The ‘EU4Digital: Connecting Research and Education Communities (EaPConnect)’ project delivers digital infrastructure and solutions to the research and education communities in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine:
- establishing and operating a high-capacity broadband Internet network for research and education;
- integrating the national research and education networks with the pan-European GÉANT network, decreasing the digital divide;
- facilitating the participation of EaP scientists, students and academics in global R&E collaborations;
- deploying services that facilitate this global collaboration, and stimulating integration with GÉANT and other European e-infrastructure services;
- building knowledge, skills and community through workshops, training, mentorships, conferences and other events and initiatives.
Funding and coordination
With the Eastern Partnership the EU offers its partners in the Eastern Neighbourhood concrete, far-reaching support for democratic reform, sustainable development and overall stability. It recognises the importance of e-Infrastructures in bridging the digital divide and bringing its partners closer to the EU.
Now in its second 5-year phase, EaPConnect is funded within the EU4Digital initiative of the European Union under Grant Agreement number ENI/2019/407-452. EU4Digital promotes key areas of the digital economy and society, in line with EU norms and practices. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighbourhoods and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€10m) towards the project costs; the remaining 5% is being co-funded by the six beneficiary countries. EaPConnect and its services are free at the point of use.
EaPConnect is managed by networking organisation GÉANT in collaboration with the NRENs in the six partner countries.
The first EaPConnect project was officially inaugurated at the 1st Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy and was launched in July 2015 with a duration of five years. The second project began on 1 July 2020 and will run until the end of June 2025