The research and education community in Azerbaijan has experienced easier access to a wider range of online services and greater opportunities for international collaboration during the past five years, thanks to support by the national research and education network AzScienceNet and its participation in the EU-funded EaPConnect project.
The first EaPConnect project ran until the end of June 2020 and was followed by a second project to further build on the successes of the first phase. So what were those successes from the AzScienceNet perspective?
High-level agreement within Azerbaijan
On 22 June 2018, a high-level agreement was signed to strengthen cooperation between Azerbaijan’s higher education institutions and those in Europe. The signing took place during a meeting to present EaPConnect and its contributions to science and education integration in Azerbaijan. Heads of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies, as well as leading universities and research institutes and representatives of EaPConnect joined the head of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, ANAS, to discuss the “role of the GÉANT network in the integration of Azerbaijan science and education into Europe”. The cooperation agreement was signed on behalf of AzScienceNet by the President of ANAS, academician Akif Alizadeh; the Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov signed on behalf of the Educational System Informatisation Department.
Network connectivity improvements
Students, researchers and academics can better collaborate internationally thanks to improved Internet connectivity with more competitive market prices, achieved with the help of EaPConnect procurement activities led by GÉANT. Prices for R&E Internet connectivity dropped substantially since the project first tendered in 2016 and the network capacity increased by around tenfold.
increase in connectivity
data flow (Gbps)
Supporting data-intensive and critical research
High-speed Internet is essential in order to process information about earthquakes in Azerbaijan, which is seismically very active. AzScienceNet supports research on earthquakes that is carried out by the Republican Seismic Survey Center, providing continuous Internet, computing and storage resources that help in the detection and processing of detects 10-20 tremors per day.
World premiere at Azerbaijan’s first ‘LoLa’ concert
The ‘Connecting Traditions’ concert on 20 December 2019 was the first performance in Azerbaijan using ‘LoLa’ low latency data transmission technology, which allows artists in geographically distant locations to work and perform together in real time. LoLa was established in Azerbaijan thanks to the EaPConnect project and MIRCO, a winner of the project’s Enlighten Your Research Programme. The concert featured a world premiere of new music for traditional instruments from Azerbaijan and Estonia, where some of the performers were located. The event involved collaboration between AzScienceNet, the AzEduNet network at the Baku Music Academy, EENet of HITSA at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT), and the Italian research and education network GARR.
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.”
EaPConnect achievements video with subtitles in Azerbaijani
Anticipating outcomes of the second project
‘EU4Digital: Connecting Research and Education Communities’, the second EaPConnect project started on 1 July 2020 and will build on the achievements of the first project.
The project partners shared their hopes for the second project in the GÉANT CONNECT magazine.
What does this mean for Azerbaijan?
In the new project, I expect we will witness the introduction of ever smarter, increasingly advanced network services, that take into account any developments arising in the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution and artificial intelligence technologies.”