The European Union is investing a further €12 million in the Asia-wide Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN), which connects countries in Asia and Pacific to Europe via broadband internet connections to carry out research projects. Together with €6 million coming from Asian partners, TEIN will now be able to operate until 2011 with improved capacity and connecting more countries.
“TEIN reduces the digital divide between the less-developed countries in Asia and Europe, enabling them to take part in global research projects,” said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, announcing the funding.
“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,” said Viviane Reding, 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.”
TEIN is a regional research and education network in Asia, based on the model of the GÉANT2 network in Europe. GÉANT2 is claimed to be the world‚s most advanced international research and education network, linking over 30 million students and scientists.
The creation of a TIEN was proposed at the Asia–Europe Summit in 2000. Since 2004 the Commission has taken the lead, providing funding for the second, and now the third phase of the network. It currently operates in ten Asia–Pacific countries, and more countries from South Asia will join in the new phase.
Four thousand research and education institutions with about 30 million end users in the Asian countries are linked into the TEIN network.