TEIN initiative set to grow thanks to funding boost

The European Commission is set to inject a further EUR 12 million into an initiative which provides scientists in the Asia-Pacific region with high speed internet access to enable their
participation in international research projects.

The Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) was set up in 2000 with funding from the EU’s EuropeAid programme. Its goal is to increase internet connectivity for research and education between
Europe and Asia; improve intra-regional internet connectivity for research and educational institutions in Asia; and facilitate the participation of less developed countries in large-scale
international research projects. The Asian network is linked with the European GÉANT2 network.

After carrying out feasibility studies, the second phase of the initiative (TEIN2) got underway in 2004. During the following three years, the network was constructed and fully deployed. This
latest funding boost from the EU, together with an additional ?6 million from Asian partners, will enable TEIN to continue its work until 2011.

During this phase (TEIN3), the network will undergo further upgrades and more south Asian countries will be invited to join.

‘TEIN reduces the digital divide between the less developed countries in Asia and Europe and enables them to take part in global research projects,’ explained the EU’s Commissioner for External
Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. ‘Furthermore, it ensures tangible benefits not just for researchers but for the wider population.’

Currently, some 4,000 research and education institutions with 30 million end users in ten countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South
Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) are benefiting from the initiative. Laos and Cambodia are likely to join the network soon.

Thanks to the high speed internet access provided by TEIN, researchers in different countries can exchange large amounts of data with ease and access modern applications such as e-learning and
videoconferencing. For example, scientists in the Philippines can forecast typhoons with the help of German researchers, and doctors in Vietnam can receive advice on surgery from their
colleagues in Australia.

‘We have already seen significant global collaboration in the areas of climate change, radio astronomy and meteorology, bringing together the best minds around the world to tackle the global
challenges that we are facing,’ commented Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. ‘Together with Europe’s partners, we are aiming to make global scientific
collaboration seamless and straightforward and abolish distance as a barrier to working together.’

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