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NREN Principles for the GÉANT Community

The GÉANT Community Programme (GCP) helps GÉANT, National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), other research and education bodies and members of the community to collaborate and share experiences to stay at the forefront of technical development.  The programme is designed to evolve in an agile manner, providing the support mechanisms that best meet the needs of our community at any given time.  Recently this has included new approaches such as the GÉANT Innovation Programme, which encourages innovation and development through the application of small project funding.

The Community Programme is proud to announce a new initiative to support our development goals.  At the recent GÉANT symposium, the need for greater involvement and understanding  of policy direction at all levels within our organisations was highlighted ( This sits alongside our commitments to a set of values in how we approach our work ( and the desire to develop our work in ethical and meaningful ways.

To support these ambitions, the GÉANT Community Programme will be trialling an approach to implement sets of NREN Principles.  Principles will be created when there is a strategic agenda in a specific space on which it would be beneficial for NRENs to align.  They will create not only a shared understanding of our position on a specific topic, but allow us to focus on specific joint actions to move forward within that space as a community.

The objectives of the NREN Principles activity will be to:

  1. Identify a strategic area where it would be beneficial for NRENs and the wider R&E community to have a shared understanding of direction and actions.
  2. Create a short list of principles associated with that area that describe the intentions and beliefs of our community in relation to that area.
  3. Invite NRENs to openly endorse / sign-up to the principles when finalised. This support will be publicly maintained and promoted.
  4. Create spaces to discuss and exchange ideas related to the principles through mailing lists, slack channels and online discussions.
  5. Work on very focused campaigns around specific principles that have been identified as a priority for NRENs (for example via infoshares, trainings, invited speakers etc).

Unlike traditional Task Forces or SIGs, the NREN Principles activities will not be expected to have regular meeting scheduled and are encourage to mostly meet online.  Progress will be reported against NRENs endorsing the principles, and through the defined campaigns for the principle areas.

GÉANT will be trialling this approach in two different areas that we believe fit this process well – Gender Equality and Open Source.  Some initial preparatory work in both of these areas has been developed with interested parties in the community and can be found below:

If you would like to get involved in either of these initiatives, please sign-up to the mailing lists or reach out to

More information about the NREN Principles please see the defined approach at:

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