“This Is a Considerable Step Towards Integration of Ukraine Into Europe.” Ukraine Launches New Digital Highway

On September 28, 2021, new spectral channels that connect the Ukrainian URAN science and education network with the pan-European GÉANT network were launched. GÉANT is a network connecting all the research and education institutions of Europe and serving to transfer information between them. The 100-gigabit channels Kyiv-Poznan and Kyiv-Chisinau have now been officially put into operation. Representatives of the European Commission DG NEAR, Ministries of Education and Science of Ukraine and Moldova, GÉANT, Association of Users of Ukrainian Scientific and Educational Telecommunications Network URAN, and National Education Moldova RENAM attended the solemn opening ceremony. The event organizer became the EaPConnect project, which is part of the European Union's financial initiative EU4Digital.

"This is a very progressive story. Compared to other Eastern Partnership countries, we have taken a colossal step forward. To use the GÉANT network, you need to have science potential because it is the science that creates enormous amounts of data. This information needs distributing or obtaining from numerous European scientific infrastructures and therefore needs transferring to/from Europe. From now on, Ukrainian institutions will use this data from European research infrastructures and receive numerous services for science and education, which GÉANT offers and which are de facto standards for European research and education institutions. This is a considerable step towards Ukraine integrating into the European science community, “explains Executive Director of the URAN Assocoaton Yevhenii Preobrazhenskyi.

The resulting services for science and education will help students and teachers in mobility, video conferencing, etc.

"This infrastructure serves to achieve the strategic goals of the EaPConnect project, strengthens and expands the pan-European research and education network GÉANT and reduces the digital divide in Europe," the URAN Association reports.

The construction of new spectral channels started within the framework of the EC EaPConnect grant program, which was created in 2015 by the European Union for the Eastern Partnership countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. In Ukraine, the URAN Association is implementing the project. The Association was founded by Ukrainian universities of the IV level of accreditation, institutes of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine. URAN is based at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. The Chairman of the Association Board is Vice-Rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Yurii Yakymenko.

“While cooperating in the EaPConnect project, the Eastern Partnership countries have established strong connections between the research and education communities. Thus we ensured high-quality data exchange, enhanced competitiveness, and integration into the global information society", said the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Andrii Vitrenko. "Such unity not only supports Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership countries in expanding their research and education opportunities but also represents a major step towards integration into the European Research Area".