The SEE-GRID-2 project launched on 1 May, with a special meeting in Istanbul on 4 May. The project, 'South Eastern European Grid-Enabled eInfrastructure Development-2', improves on the existing GRID structure, SEE-GRID, which integrated the South Eastern states into the main EU GRID networks. The original SEE-GRID project gave countries in the South-Eastern region of Europe access to the research infrastructures of Central Europe. It thus gave these countries the opportunity to bridge the 'digital divide' which exists between the countries of South East and Central Europe. GRIDs, also known as eInfrastructure, are a method of sharing high-bandwidth computer networks in order to make research, especially collaborative research, easier. Not only can information be shared easily, in a way analogous to the Internet, but the system allows the sharing of computing power, giving researchers in South-East Europe the chance to run applications which require high processing or storage power, including complex computer simulations. SEE-GRID-2 will link with other major GRID networks in Europe, such as the EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-science in Europe) project, using GEANT. Valia Athanasaki from the SEE-GRID project management office in Athens spoke to CORDIS News. 'SEE-GRID-2 is really a different project,' she explained. 'SEE-GRID-1 focused more on the infrastructure itself. SEE-GRID-2 focuses more on applications. Our next plan is to collect applications - one from each SEE country, and then we choose ones to develop within the SEE-GRID infrastructure. This will test the processing power of the system and connectivity with the Central European system. We also plan to enlarge the system.' The Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) coordinates SEE-GRID, which takes in several partners throughout the area: the Albanian Academy of Sciences, Banja Luka University (Bosnia-Herzegovina), IPP-BAS (Bulgaria), UKIM (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), RBI (Croatia), MTA-SZTAKE (Hungary), RENAM (Moldova), ICI (Romania), the Universities of Belgrade and Montenegro (Serbia Montenegro) and TUBITAK-ULAKBIM (Turkey), in addition to CERN, which advises on the project. A number of institutions are also participating as third parties. SEE-GRID has given many of the countries in the region the opportunity to catch up where it had fallen behind due to regional conflict. A secondary aim of the project is to maintain the stability of the region through cooperation.
North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey