national and external public organisations. RENAM is a beneficiary partner of EaPConnect.
Twitter: @RENAM_AO https://twitter.com/RENAM_AO
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.
Ciena Corporation provides hardware, software, and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, service delivery, and management of voice, video, and data traffic on communications networks worldwide.
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.
Twitter: @eu_near https://twitter.com/eu_near