In January 2023 GRENA‘s ongoing collaboration with universities in Georgia reached a high point when the National Science Foundation of Georgia Shota Rustaveli agreed to fund two prestigious projects in which the NREN is involved as a partner organisation.
The first project, led by Kutaisi International University (KIU), is about the study of proton therapy technique accuracy applied to cancer research. Cancer is caused by the changes in the DNA of human tissue cells, resulting in the loss of control of their propagation mechanism which causes their aggressive and uncontrolled proliferation. With the help of radiation therapy, used for 60% of cancer cases, it is possible to damage and destroy cancer cells. The hadron (proton) therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons rather than x-rays to treat cancer.
A hadron therapy centre being established at Kutaisi International University, the first of its kind not only for the South Caucasus area, but also for the wider region, will host two proton cyclotrons: one will be used for proton therapy and the other for research in interdisciplinary fields such as bio-medicine and radiotherapy. The main objective of the overall project is the investigation and comparison of modern models of proton interaction and the study of proton therapy monitoring tools.
The second research project focusses on the study of neutrino events captured with the KM3NeT telescope and the leading partner is the High Energy Physics Institute of Tbilisi State University (HEPI TSU). KM3NeT, the next generation of neutrino telescopes, is part of the ESFRI infrastructure involving multiple partners from Europe and beyond. The study of neutrino properties is one of the fundamental problems of modern physics; the Investigation of different types of neutrinos properties and their oscillations could play an important role in the understanding of our universe.
GRENA supports the KM3NeT experiment by providing computational and storage resources for the simulations and data analysis, as well as for the storage of KM3NeT Tier-2 data. GRENA delivers high speed connectivity to the HEPI TSU and its cloud facility Gcloud will be used in the proton therapy project for the comparison of different models of proton interactions and for the study of proton therapy monitoring tools. The Georgian NREN will also provide IT support to both projects.