The ‘EU4Digital: Connecting Research and Education Communities (EaPConnect)’ project is coordinated by the pan-European research and education networking organisation GÉANT Association in collaboration with the national research and education networks (NRENs) in the six partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Additional partners support the project in various ways, such as providing expertise through mentorship and workshops, or collaborating on the delivery of services or events.
National research and education network (NREN) organisations are specialised service providers dedicated to supporting the needs of the research and education communities within their own country. NRENs have pioneered networks, technologies and services for research and education since the Internet’s inception.
What an NREN does:
- provide high-quality network connectivity and services to education and research institutions, connecting them to each other and the rest of the Internet;
- support schools, further education colleges, libraries and other public institutes, depending on their funding and governance models;
- connect talents across borders;
- create opportunities for collaboration;
- enable the production of solutions to worldwide challenges.
EU4Digital aims to extend the benefits of the European Union’s Digital Single Market to the Eastern Partner states, channeling EU support to develop the potential of the digital economy and society, in order to bring economic growth, generate more jobs, improve people’s lives and help businesses.
Through EU4Digital, the EU supports Eastern Partnership countries in reducing roaming tariffs, developing high-speed broadband to boost economies and expand e-services, harmonising digital frameworks across society, in areas ranging from logistics to health, building cyber security, developing skills, and creating more jobs in the digital industry.More about EU4Digital
GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education.
GÉANT interconnects R&E communities around the world, reaching more than 100 countries via extensive global partnerships and GÉANT-managed networking projects, in partnership with its European NREN members, the European Commission (EC), global NRENs and other partners.More about GÉANT
The Eastern Partnership
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a regional and multilateral initiative between the European Union (EU) and its six Eastern partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the Eastern Partnership aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the EU, its Member States and its Eastern neighbours. With this partnership, the EU offers support for democratic reform, sustainable development and stability of e-infrastructures in bridging the digital divide and bringing its partners closer to the EU.
As part of its digital agenda the Eastern Partnership recognises the importance of e-infrastructures in:
- promoting digital inclusion;
- stopping brain drain;
- procuring and federating access to high-quality scientific content;
- enabling participation of EaP countries in Horizon 2020 projects.
EaPConnect is funded under the EU4Digital initiative of the European Union.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighbourhoods and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€10m) towards the costs, providing funding to the second EaPConnect project under Grant Agreement number ENI/2019/407-452; the remaining 5% is being co-funded by the six beneficiary countries. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. EaPConnect and its services are free at the point of use.
The first EaPConnect project received 95% (€13m) of its funding from DG NEAR under Grant Agreement 2015-356353. The remaining 5% was co-funded by the six beneficiary countries. The first project was officially inaugurated at the 1st Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy and was launched in July 2015 with a duration of five years. The second project began on 1 July 2020 and will run until the end of June 2025.
The EU-supported new ‘spectrum’ infrastructure will improve national and regional connectivity, facilitate the participation of Eastern Partnership students, lecturers and researchers in European and global R&E collaborations, and will increase Moldovan participation in the Horizon Europe Programme.”
Ludmila Pavlov, Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova, Deputy Head of Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation Division
During joint implementation of EaPConnect, Eastern Partnership countries have developed strong links between researchers and education communities, ensuring high-quality data sharing, to become competitive and integrated in the global information society. Such cooperation not only supports Ukraine and EaP countries increasing their research and educational capacities, it ensures a big step towards integration in the European Research Area.”
Andrii Vitrenko, Ukrainian Ministry of Education & Science, First Deputy Minister
Thanks to an agreement between Yerevan State University and ASNET-AM, dedicated high-capacity Internet connectivity is provided that connects to research and education networks both in Armenia and globally through GÉANT. During the coronavirus pandemic, the high-bandwidth connectivity enables our University to organise online teaching and learning via local platforms. High-speed networking is vital for University scientists to use cloud and data services for their large-scale research activities, which became possible in Armenia with the support of EaPConnect. We appreciate further cooperation with ASNET-AM and EaPConnect!
Dr. Rafayel Barkhudaryan, Yerevan State University, Vice-rector for Natural and Exact Sciences
“Thanks to the EaPConnect project, our academics and students can get access to quality scientific content and use high-grade Wi-Fi roaming eduroam at all research and educational institutions all over the world. We are also proud that thanks to EaPConnect project, a national center for the digitisation of cultural heritage was created and hosted by our University, that our librarians are entrusted with the honorary task of preserving the rich cultural heritage of Ukraine. I look forward to further cooperating with the EaPConnect project for the benefit of my University and my country.”
Sergii I. Sidorenko, Vice-Rector for International Relations at the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute", Member of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Coordinator of UNESCO Chair in Higher Technical Education, Applied System Analysis and Informatics
“In recent years, with support of GÉANT, reconstruction works in AzscienceNet play a major role in making our research work more productive. Thanks to the EaPConnect project, researchers from our institute are able to use services provided by GÉANT through AzScienceNet and hopefully, scholars will continue to benefit from these opportunities.”
Ramiz Aliguliyev, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Correspondent Member
“We were motivated to be part of the EaPConnect activities, in particular EaPEC2018 conference, to know more about the available GÉANT network common and specific services and opportunities for participation of local scientists, students and university staff in global research and education collaborations via pan-European e-infrastructures.”
Alexandru Stratan, Director of the National Institute for Economic Research, Chair of the Council of the Directors of Research Institutes, Republic of Moldova
“An existing cooperation between GRENA and the National Science Foundation is highly beneficial for the scientific society of Georgia. According to the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between us in August 2019, researchers were given a possibility to use high performance computing and storage resources of GRENA implemented with the support of the European Union EaPConnect project.”
Zviad Gabisonia, Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia, Director General (2018-2020)
“Thanks to the EaPConnect project, BASNET network has become a basis in the development of reliable interaction between already available and new computing resources, information funds and the databases of scientific, technical and educational information in Belarus. It is just impossible to progress in current research work without provided connectivity and access to global scientific and educational networks in modern society.”
Valentin Orlovich, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Academic Secretary of Department of Physics, Mathematics and Informatics
“EaPConnect has strengthened the bonds between its partners and the GÉANT community, project and association, with positive effects on both sides. I look forward to these collaborations developing further in the coming years.”
Erik Huizer, GÉANT, CEO