DANTE and TERENA become GÉANT Association

European research and education network powerhouses the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) and Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe (DANTE) have combinted under a unified governance structure to create The GÉANT Association.

European research and education network powerhouses the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) and Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe (DANTE) have combinted under a unified governance structure to create The GÉANT Association.

GÉANT is the name of the pan-European fiber-optic network for Europe’s research and education community, which interconnects the national research and education networks (NRENs). Co-funded by the European Commission and the NRENs, the GÉANT network was built and operated by DANTE (see, for example, "DANTE, Infinera team on single-PIC terabit superchannel test"). TERENA is a sister organization representing the interests of the NRENs whose aim is to foster the development of Internet technology, infrastructure, and services in this community (see "R&E networks demonstrate 100-Gbps transatlantic connections at TERENA Networking Conference").

The decision to restructure came from the NREN community, which agreed it needed a new strategy to achieve its part in the European Commission’s vision for the future of research and innovation, Horizon2020. Members agreed with the recommendations of a report by the Reykjavik Group at the TERENA General Assembly in October 2012, which proposed a single umbrella organization responsible for community building, strategy formulation, and policy making.

On October 7, the membership of TERENA and the shareholders of DANTE voted to proceed with the new structure. This marks "a new phase in almost thirty years of collaborative research and education networking in Europe," according to a statement.

The new Interim CEO of the GÉANT Association is Bob Day, executive director of JANET, the United Kingdom’s NREN (see "JANET(UK), Verizon collaborate on 100-Gbps networking" and "Ciena to supply 100-Gbps systems for Janet6 research and education network"). The association’s board asked him, as he steps down as chair of DANTE, to take on this new role during the period of transition and integration. He said, "The restructuring will create a vehicle to coordinate the community's approach to the European Commission's Horizon2020 Program."

Valentino Cavalli, long-term acting secretary general of TERENA agrees. "The main benefits will be simplified governance, more efficient management, more flexible use of resources and a more inclusive membership for the association," he said.

Pierre Bruyère, director of Belnet, the Belgian NREN organisation, was appointed as chair of the interim board of the GÉANT Association following three years as president of TERENA.

The organizations say there will be no service disruption while the process of integration is completed; in fact they believe it will have a positive impact on how the organization serves its members and in relationships with partners and the user community. "We see this as strengthening the European research and education networking community as a whole," said Niels Hersoug and Matthew Scott, joint general managers of DANTE, via a press release.

Under the present Horizon2020 call, a number of proposals have been submitted by the GÉANT Association in collaboration with other European e-infrastructure providers.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.



More in Optical Tech