CEENGINE Newsletter #8, December 2013
 Foreword from project coordinator


This is the last newsletter produced by our team within this project, which finishes at the end of the year. We can safely state now, that CEENGINE made a difference. It was in many ways a special project, a great opportunity for our community, which has been exploited to full extent possible.

We have started the project as low profile organisation, supporting some little-known NRENs in Eastern Europe and we are finishing it with 6 EaP NRENs being GEANT members, CEENET being GEANT contractor and some GEANT programme focused on Eastern Europe to be executed.

We have also managed to focus more attention on Eastern Europe from the policy makers and funding bodies – Eastern Partnership Interconnection (EPIC) project has been formulated and positively received by European Commission – with the objective to build Eastern European backbone and to interconnect it with GEANT, the project has potential to change the networking landscape in Eastern Europe.

Here I would like to use this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all CEENET and NRENs personnel who worked hard to make this project a success. I hope this is not the first and not the last we worked together.

Dr. Octavian Rusu, CEENGINE coordinator


 CEENGINE NRENs Technology Workshop in Tbilisi

bannerOur last workshop – CEENGINE NRENs Security Workshop was organized in Tbilisi, from 4th to 7th of December, 2013. The event co-organized by CEENET/CEENGINE and GEANT provided a number of presentation on security technologies, policies and general matters relevant to NRENs for over 60 participants from Europe. Hosted in excellent venue of Radisson Iveria Blu Tbilisi, within beautiful surroundings of the ancient city, the workshop provided a nice conclusion of the project and marked the start of closer cooperation with GEANT project.

The programme included 2 days of lectures organised by CEENGINE and one day of relevant security topics from GEANT Campus Best Practices activity. For the first time in CEENET events, eduroam was available, thanks to FUNET staff, who brought mobile hotspot with them.

The electronic materials from the workshops can be downloaded here. Pictures are available at Flickr

 CEENET training programme in 2014 (GEANT PLUS)

michal_przybylskiCEENGINE NRENs Security Workshop has been received very well and the participants expressed their demand for more workshops of this type.

While the CEENGINE is over soon, CEENET managed to include a series of knowledge and technology transfer workshop in GEANT3 PLUS project programme. Currently three workshops are pre-scheduled in 2014, in particular:  (dates and places are indicative, but highly probable):

• Sofia, Bulgaria, end of May 2014 ( network security + core network technologies)
• Chisinau, Moldova (co-located with RENAM-RoEduNet conference) – August 2014 (with focus on core network technologies and GEANT services)
• Montenegro – late autumn 2014 (with programme more focused on GEANT services)

In order to ensure participation of EaP NRENs, we have ensured that at each workshop there will be 12 seats reserved for EaP countries (with the minimum guarantee of 2 seats per each EaP country). While workshops and their agendas are being prepared at the moment, we assume that the workshop in May will be organised for 2 groups of 20 people each, with intensive “hands on” programme in computer laboratories, kindly provided by Bulgarian Research and Education Network (BREN)


 New CEENET Users Database published

krassi_simonskiThe question of who are the NRENs users and what activities shall be adopted to approach and integrate NRENs users into GEANT community was one of the key challenges of CEENGINE.

In the project we have tried to investigate and attract the users, to collaborate and participate in our activities, and further to stimulate them in their research collaboration with other partners from Western Europe and worldwide. We have analysed over a hundred of users and we have prepared over 80 Power Users profiles. Later on these Power Users were invited to update their profiles and provide more information. In the results, we can boast an extensive WIKI database of NREN Users.

At the end of CEENGINE project, these information have been assembled into online, visual database available to general public. It provides an easy access to the following data:

  • Who are the NREN Power Users in each country?
  • What is their main activity/business?
  • What are their strong research activities/projects utilizing the research networking resources?
  • Who their partners are in Europe and among the CEENGINE countries?
  • How do they participate in ERA, do they plan to do so, if yes – in which areas?
  • How do they use (or plan to use) the GEANT connectivity?

The database interface is available here.

The database is open and can be updated as necessary with new Power Users and countries to be added or updated. If you want to include your organisation or change profile, please contact us.


 CEENGINE project summary

The main objective of CEENGINE project was to support the organic development of NRENs in Eastern Europe and their integration with pan-European NRENs (including GEANT). For this purpose we have proposed an ambitious work programme aiming at creating organisational, political and financial momentum for NRENs extension, interconnection, upgrade and integration. We have used many tools to assist us in this work – including basic research, workshops (Users, Policy, Technology) and helpdesk support to newly organizing consortia aiming at participation in pan-European research. We hoped that with decent organisational support, NRENs in our region would be able to join GEANT community (as the ultimate objective of CEENET) within few years after CEENGINE project finalization. CEENGINE had also to determine the future of the CEENET once most of its members become GEANT partners.

Now, at the end of the project, we can safely state that last three and a half years of CEENGINE project had strong impact on what’s happening in Eastern Europe , when it comes to NRENs. Below we’ll try to summarize the most important achievements:

  • CEENGINE provided important insight into current NRENs status in Eastern Europe – legal, organisational, technical, international and other aspects of NRENs organisation were assessed for 27 NRENs. 27 NRENs profiles were created online. For the first time for many years we got so detailed information about our NRENs, which indeed was sometimes surprising and gave us more clear understanding of NRENs needs.
  • For the first time in the history we have directly approached the major users of the NRENs – over 100 so called “Power Users” – essential customers for novel network services and possible participants of future research projects were contacted and in result 84 detailed NREN users profiles were created online.
  • CEENGINE supported 9 project consortia, which were able to formulate research project applications, of which 4 were accepted for funding and are currently being implemented in Eastern Europe.
  • Three workshops (NREN Users, NREN Policy and NREN Technology) were organized with over 200 attendees
  • Intensive dissemination programme of CEENGINE (possible thanks to detailed knowledge of users, NRENs, their problems, etc.) together with exploitation of favourable political situation helped us to reach beyond original project scope and ensure the following:
  • All remaining non-GEANT CEENET members from Eastern Europe (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) were admitted as normal GEANT members (they had the “associated members” status before), following the modification of GEANT membership scheme proposed by CEENET in order to enable participation in GEANT’s research activities.
  • CEENET has become a partner in GEANT (although with – we believe temporary – 3rd party status to TERENA) but more importantly – a programme for knowledge and technology transfer (in the area of Campus Best Practices and Digital Inclusion activities) to Eastern European NRENs has been accepted by GEANT and its execution has been put in CEENET hands. Thus CEENET secured its operation in its area of competence in coordination with GEANT.
  • CEENET experts have prepared (already within GEANT3plus project but exploiting CEENGINE results) – a feasibility study for optical backbone interconnecting Eastern European NRENs and connecting them to GEANT. Project codenamed “EPIC” with 13 MEur budget is currently discussed between EC and beneficiary countries.


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