Research is our key to innovation. We rely on the scientific and academic community to make new discoveries and provide new insights that will help to improve people’s lives. The European Community envisages a ‘European Research Area’ - a border-free research zone that can make Europe the world’s most dynamic and competitive knowledge economy by promoting innovation.
By providing common access to the best technological tools, minds and resources, R&E networks around the world enable each place of learning to play its full part in addressing issues of concern to local, national, regional and global communities.
"New users of R&E networks quickly see the benefits of increased bandwidth and new services. And the national governments that generally fund R&E networking gain immediate benefits too. For funders, cost clarity and control are always key issues. R&E networking gives better visibility and predictability of both operating and investment costs and provides effective monitoring and reporting on actual performance. Through economies of scale, R&E networking offers a viable alternative to commercial internet services. In many developing countries, such as Vietnam, the combined purchasing power of regional networks has significantly opened up telecoms monopolies."
"As well as improving cost effectiveness, R&E networks provide greater access to better services for more students and researchers and help to fulfil national education objectives. In developing countries, establishing a R&E network provides a framework for delivering on the United Nations anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals."
"The benefits flow from the economies of scale that become achievable when you work together. In the same way that it makes sense for a country’s institutions to take a common path to improve efficiency, it makes sense for countries to share the costs of regional and global networks."
"Although it is not their main purpose, real economic and business benefits can also flow from setting up an NREN. Research networks can help boost a region’s competitive standing and GDP by helping to retain the most talented researchers, securing the major investments made in educating and training them. R&E networks also help researchers play a fuller part on the world stage. An educated, more highly skilled workforce, backed by world-class networks is also more likely to attract interest and further investment from commercial sources."
"Procuring networks and services on a national basis means bringing the benefits of collective purchasing power to institutions and universities. Using a similar approach to deliver value for investment, GÉANT, in conjunction with the NRENs, provides and manages R&E network connectivity within and between regions across the globe. Centralised network management, training, promotion, project management and support costs provide economies of scale and help reduce the need for expensive specialist staff in many locations. Costs for all these common services are identified and apportioned between NRENs who pay an annual subscription."
"Experience gained from R&E networking can provide a commercially-independent source of advice and guidance for governments to call on, aiding national policy discussions on use of ICT. Because R&E networks employ leading-edge technologies and techniques, best practice learned here can form a blueprint for networking in other sectors. R&E networking also allows you to play a fuller part in the global community. An individual institution – even an individual country – can find it hard to make its voice heard on the world stage. Affiliation to the R&E community gives every country a seat and a voice in an active and participative global forum."
"To understand the value that R&E networks can bring, it’s worth looking again at why the European Union (EU) has been so actively involved. The EU is the prime investor in GÉANT, which it sees as fundamental to its vision of the European Research Area (ERA). The ERA is a border-free zone for research that encourages the development of excellence and coordinated research activity. GÉANT is also a key component of the EU’s Lisbon Strategy, which aims to make Europe the world’s most dynamic and competitive knowledge economy by promoting innovation. R&E networks are also fundamental to Europe’s ‘Digital Agenda’ – the strategy to create a flourishing digital economy by 2020.
New research environments drive up productivity, improve the quality of the science performed and create synergies between dispersed research groups. GÉANT has helped to deliver the EU’s European Information Society 2010 initiative helping to boost innovation and investment in ICT and establish an inclusive European information society that improves the quality of public services as well as quality of life. R&E networking is also crucial to the EU’s ‘Europe of Knowledge 2020’ vision for university-based research and innovation."
"If I had to sum it up in a sentence, I’d say that R&E networks cost effectively provide the networking power researchers need and give a single point of focus for closer control of your resources."
[back to top]