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What We Do in a Nutshell: GÉANT at the Research Infrastructures Conference

GÉANT participated in the conference on “Research Infrastructures in a Changing Global, Environmental and Socio-economical Context”, organized under the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. To an audience of policymakers, researchers, and civil society representatives, GÉANT’s Chief Communications Officer Cathrin Stöver presented what we do in a nutshell.

Imagine yourself standing in your kitchen…

Imagine yourself standing in your kitchen, opening a cookbook eager to try a new recipe. You read the list of ingredients, and you start to assemble what you’ll need. Do you ever stop and think about what else you’ll need to cook? Electricity, gas, pots and pans, a functioning fridge and stove?

It can be difficult to understand the crucial role e-infrastructures play for research and education. We are, by nature, invisible. Yet the underlying infrastructure provided by GÉANT and the NREN community is indispensable for research and education.

Coming together

On June 4th and June 5th, 2024, at the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels, Research Infrastructures from all over Europe came together for two days of discussions and presentations. In the changing global context, Research Infrastructures are key players of strategic autonomy. They are increasingly faced with a changing global context, an unstable geopolitical situation, and rapidly changing political priorities. Therefore, flexibility and resilience are essential to maintain Europe’s innovation potential via these key players.

“Research Infrastructures have always been best practices in the European Research Area”, said Anna Panagopoulou, Director for EU Science, Research and Innovation in the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorate General. The conference showcased the many ways in which different Research Infrastructures are necessary. They perform cutting-edge fundamental science and applied research to achieve the green and digital transitions for Europe.

International collaboration is key

Science and the most pressing challenges of our time, however, are global. The conference underscored the need for Europe to look outward, strengthen partnerships with non-EU countries, and sustainably engage in international collaboration efforts. We at GÉANT live this: we support high performance connectivity to Africa, North America, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. “None of us knows where the next super scientist sits, none of us knows where the next dataset is”, as Cathrin Stover reasons. By making sure all researchers are connected to our network, we ensure that scientists around the globe have the same chance to collaborate.

What GÉANT brings to the table

Besides connectivity, GÉANT and the NRENs offer services such as the global Wi-Fi roaming service eduroam which registered 7.5 billion authentications in 2023, and the eduGAIN inter-federation service that enables organizations to support global access to content, services and resources, and lets users log in to trusted partner institutions with their home credentials. The GÉANT community also develops Cloud Framework agreements, which enable easy access for institutions to procure IaaS cloud services fast, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

For a better summary of what we at GÉANT do, you can listen to Cathrin’s speech at the Research Infrastructures Conference organized under the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Watch the recording below

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