The end of the CAREN project marks a new phase of regional collaboration
Wednesday, December 18 2019, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:
On 18 December 2019, after more than 10 years, the EU funding for the CAREN project comes to an end. The CAREN project provides a high-performance internet network dedicated to research and education (R&E), facilitating communication, information exchange and collaboration between universities and research centres across Central Asia. Thanks to its interconnection to the pan-European GÉANT network, CAREN allows seamless collaboration between Central Asia and Europe and provides access to the global R&E community. Jointly funded by the European Union and Central Asian national research and education network (NREN) partners, the project is coordinated by GÉANT. In Central Asia, the CAREN Coordination Centre (CAREN CC), established in 2017 and located in Bishkek, coordinates the provision of advanced services for academia in the region.
The end of EU funding does not mean that the regional collaboration to provide advanced ICT services for academia will also be terminated. CAREN CC will reach out to the NRENs in all Central Asian countries and continue to provide ICT services for academia in these countries. The funding will consist in contributions from the participating NRENs, although external funding will be sought for more substantial activities. It is vital that as many NRENs as possible become members of CAREN CC as cost sharing will have economic advantages for individual NRENs. By becoming members of CAREN CC NRENs, by joining forces, they will be part a large user group representing more than two million users at academic institutions in Central Asia. From the start of 2020 available services will range from basic connectivity to advanced ICT services. CAREN CC is the only organisation in Central Asia with an interconnection agreement with the European GÉANT network with capacity levels dependent on NREN contributions. For instance, KRENA (Kg) and TARENA (Tj), through CAREN CC, have already signed a very advantageous contract with Elcat to retain connectivity. CAREN CC is the only organisation in Central Asia that can support global ICT services for academia, such as eduroam and eduGAIN and will continue to do so in 2020 and beyond. CAREN CC also hosts an advanced video-conferencing service (BigBlueButton) enabling NREN members to provide high quality video conferencing services to their own subscribers and for distance education and regional collaboration. In addition, CAREN CC has signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with GÉANT to ensure continued access to global advanced ICT services and participation in these services for academia.
CAREN CC is committed to the provision of advanced ICT services for he academia in Central Asia and will continue building on the achievements from the past 10 years of EU and regional partners co-funding.
Launched in 2009, the EU-funded Central Asia Research and Education Network (CAREN) project sets out to provide a high-capacity internet network for the research and education (R&E) communities in Central Asia. The current project phase (CAREN3) started in 2016 and currently interconnects the R&E communities of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Links to other regional networks, such as the pan-European GÉANT backbone, give CAREN global reach, allowing seamless data exchange and collaboration between researchers and educationalists in Central Asia and the rest of the world. Since 2009, up to 18 December 2019 CAREN is funded with €10M by the European Union via the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (Grant Contract DCI-ASIE/2016/372-47). Most of this budget (75%) was spent on high bandwidth connectivity between Central Asia and the European Research Network GÉANT. The project is operated and managed by research networking organisation GÉANT, in partnership with the national research and education networks (NRENs) of the participating partner countries. For more information, visit https://icaren.org/
GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related 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. For more information, visit www.geant.org
About CAREN CC
CAREN Cooperation Center (CAREN CC) is non- for- profit organization that aims to be the Center of Excellence for academic ICT services in the Central Asian region. Mission of CAREN СС is to support the development and strengthening of research and education networking in Central Asia, to promote cooperation between academic communities of Central Asia and Europe, and with other regional networks in the world. For more information, visit https://icaren.org/