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.