United Nations Technology Bank recognises importance of GÉANT and research and education networks


23 September 2015 | Cambridge, UK


A​t a ceremony in New York, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-​moon, took ​receipt of a proposal calling for the establishment​ of a Technology Bank for the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - “Feasibility Study for a United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries”. ​


UN photo, Evan Schneider
Dorte Olesen (third from right), GÉANT Board of Directors member, at Handover of the Report of the High Level Panel of Experts on Technology Bank and Science​


The vital role that national research and education networks (NRENs) and GÉANT would play in facilitating a Technology Bank was recognised in the study, which detailed the initiative and the practical infrastructure necessary in order to achieve it.


The study was approved by a high-level panel of 11 experts, one of whom was Dorte Olesen, a GÉANT Board of Directors member. Cathrin Stöver, GÉANT’s Chief International Relations and Communications Officer, also made a substantive contribution to the feasibility study and participated in the high-level panel’s final meeting held in Istanbul earlier this month in which the document was approved.


According to the recommendations of the study, a Technology Bank that supports science, technology and innovation in the world’s poorest countries is both “feasible and desirable”. The study proposes that a Technology Bank for least developed countries be established in the 2015-2016 period and headquartered in Turkey.


Dorte Olesen, GÉANT BoD member, attended the presentation ceremony together with four other members of the high level panel. Says Dorte Olesen: “The study makes a strong case for NRENs all over the world, seeing research and education networks as building ​​blocks for the Technology Bank, and recognising the vital role that they play in the development of science, technology and innovation in the least developing countries. Indeed, the study recommends that the new Technology Bank, as a first step, supports the formation of NRENs in all LDCs.”

The study explains GÉANT’s long-standing relationship with the European Union as well as the World Bank. It aims to enable researchers in developing countries, and those in Europe and other countries with more established research infrastructures, to collaborate with their peers across the globe.


Further, the Study itemises specific practical actions to achieve this aim, including:

  • the Technology Bank is itself to be connected to the global NREN fabric;
  • the already-established NRENs in LDCs to communicate about the Technology Bank to their institutions, campuses and scientists;
  • the creation of NRENs in LDCs to be actively supported.

More information

UN Technology Bank press release
Technology Bank High-Level Panel resources page


About ​​GÉANT

GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe's economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community.


GÉANT has 41 member countries and is owned by its core NREN membership, and also has Associate members including commercial organisations and multi-national research infrastructures and projects.


GÉANT was formed on 7 October 2014, when TERENA and DANTE joined forces and adopted the GÉANT name from the GÉANT Project (co-funded by the European Commission and currently in phase GN4-1), which continues to be a major area of the organisation's work.


GÉANT manages research and education networking projects serving Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and Central Asia. In addition, it supports research and education networking organisations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific and coordinates Europe-China collaboration. ​


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