The new generation of GÉANT, the super fast pan-European research internet, has been officially unveiled today. 40 million researchers and students across Europe, who use GÉANT today, will be able to better tackle the new science challenges thanks to networking innovation and advanced user services. From 2012 researchers from all over the world will enjoy connection speeds of up to 100 Gigabits per second, ten times higher than today. Faster speeds will, for example help scientists to work better together and also enable them to process massive amounts of data that come from projects like CERN's Large Hadron Collider or giant telescopes scanning the skies for information about our galaxies. GEANT 3 is receiving € 93 million in funding from the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and a similar amount from Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), and will run until 2012.

GÉANT is a “network of networks” which offers reliable, seamless and transparent connectivity and supports services for users to create the most advanced international research network in the world. The GÉANT 3 project is developing a portfolio of advanced services like bandwidth on-demand for specific project requirements. This means that, for example, astronomers exploring the universe can combine data gathered from radio telescopes over GÉANT with a special "on demand" connection rather than needing a specific, "always on" data transmission line allowing an optimized usage of the resource.

By investing in advanced technologies, the new generation of the GÉANT project aims at keeping Europe at the forefront of research networking and e-Science that rely on advanced use of ICT tools, as well as in the lead of shaping the internet of the future.

GÉANT 3 could contribute to developing new medical practices and techniques. For example, the T@lemed project worked to bring essential healthcare services to hospitals in outlying districts of Colombia and Brazil. By using special equipment and software, doctors could remotely diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments to patients, despite being thousands of miles away. High-quality video links were established using the GÉANT and ALICE networks.

Thanks to the GÉANT's network, the EXPReS astronomy has been able to process data to create real-time distributed pictures of specific areas of the universe and detailed images of some of the most distant objects in space. Remote radio telescopes are connected to a central data processor to transmit enormous volumes of data. Doing this via the super-fast GÉANT network has reduced data transfer times from 82 days to 82 seconds and promises to be even faster with GÉANT 3.

GÉANT 3, which builds on the successes of its predecessors, will also seek to address the digital divide faced by the research and education community, by working towards equalizing the cost of connectivity and improving network links across Europe.

In its Communication of March 2009 on 'ICT infrastructures for eScience', the Commission called for a consolidation of GÉANT's world leadership. This message was reinforced by the Competitiveness Council of May 2009 who encouraged the Commission to pursue the sustainability, global connectivity, interoperability and use of pan-European e-Infrastructures.

GEANT 3 is officially launched today in Stockholm.


GÉANT is the dedicated high-bandwidth pan-European network that provides advanced interconnectivity between Europe’s NRENs through 50.000 kilometres of mostly optical fibre. As a result, nearly 40 million research and education users in over 8,000 institutions can share vast quantities of data, and collaborate across multiple disciplines throughout Europe and beyond. The first two phases of the GÉANT project have been developing a high speed network and a wide range of services for scientists across Europe since 2000.

GÉANT is managed and operated by DANTE and supported by the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) on behalf of Europe's national research and education networks. The project comprises 32 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) partners serving 36 countries, across Europe, as well as 4 associated NRENs.