For ten years the CAREN project has provided 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 has been 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.
2020 marks a new phase of regional collaboration
The true mark of a successful project is its sustainability beyond funding cycles. So, following the end of EU funding for the project in December 2019, the region’s NRENs have entered a new phase of regional collaboration, which will see CAREN CC reach out to NRENs in all Central Asian countries and continue to provide ICT services for academia in these countries.
The funding will consist of contributions from the participating NRENs, with external funding 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 and joining forces, NRENs 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 pan-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 to retain connectivity.
Supporting global ICT services for academia
CAREN CC is also 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 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 set out to provide a high-capacity internet network for the research and education (R&E) communities in Central Asia. The most recent project phase (CAREN3) started in 2016 and 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. Up to 18 December 2019 CAREN was 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). The project was 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/
About CAREN CC
CAREN Cooperation Center (CAREN CC) is not-for-profit organisation that aims to be the Center of Excellence for academic ICT services in the Central Asian region. The 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/