GLOBAL NEWS By Tom Fryer and Helga Spitaler
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE EUMEDCONNECT3 PROJECT? Words David West, EUMEDCONNECT3 Project Manager Picture EUMEDCONNECT3 partners at project meeting in Muscat, December 2014
etween 2004 and 2011 the first two phases of the EUfunded EUMEDCONNECT project provided a dedicated Internet network for the research and education (R&E) communities across the southern rim of the Mediterranean. This was the first regional R&E project outside Europe funded by the EU and paved the way for similar projects in other world regions. EUMEDCONNECT successfully connected the national research and education networks (NRENs) of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco,
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Palestine, Syria and Tunisia with each other and the European R&E community connected to GÉANT. The collaboration has been especially strong with EUMEDCONNECT’s European partner countries also bordering the Mediterranean: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Spain. It has also provided a gateway for these Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries’ researchers and students to collaborate globally in many fields including tele-medicine, e-learning, big science, and environmental research and monitoring programmes.
THE EFFECTS OF THE ARAB SPRING
The current phase, EUMEDCONNECT3, has been severely challenged by the events of the Arab Spring. The effects of the widespread political instability varied from country to country but, throughout the region, the NRENs have faced challenges as relationships with their governments, and particularly with funding ministries, have had to be rebooted. Sadly the specific situation of Syria currently rules out any participation in normal civil society
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