In a globalizing world, where information technologies are rapidly evolving, new demands are put forward to science and education. Development of information and communication technologies creates great opportunities for effective, flexible integration of science and education, exchange of experience, development of partnership and collaboration in this area.
Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) also pays special attention to the integration of science and education and strengthening of international cooperation in accordance with state policy. AzScienceNet science computer network at ANAS provides high-level Internet services to scientific institutions and organizations of the Academy and ensures integration of Azerbaijani science into world science. AzScienceNet was admitted to membership in the European Association of Science and Education Network (GEANT) as national operator in 2015. The Institute of Information Technology of ANAS establishes broad cooperation with GEANT and represents the Azerbaijan in the EaPConnect project, supported by the European Union for the purpose of creating an electronic infrastructure for science and education in the Eastern Partnership countries.
The main purpose of the event on "Role of GEANT Network in integration of Azerbaijan science and education into Europe" held at the Institute of Information Technology of ANAS on June 22, 2018 was to present the EaPConnect project, its capabilities and contribution to science and education integration in Azerbaijan, as well as, sign a cooperation agreement between AzScienceNet and Educational System Informatization Department of the Ministry of Education.
The conference was attended by heads of ANAS, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies, as well as leading universities and research institutes and representatives of EaPConnect project.
Academician Akif Alizadeh, president of ANAS, noted that the meeting assumes a great of importance for the science and education of Azerbaijan. The scientist said that in line with the general trends in the world, the formation of a knowledge-based economy based on high technology in Azerbaijan set as a goal. The knowledge of the economy requires, first of all, the development of a quality science and education system in the country in line with the requirements and challenges of the modern era and the establishment of an effective cooperation between these two areas. He also pointed out that these issues were reflected as one of the priorities in the "Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future" Development Concept, which defines the development trends of our country in the near future.
A.Alizadeh noted that one of the main goals of the Eastern Partnership is to create a broadband Internet network and to integrate the relevant institutions of the respective countries into the European science and education network, to support the international scientific cooperation of scholars and specialists working in these countries. He underlined that his organization was actively involved in this process in line with its mission. He stressed that the organization managed by him is actively involved in this process in line with its mission.
The head of ANAS highlighted some of the views expressed in the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, which was attended by President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan on November 24, 2017. He noted that the importance of the integration of science, education and innovation systems in the relevant countries would be reflected in the increase of productivity and competitiveness in the relevant fields, and that access to the GEANT network would reduce digital inequality in the respective countries.
President of ANAS spoke about business cooperation between AzScienceNet and Azerbaijan Educational Network. He said that 13 higher education institutions of our country joined the network of AzScienceNet within the framework of this cooperation and noted that currently work in other universities is continuing in this direction.
Academician A.Alizadeh also touched upon the cooperation agreement to be signed between Institute of Information Technology of ANAS and Educational System Informatization Department of the Ministry of Education. In terms of jointly ensuring the interests of science and education institutions in the field of ICT in international organizations, the agreement is very important for the integration of Azerbaijan's e-science and e-learning environments.
Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov informed about the work done on integration of science and education in Azerbaijan. ''The development of ICT in the conditions of globalization has become one of the important indicators of the scientific and intellectual potential of the countries'', he noted. According to the relevant state programs, 90% of secondary schools are equipped with computers and other ICT equipments, and the Azerbaijani Education Network has been established to provide education environment with high-quality Internet, he stressed. The Minister also noted that cooperation with GEANT will create a great opportunity to increase the efficiency of scientific researches conducted in Azerbaijani educational institutions.
Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ramin Guluzadeh spoke about cooperation relations with the European countries in the field of ICT and prospects in this field. The Minister pointed out that effectual measures are being taken to bring the country's ICT infrastructure to European standards. Noting that there is close cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the Minister said that this cooperation led to new prospects for the integration of science and education in Azerbaijan.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammadguliyev delivered a speech on "European Union and Azerbaijan: Cooperation and Prospects".''Achieving rapid development of science and education is our main goal, " he said. Mr. Mammadguliyev pointed out that it is expedient to learn about the experience of the European Union in this area. He expressed that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union will continue in the various spheres.
The EaPConnect project manager, Maria Minaricova, shared her views on the GEANT and activity of EaPConnect project. She noted that GEANT is a European network of research and research, covering 38 countries. The network has over 50,000 users across Europe, she said.
EapConnect's main goal is to create a world-class science and education regional computer network in the Eastern Partnership region.
Then, she presented a short video clip about the GEANT network infrastructure, the EapConnect project, as well as the LOLA (AudioTrader Audio Visual streaming system) audio-visual system.
Academician-secretary of ANAS, director of the Institute of Information Technology, academician Rasim Alguliyev made a report on "AzScienceNet Science Computer Network". He noted that since 2014, the Institute of Information Technology of ANAS has represented Azerbaijan in the Association of European Science and Education Network (GEANT).
The scientist said that the integration of AzScienceNet network into European science and education networks (GEANT) aims to ensure the efficient use of the European Union's EaPConnect project by the Azerbaijani science and education institutions and strengthen cooperation between the universities of the country and European science and education institutions. He said that the institute represents Azerbaijan in the Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project, which is being implemented in 2015-2020.
The academician-secretary of ANAS informed about work to be done on strengthening the cooperation of the higher educational institutions of the country with the scientific and educational institutions of Europe, providing 100% broadband Internet access for employees of institutes and organizations of ANAS, the extensive use of AzScienceNet’s services by higher educational institutions and scientific institutions of the Republic.
The director of the institute also gave detailed information about the services offered by AzScienceNet network, its development stages, infrastructure and opportunities.
At the end, AzScienceNet and Educational System Informatization Department of the Ministry of Education signed an agreement on cooperation. The agreement was signed by President of ANAS, academician Akif Alizadeh and Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov.
The agreement envisages the effective use of the European Union's EaPConnect project by scientific and education institutions of Azerbaijan, strengthening the cooperation of the country's higher education institutions with European science and education institutions and granting broadband network services to the country's higher education institutions by joining the GEANT Network within the EaPConnect project.
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