Georgian Research and Educational Networking Association GRENA Celebrates 20th Anniversary
By Tamara Gvenetadze
The Georgian Research and Educational Networking Association GRENA was founded in 1999 for the purpose of development of Information Technologies in the educational and research field. GRENA has implemented a number of important projects that contributed to the development of information technology in Georgia.
The 20th anniversary celebration of GRENA took place on 12 September 2019 at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel Tbilisi, Georgia, and was attended by more than 130 guests from international and local research, educational and IT communities and governmental representatives. The event was attended by the delegates of partner organisations of GRENA from 9 countries, as well as the representatives of Georgian leading communication companies.
The celebration commenced with a welcome speech by the director general of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia, Zviad Gabisonia. He highlighted the importance of the cooperation between GRENA and the National Science Foundation for the scientific society and noted: “A memorandum of understanding was signed between GRENA and the National Science Foundation in August, according to which researchers will use advantage of the computing and storage resources of GRENA’s cloud infrastructure that will support the advancement of the Georgian scientific community.”
Giorgi Sharvashidze, the rector of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University addressed the audience and mentioned: “Tbilisi State University together with association GRENA was actively involved in implementation of the NATO science program. With the support of these projects, connection of the university’s main buildings with the fiber optic channels and modernisation of network infrastructure was achieved. The establishment of the first GRID (distributed computing) cluster in Georgia that is integrated in European GRID infrastructure on the basis of GRENA was also extremely important.”
Veronika Di Luna, project manager of the European Union funded EaPConnect project noted: “The participation of GRENA in EaPConnect is beneficial for a broad audience. Researchers and students require exchanging of data, establishing international collaborations and having digital security. The role of eduroam, the secure world-wide Internet roaming access service, is tremendous for researchers and students. In Georgia, Association GRENA provides the eduroam service for research and education institutions.”
The executive director of GRENA Ramaz Kvatadze talked about the work of the organisation and discussed future plans. Activities of GRENA include the following main areas: providing Information Technology services to users and implementation of new, innovative services, IT education, preparation and implementation of research and technology projects and promoting and supporting IT development in Georgia.
Additional information about GRENA can be found at https://www.grena.ge