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Brussels, 29 October, 2010

Digital Agenda: 10 successful years for GÉANT EU-funded high speed research network

The European Commission is marking the tenth anniversary of GÉANT, the EU-funded high-speed research network. GÉANT has made it possible for scientists both across Europe and globally to work together in real time on ground-breaking research. It gives 40 million researchers in 40 European countries access to the processing power essential to share massive volumes of data needed to study for example the smallest known particles with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland or to tackle global challenges like finding a cure for epilepsy or setting up early warning systems for typhoons. With fast evolving technology, services and capacity, GÉANT remains the most advanced research network in the world. The Commission, as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200), is committed to supporting and developing information and communications technology (ICT)-based infrastructures like GÉANT so that vast amounts of digital information can be harnessed to benefit both our economies and society as a whole.

Neelie Kroes, Vice President for the Digital Agenda said "The Commission is committed to promote worldwide research collaboration to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face today in areas as diverse as medicine or climate change. The power and scope of GÉANT ensure Europe remains a central hub for research and education, offering the best infrastructure to the brightest minds in the world."

GÉANT is a 50,000 km long pan-European data highway which connects national research and education networks (NRENs) across Europe. Thanks to dedicated point-to-point high speed internet links between research centres, 40 million users in 40 countries can collaborate in real time on research projects. The GÉANT project seeks technological solutions for network control, management and service provisioning. It enables secure and seamless access to network resources for the users, whether they be institutions, projects or researchers.

Working with equivalent networks worldwide, GÉANT transfers vital climate observation data around the globe, supporting early weather warnings that can save lives. Through dedicated high speed links, GÉANT connects remote radio telescopes, providing researchers with real time distributed images of the solar system. By providing the network communications infrastructure, GÉANT enables collaboration between doctors and medical researchers that underpins drug discoveries and breakthroughs in medical treatment. GÉANT can bring researchers together, driving regional co-operation across the EU and strengthening European research as a whole.

GÉANT is also hooked up to 9 other regional research and education networks, reaching some 85 million users worldwide.

Thanks to funding from the European Commission and Europe’s NRENs, the network was built in less than a year, in 2000. The GÉANT network today uses 50,000 km of network infrastructure, including 12,000 km of optical fibre across Europe. GÉANT has increased its internet speed from 155 megabits per second (Mbps) to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) during the past decade. Even faster capacities of 40 Gbps have been successfully piloted across distances of up to 750 km, and 100 Gbps connections are in the planning phase.


GÉANT now has high speed links to Asia, the Mediterranean, Southern Africa, Latin America (IP/08/354) and the Black Sea (IP/09/407). It also connects Pakistan to the global research community (IP/08/1590) and Europe's fusion research community with its supercomputing centres (IP/09/117).

GÉANT is managed and operated by a Cambridge-based non-profit company DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) and supported by the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) on behalf of National Research and Education Networks representing the 27 Member States of the EU, Croatia, FYROM, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. Associate NRENs are from Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.

The European Commission’s supports GÉANT through its Research Framework Programmes, with funding amounting to €93 million for the period 2009-2013.

For further information

GÉANT website:

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