Brussels, 06 Jun 2003
The European Commission has published a call for proposals for the maintenance and upgrading of the GÉANT communications network under the Sixth Framework Programme's 'support for research infrastructures' activity. This is one of the areas covered by the 'structuring the European Research Area' specific programme.
The new GÉANT network will represent a significant step forward as compared to the network provided by the FP5 project GN1, both in terms of services, communities served, geographical scope, bandwidth and readiness to adopt relevant new technologies.
In order to foster and enhance Europe's position to provision a high-capacity and high speed communications network for all researchers (GÉANT), it is necessary for a proposal in this area to address the following objectives:
- Maintain and further upgrade the services and functionality of the existing GÉANT network (as provided by the FP5 GN1 project). There is a growing demand for bandwidth which clearly shows the need to address the hundreds of gigabit/s range of communication capacities, effectively managed and deployed in a production class network. In this context, the adoption of recent advances in a number of technologies such as photonics, lambda management, etc., is very important.
- Promote the provision of end-to-end connectivity and services (user-to-user) by ensuring a high level of cohesion and coordination of priorities amongst the interconnected NRENs. The adoption of innovative techniques to manage different administrative domains (in areas such as trust and confidence and using technologies such as agents) should be investigated.
- Enhance the 'inclusiveness' of the research network infrastructure by taking into account the demands of various actors in the field (e.g. schools, educational networks, libraries, e-learning, etc.).
- Provide efficient service support and integrate research projects on top of the network infrastructure.
- Become an instantiation of 'Next Generation Networks' by making timely use of the results of advanced test-beds in close cooperation with industrial players and network operators.
- Exploit the opportunities of a liberalised telecommunication environment ('own' fibre, 'own' network, etc.).
- Strengthen Europe's position as a global player in the field of networking by maintaining and extending the current international connectivity to the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in regions outside Europe (e.g. Mediterranean, Far-East and Pacific-Rim, Africa, South-America.
The strategic ambition of upgrading GÉANT requires the involvement of the National Research and Education Networks.
In specifying the instruments to be used in these areas, the call requests the use of an integrated infrastructure initiative. Proposers are advised to consult the full call text at the address below in order to find out the particular instruments requested for each area.
The total indicative budget for this call is 100 million euro
The deadline for submitting proposal documents is 2 October 2003
Before contacting the Commission, proposers are strongly advised to consult the original call text in the Official Journal of the European Communities at the reference below.
Document Reference: OJ No C 132 of 6 June 2003, p.5