GÉANT Expert Group (GEG)

The GEG is an independent group of experts appointed by the European Commission. They were tasked with articulating a 2020 vision for European research and education networking and identifying an action plan for realising this vision.

As the nature of scientific research rapidly evolves, becoming ever-more data intensive and collaborative, so this exponential growth in data and access to it depends more heavily than ever on research networks. To ensure Europe’s continued competitiveness in the global economy the future development of e-infrastructure such as GÉANT and the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) is considered vital to Europe’s Digital Agenda.

In preparing the report the GEG took input from a variety of sources including interviews with over 25 experts operating in the research networking and related fields, as well as input from official policy documents, NREN reports and GÉANT deliverables.

The final report was presented on Tuesday 4 October to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda Commissioner.

The following is an extract from the report, which distils the main vision and goals of GÉANT 2020.

A Vision to maintain Europe’s lead
“GÉANT 2020” is the European communications commons, where talent anywhere is able to collaborate with their peers around the world and to have instantaneous and unlimited access to any resource for knowledge creation, innovation and learning, unconstrained by the barriers of the predigital world.

1. Support Knowledge Communities

  • The main mission of GÉANT 2020 is to support knowledge communities
  • Integrate the work of knowledge communities
  • Embrace the services culture
  • Develop a clearer business orientation
  • Think of the weakest link

2. Expand Knowledge Communities

  • Open the organisational walls
  • Bridge Europe's digital divides
  • Open up European science to the world
  • Extend beyond the traditional uses in research and education into wider public services

3. Push the State of the Art

  • A platform for innovation - build on the network's... unique position within the European innovation ecosystem
  • Organise for innovation
  • Provide a research partner and lead customer for the European ICT industry
  • Work more closely with industry in the area of service provision

4. Reorganise for Change

  • Structure the governance of the European Communications Common for accountability and transparency
  • Focus operations on technical flexibility and services for users
  • Ensure a stable and sustainable funding regime
  • The European networks should fully participate in supporting global collaborations
  • Align the regulatory frameworks in Europe to NRENs' potential.


For more information, see:
Report: Knowledge Without Borders: GÉANT 2020 as the European Communications Commons
European Commission GEG page
DG Infso newsroom article
European Commission images of the presentation
GÉANT press release 4 October

Ziga Turk, GEG Chairman presentation slides: "GÉANT 2020 as the European Communications Commons"
Pierre Bruyer, TERENA President, Belnet Director: "The Research and Education Networks in Europe"