Today, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) announced a joint cooperation agreement with the European Research Network (GÉANT) to support cooperation between the Kingdom and Europe in the fields of research and innovation, during the international conference on European research networks (TNC19). TNC19 is currently being held in Tallinn, Republic of Estonia.
The memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between the Saudi Research and Innovation Network (Maeen Network) and GÉANT, the European research network, aims at enhancing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Europe in the fields of scientific research by connecting the two networks and providing computing, analysis, storage, applications among other resources, and giving Saudi researchers access to the services available as well as access to other research networks under the umbrella of GÉANT.
Through interconnections with its 38 national research and education network (NREN) partners, GÉANT network is the largest and most advanced R&E network in the world, connecting over 50 million users at 10,000 institutions across Europe and supporting all scientific disciplines. The backbone network operates at speeds of up to 500Gbps and reaches over 100 national networks worldwide.
The MoC will contribute to supporting the development of scientific research networks, supporting the activities of researchers in the Kingdom and Europe, and increase the importance of Maeen Network among global research networks.
The MoC was signed by his Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel, KACST Vice President for Scientific Research Support, and Eric Hoyzer, GÉANT CEO. Dr. Al-Athel said: “At Maeen Network, we are keen to build excellent partnerships with other research networks around the world, promoting international cooperation in the fields of scientific research and innovation.
The MoC between Maeen Network and GÉANT will open doors for further opportunities. It will connect our users, and expand their reach to valuable resources.”
For his part, Mr. Eric Hoyzer, CEO of GÉANT, welcomed the new cooperation opportunities: “We look forward to working with Maeen Network, our Saudi NREN partner, to further develop connectivity between Europe and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As part of GÉANT’s efforts to connect with research and education networks across the world, this will not only facilitate Saudi-European collaborative research and learning, but also open up opportunities to boost R&E networking in the entire Gulf region.”
Eng. Ibrahim bin Salem Al-Shadoukhi, General Supervisor of Maeen Network, expressed the importance of signing such agreements in line with the vision of the network and its strategic plans, as well as benefiting the users of the network in the Kingdom.
It is worth mentioning that Maeen Network is a national research network that works in parallel to the current Internet network with high-speed connectivity dedicated only to serve scientific, research and industrial purposes. It helps researchers to benefit from relevant services by creating a suitable environment for research and innovation in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
Maeen Network has the infrastructure needed to to meet the research network requirements to quickly and efficiently transfer data between its members and make use of unique research applications and services. In addition, it provides interconnectivity with other research networks in Europe, United States, and Asia to facilitate the communication with researchers around the world.
In cooperation with its partners, Maeen Network provides the necessary facilities for education, research, innovation, development and industry to include universities, research centers, digital libraries, schools, museums, hospitals and industrial members serving all academics, researchers, physicians, university students, teachers, school students and industrial workers.