The Central Asia Research and Education (CAREN) launched officially today in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, gives around half a million researchers in the region access to the large databases and massive processing power needed for cutting-edge research that will directly benefit the region. For example, in this earthquake-prone zone, at the intersection of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, high-speed CAREN links will allow scientists to access and exchange seismic data from monitoring stations in near-real time. This will improve hazard assessment and effective disaster risk management, for example by linking researchers at the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG) in Kyrgyzstan with their colleagues at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).
Various other areas benefit from the improved internet capacity, including tele-medicine initiatives in Tajikistan, planned textile research collaborations between the London College of Fashion and partner colleges in Tashkent, and environmental monitoring of the Issyk-Kul basin between the Kyrgyz Institute of Physics and partner institutes in Germany and the USA. Various distance learning projects are already underway, such as in Turkmenistan in collaboration with the Technical University of Hamburg and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Various presentations on such joint European-Central Asian initiatives at the launch event today underlined the potential of the CAREN network for increased collaboration.
In addition to the provision of high-speed connections between scientists across the region, thanks to the interconnection with its pan-European counterpart GÉANT, CAREN also links them to the global research and education community. Researchers can browse through digital libraries, access geographically distributed databases, share remote scientific instruments and exchange swiftly and reliably large amounts of data across the world.