EUMECONNECT3: Connecting the research and education communities across the eastern Mediterranean
The project in a nutshell
- Provides high-capacity international internet connectivity for academic and scientific collaborations in partnership with the regional networking organisation ASREN (Arab States Research and Education Network).
- Links EUMEDCONNECT3 partner countries to the research and education community across Europe and worldwide via the GÉANT network.
- European Commission funding support for beneficiary partner countries (Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine).
- Currently connects Jordan and Lebanon.
- Human capacity building and support for application projects provided.
Key e-Infrastructure for collaborative research
Since 2004 the EUMEDCONNECT programme has provided the only e-Infrastructure in the Mediterranean region dedicated for research and educational use. The first EUMEDCONNECT programme formed part of the European Commission’s EUMEDIS Programme, which aimed to develop an inclusive Information Society in the region. Its success led to a further phase of EC funding to the project, with EUMEDCONNECT2 running from 2008 to 2011. This resulted in the formation and establishment of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) which is a principal partner of the current EUMEDCONNECT3 project.
Building on EUMEDCONNECT, ASREN sets out to widen its geographical footprint and to create a pan-Arab research and education network. This strategic step is expected to lead to long-term sustainability of e-infrastructures in the Mediterranean and the neighbouring Gulf region, potentially serving a population of over 250 million people and ensuring that researchers and academics in the region can continue to participate in world-class research and education activities.
Synergies with the AfricaConnect2/3 projects
Through its earlier phases, the EUMEDCONNECT programme has connected Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine Syria and Tunisia since 2004, promoting regional development and addressing local challenges, such as telecom monopolies and poor infrastructure.
In July 2015, the North African partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) became partners of the AfricaConnect2 and subsequently the AfricaConnect3 projects. The countries still served by EUMEDCONNECT3 are Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
The European Commission is contributing over 3M Euro towards the costs of EUMEDCONNECT3 from its regional European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI South) budget, with the remaining funds being provided by the Mediterranean partners. Initially running to the end of 2016, the project has now been extended until the end of 2021 with an increased EC funding share (from 36% to 60%) of all eligible project costs. In the medium term it is planned ASREN will take on responsibility for research and education e-Infrastructure deployment and promoting collaborative research within the region.