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SEE Director Forum meets at TNC23

SEE Forum team
SEE Forum at TNC23

By Marina De Giorgi, GÉANT

The southeast Europe NREN (SEE) directors met at TNC23 on June 6 in the welcoming Albanian capital, hosted by RASH (Albania). It was a very productive meeting! All registered directors took on the challenge to present their NREN’s many activities in less than 7 minutes, and indeed they were all successful!

The meeting covered a variety of topics and started with the update on how the new GN4-3N connection is supporting traffic growth for AMRES (Serbia) and CYNET (Cyprus) and how traffic is steadily increasing across all areas of research. ULAKBIM (Turkey) presented on the new data centre in Ankara and on last year’s expansion of eduGAIN boosted by the Erasmus+ project. GRNET (Greece) gave an update on their network expansion, the Hellas QCI project, the development of HPCs Aris and Daedalus HPCs, and their security initiatives.

ARNES (Slovenia) talked about the mandate to implement the Open Science principles within its research community and took the opportunity to enquire with  the work package team (WP4) within the GN5-1 project, about some technical aspects of the ‘’above the Net Services’’ currently being developed.

Further to the identification of an increasing interest in Cloud services, the related work package team reported that they are dedicating their efforts to gather feedback from NRENs, in particular from those that could not benefit from the previous cloud framework agreement. All SEE Forum participants are officially invited and welcome to join the Cloud Strategy Forum and the Fridays fortnightly Cloud Service Manager (CSM) forum.  Eva Nestorovska from MARNET (North Macedonia) stressed the importance for the region to attend such forum and shared a pilot initiative between the North Macedonian NREN and WP4. The invited guest representative from IUCC (Israel) took the opportunity to learn more about the SEE region and share the Israeli NREN’s recent endeavors in the areas of network and security.  The conversations continued with Erik Kikkenborg from NorduNet: “Over the years in our region, we have been able to create many successful collaborations: trust is the crucial value that brings every collaboration forward.”

Arjan and Erik subsequently invited the SEE Forum participants to join forces and collaborate. Arjan also reminded us about the new EuroHPC that is likely to be jointly funded by the countries and investment funding from Western Balkans and concluded:  “All (N)RENs should start collaborating by sharing technical capabilities among their Access Portal Managers (APC)  and CTOs.”

The suggestion received the thumbs up from the forum which aims to organise a regional technical gathering at the next SEE Forum event.  And on this positive note we closed the meeting as Arjan needed to join the TNC23 opening plenary and possibly receive an award!

Stay tuned for more SEE Forum updates in the next quarter.

For any further information about the SEE Forum, please get in touch with Marina De Giorgi.

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