News

ASREN Hosts 3rd EUMEDCONNECT3 Meeting

01-Jul-2013

Special to TAG Educa News Agency

AMMAN - Under the patronage of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN), the 3rd EUMEDCONNECT3 meeting and a series of workshops on e-Infrastructure technologies were held.

Representatives of national research and education networks from Morocco, UAE, Algeria, Libya, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain as well as representatives of European institutions from UK, Italy, The Netherland, Ireland, and France have actively participated.

The pan-Arab e-Infrastructure network has grown widely during the past two years, interconnecting to global research networks and allowing Arab scientists seamless access to resources and services through federated and dedicated high-speed networks.

HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said: “We are proud to see today an evolving pan - Arab e-Infrastructure serving scientists across the region with high speed connectivity and access to variety of scientific resources and services. Without the support of the European Commission and the League of Arab States, this could not have been possible”.

Professor Federico Ruggieri, Coordinator of CHAIN-REDs project, from INFN Italy, said: “We work with Europe, Latin America, Africa, China, India, and the Arab region to consolidate interoperability of their e-Infrastructures and facilitate seamless access to data repositories, scientific applications, computing facilities, and research cloud infrastructures. Today’s meeting is about harmonization of our efforts to support Arab young scientists.”

Mr. David West, Coordinator of EUMEDCONNECT3 project, from DANTE UK, said: “It has been my great pleasure to have worked for the Mediterranean region since 2004 with funds from European Commission to build high-speed dedicated networks serving more than 2 million scientists across the region. We see our efforts expanding to the Arab region, as a whole.”

It was concluded that dedicated connectivity is critical to our young scientists and researchers if Jordan and the Arab world will keep in pace with the world e-Infrastructure development, which has reached in some regions to 200 Gigabits per second dedicated connectivity for research and education. By far, the Arab world still lacks basic connectivity and barely has reached half Gigabits per second dedicated international connectivity. It is worth mentioning that the series workshops are conducted by experts from TERENA to put more emphasis and build capacity on identity federation management, to be deployed across the Arab region along with a region-wide Science Gateway deployment.

ASREN was created as a legal entity in 2011 under the auspices of the League of Arab States and the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) to build and operation sustainable e-Infrastructures across the Arab world. Its official shareholders are national research and education networks from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and Jordan. Networks from Palestine, Algeria, Somalia are in the process of joining as Shareholders of ASREN. http://www.ASRENOrg.net/

Building on EUMEDCONNECT3, the high-capacity Internet network for research and education in the Mediterranean, which is co-funded by the European Commission, ASREN sets out to widen its geographical footprint by connecting other Arab national research and education networks (NRENs) in addition to the current EUMEDCONNECT3 member countries. www.eumedconnect3.net

To date, EUMEDCONNECT3 Arab Mediterranean research and education network communities’ success stories include:

• Collaboration between French and Tunisian neurosurgeons in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of epilepsy;

• Participation of Mediterranean high-physicists in the Large Hadron Collider (LCH) experiments to discover the origins of the Universe;

• Assessment of earthquake hazards across the region;

• Agricultural research against the backdrop of desertification and limited water resources;

• Making education more flexible and accessible through e-learning initiatives.

CHAIN-REDS (http://www.chain-project.eu/) vision is to promote and support technological and scientific collaboration across different e-Infrastructures established and operated in various continents, in order to facilitate their uptake and use by established and emerging Virtual Research Communities (VRCs) but also by single researchers, thus promoting instruments and practices that can facilitate their inclusion in the community of users. The project aims to support and disseminate the best practices currently adopted in Europe and other continents, and to promote and facilitate interoperability among different regional e-Infrastructures. CHAIN-REDS gathers the main stakeholders of regional e-Infrastructures, collectively engaged in studying and defining a path towards a global e-Infrastructure ecosystem that will allow VRCs, research groups and even single researchers to access and efficiently use worldwide distributed resources (i.e. computing, storage, data, services, tools, applications).