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Home   >   EUMEDConnect   >   EUMEDConnect Project Description

EUMEDConnect - Linking the MEDA region with over 3000 research and education establishments

The reference information about the EUMEDConnect Project can be found on the EumedConnect Project Summary Sheet.

The latest information about the EUMEDConnect Project can be found on the EUMEDConnect Project Website.

See also the Press Releases about EUMEDConnect on the EUMEDIS News Section.

What?s EUMEDConnect?

EUMEDConnect is an infrastructure-building project that aims to establish and run a major Internet network in the Mediterranean region to be dedicated to research and other non-commercial purposes. The network will provide a backbone that will link Mediterranean national research centres and institutions with over 3000 research and education establishments in Europe and other regional research communities worldwide. The aim is to transform the scale and reach of Mediterranean research networking, foster greater levels of research collaboration, and help accelerate the rate of development of the Internet.

The project was formulated in early 2001 through a series of advisory meetings hosted by the European Commission and attended by research networking experts from the European and the Mediterranean regions. The outcome was a two-phase project to plan and deploy Internet Protocols (IP) infrastructure in the Mediterranean region with links to the Pan-European research network, GÉANT, which already connects the research and educational communities in 31 countries. Moreover the EUMEDConnect longer term goal is to provide momentum to e-society starting from research centres.


In 1998 the European Commission launched, under the MEDA programme, the Euro-Mediterranean Initiative for the Information Society (EUMEDIS) to extend the development of the information society in the Mediterranean region by supporting a range of infrastructure, applications and technical support programmes.

EUMEDConnect is the principal infrastructure project funded by EUMEDIS, with a total EC funding of € 10 millions (80% of total costs). The remainder is to be funded by beneficiaries of the initiative. The following are eligible: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

EUMEDConnect is co-ordinated by DANTE, a not for profit UK registered company, owned jointly by 14 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), whose primary role is the development and operation of GÉANT. The national research networks of France, Greece, Italy and Spain are fully involved with DANTE.

In order to establish the necessary infrastructure to set up the EUMEDConnect network, a negotiated tender was launched by DANTE for leasing international circuits to provide the EUMEDConnect infrastructure. It is planned to award contracts by September 2003 allowing beneficiaries to be connected from around December 2003. This timetable is subject to acceptable offers being negotiated with the potential service providers and also then to funding commitments from the beneficiaries

Whom is EUMEDConnect addressing?

The success of the project will rely critically on building effective partnerships with key telecommunications operators and user communities in the MEDA region.

To achieve this EUMEDConnect needs:

? National governments that have recognised the benefits of the project for their countries and that are prepared to encourage the direct participation of their national research organisations and the co-operation of the telecommunications operators they regulate. This will help ensure their country fully gains the research networking benefits offered through the EUMEDConnect project.

? Mediterranean national operators that have recognised the benefits of the project for their country and that are interested in participating in setting up the national infrastructures (together with DANTE and/or with other tenderers, typically European operators) These operators should offer high technical capacities - frequently maximum circuit speeds sold commercially are 1 or 2 Mbits - for EUMEDConnect most beneficiaries require 34 or 45Mbits+ for communications with European researchers and information sources Since international circuits are still only available from national monopoly operators in all beneficiary countries, except Israel, the co-operation of these operators is essential. This may be as prime contractors or as partners of other tenderers. The telecommunications markets in the region also suffer limited capacity and high prices. Even where there are plans to develop more competitive markets they will take too long to benefit the EUMEDIS programme.

? National educational and research centres that are interested in benefiting from the possibilities offered by the EUMEDConnect network. These beneficiaries will be represented by their national research and education network coordinators.