How NRENs support the COVID-19 Research Platform

As the world reels from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of researchers in hundreds of institutions across the world are focusing their knowledge and resources on understanding the virus and discovering a vaccine to fight it. Sharing knowledge, results and data is fundamental to this
Open science relies on research data being findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable (known as the FAIR data principles) and involves the close collaboration of many stakeholders.
With new projects and initiatives forming overnight to combat the pandemic it’s reassuring that high-speed, reliable, secure connectivity and AAI services are already in place, always ready to support science. It’s why research and education networks exist and what they are designed for.
Why are research and education networks so important?
National research and education networks (NRENs) and their regional counterparts (RRENs) exist to serve research and education, together providing a global, interconnected web of high-bandwidth and low-latency networks designed, engineered and funded to stay way ahead of capacity requirements. What might appear in normal times as over-engineered capacity quickly becomes a vital lifeline for society when traffic spikes simply cannot be allowed to slow the delivery of huge datasets, one of which may contain that elusive answer to a vaccine. And when thousands of scientists from hundreds of organisations are working remotely, accessing and sharing data, so a highly developed Authorisation and Authentication Infrastructure (AAI) that enables that access quickly becomes invaluable.