CAMBRIDGE – At the recent G7 ICT Ministers’ meeting held in Kagawa, Japan, strong and clear recognition was made of the importance of national research and education networks (NRENs) and of the global networking of the research and education community. The ministers addressed the themes of:
· Innovation and economic growth
· Unrestricted flow of information, and ensuring the safety and security in cyberspace
· Contributing to the resolution of global issues
· International understanding and international cooperation in the future
The outcome of the meeting was the issuing of a Joint Declaration signed by Vice President Ansip for the Digital Single Market on the European Commission that focused on three main areas: recognition of a digitally connected world; commitment to mutual goals; and the reaffirming of a multi-stakeholder model for governance issues facing the deployment, development and evolution of the global internet.
In particular, the Joint Declaration states: “We recognize the importance of development, interconnection and utilization of national research and education networks as providing an open infrastructure for education, research and development purposes that also serve to enhance connectivity around the world.”
A separate document was attached to the Joint Declaration, “Opportunities for Collaboration”, which aims to “strengthen international cooperation and collaboration” to help achieve those actions mentioned in the Joint Declaration. It states: “The European Union welcomes continued collaboration on GÉANT, which aims to network the research and education community globally via extensive global partnership.”
This recognition of the importance of NRENs and of the central role of GÉANT is welcomed. Together, GÉANT and our 38 NREN partners interconnect over 50 million users across 10,000 institutions throughout Europe, and connect Europe to an additional 60-plus countries worldwide.
This networking of the community is vital to accelerating science, enriching education and driving innovation, and the GÉANT community is extremely proud to be part of this.