Brussels, 10 Feb 2003
A new information society telecommunications (IST) project is expected to have a significant impact on the formation of the European Union's enlargement policy in first part of 2003.
The South Eastern European Research and Education Networking (SEEREN) project aims at developing a regional research network to assist the research and academic community in South Eastern Europe with a view to reducing the 'digital divide' that separates most countries in this region from the rest of Europe.
Furthermore, the SEEREN project is expected to contribute to the reconstruction and stabilisation of South Eastern Europe, as well as to the formation of the EU's enlargement policy during the Greek Presidency (1st half of 2003), claims Professor Basil Maglaris, chairman of the Greek research and technology network (GRNET), which is coordinating the project.
The project brings together research and educational networks from the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Hungry, and will receive 1.3 million euro of funding under the IST programme of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).
Specific attention is being paid to integrating the new network with the existing pan-European network: gigabit European academic network (GEANT).
The project will provide academics and researchers with better access to new digital developments, Internet networks and applications specific to research and academia such as tele-education, distributed super-computer processing in high energy physics, applications in meteorology and seismological research.
Professor Maglaris also argues that such an initiative will help promote scientific and educational cooperation between EU Member States and South Eastern European countries while providing a platform for dissemination and development of the next generation of Internet technologies in those states that are on course to joining the EU.