35 years of European R&E networking

RARE, the organization that became GÉANT, was born in 1986, making 2021 the 35-year anniversary of pan-European research and education networking. From the start, the five Nordic NRENs and the NORDUnet collaboration were strongly involved in European networking, and even served as driving forces behind its birth,

“The NRENs of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark were all among the original 17 European NRENs which founded the organization that today is GÉANT,” notes Lars Fischer, Strategy & Policy Officer at NORDUnet.

Last year, 2020, NORDUnet celebrated its own 40 years anniversary. With an established collaboration of six years, NORDUnet was well placed to help shape the Réseaux Associeés pour la Recherche Européenne (RARE), founded on June 13, 1986.

“The second annual RARE workshop was held in Copenhagen in 1987. This was a memorable event which jump-started the evolution we have seen since. And again, the Nordic NRENs were highly active,” says Lars Fischer

RARE eventually became the GÉANT Association, the coordinator of European R&E network collaboration. The annual RARE workshops also live on, now as TNC, the annual conference recognized as the leading international summit event for the global R&E networking community.

This year's TNC – TNC21 – takes place online, 21-25 June 2021, as always with strong contributions from NORDUnet and the Nordic NREN.

For those interested in learning about – or having their memory refreshened on – the history and events around the birth of RARE, and the later developments into GÉANT, we recommend this interview with Dutch R&E networking pioneer Kees Neggers