In response to the community of Europe’s national research and education networking organisations’ (NRENs’) wishes, the GÉANT Association has been formed by re-organising TERENA and DANTE under a unified governance structure. The membership of TERENA and the shareholders of DANTE voted to proceed during meetings held in Berlin, Germany on 7 October 2014. This restructuring marks a new phase in almost thirty years of collaborative research and education networking in Europe.
Pierre Bruyère, Director of Belnet, the Belgian national research and education network, was appointed as Chair of the interim board of the GÉANT Association following three years as president of TERENA. He says: "The GÉANT Association is the leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe's economic growth and competitiveness."
The Interim CEO of the GÉANT Association is Bob Day, Chief Technology Officer of Janet, the United Kingdom’s NREN. The association’s board asked him to take on this new role during the period of transition and integration. He says: "The restructuring will create a vehicle to coordinate the community's approach to the European Commission's Horizon2020 Programme".
Valentino Cavalli, long-term Acting Secretary General of TERENA agrees: "The main benefits will be simplified governance, more efficient management, more flexible use of resources and a more inclusive membership for the association."
There will be no service disruption while the process of integration is completed; in fact this will have a positive impact on how we serve our members and in our relationships with partners and the user community," says Niels Hersoug and Matthew Scott, the joint General Managers of DANTE. "Indeed we see this as strengthening the European research and education networking community as a whole."
Why have DANTE and TERENA joined forces?
The decision to restructure came from the community of European NRENs, which both DANTE and TERENA serve. In October 2012 the community agreed it needed a strategy in order to achieve its part in the European Commission’s vision for the future of research and innovation, ‘Horizon2020’. This agreement followed the presentation of a report by the Reykjavik Group, which had been formed in May 2012 to prepare a response to recommendations published in 2011 in the report 'Knowledge without Borders' - which was produced by the GÉANT Expert Group set up by the European Commission.
Under the present Horizon2020 call, a number of proposals have been submitted by the GÉANT Association in collaboration with other European e-infrastructure providers.
Past news about the restructuring process is available via the TERENA news item, 'TERENA General Assembly hears satisfaction results and adopts new statutes'.