At the recent G7 ICT Ministers’ meeting held in Kagawa, Japan (the first such meeting the G7 group has held in nearly 20 years) 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 G7 ICT Ministers’ meeting is part of a series of meetings taking place across Japan in April and May. It brought together the ICT Ministers representing the G7 countries of USA, UK, Japan, France, Italy, Canada, and Germany; plus the European Union, addressing the themes of:
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+ 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.
Jisc provides Janet, the national research and education network in the UK. Bob Day, Executive Director, Janet and Chief Technology Officer, Jisc technologies, said:
“It is welcome news that the G7 ICT Ministers have recognised the vital role of national research and education networks in the digital knowledge economy and more generally in addressing research challenges of a global nature. These dedicated, high-capacity and resilient networks support truly global connectivity, enabling these communities to be more collaborative, and upskilling the workforce through innovative teaching and learning practices. We welcome also the European Union’s continued support for the GÉANT collaboration which, by speeding up the pace of research, enhances Europe’s competitiveness – for example by promoting the open scienceparadigm and European Cloud Initiative. In Janet in the UK, we have a network built specifically built for the research and education sector, which gives our more than 18 million users high-bandwidth, ubiquitous access for all their needs, today and into the future.”
RENATER provides high quality, high performance, secure and innovative network and services for the needs of the research and education community. More than two-thirds of the traffic from RENATER is addressed to NRENs. Patrick Donath, Director said:
“For more than 20 years, RENATER is working closely with the French research and education community, in order to support and promote their excellence across Europe and worldwide. We are highly satisfied with the G7 ICT Ministers declaration, especially the clear reference to the importance development, interconnection and utilisation of national research and education networks.”
“Although GARR, as most NRENs, is an independent organization governed by the R&E community, a recognition by the G7 representatives is invaluable to back our work. Policy support is key to foster global scientific collaboration in the best possible way and it is good to see that this item is on the G7 Agenda.”