Morocco boosts scientific connectivity

A new circuit significantly improves the possibilities for Moroccan researchers to participate in international collaborations. Examples are the high-energy physics experiment ATLAS and the undersea neutrino telescope ANTARES. Both projects involve researchers at several sites across Morocco, all connected to MARWAN, the national research and education network (NREN).

The new dedicated circuit connects the network of MARWAN to the network operated by its regional European counterpart GÉANT.

Extension of cloud services

The establishment of the new circuit has been enabled by MARWAN’s participation in a longstanding project funded by the European Union, the AfricaConnect project, now in its third phase.

“Our participation in the AfricaConnect3 project has provided MARWAN with the essential means to meet researchers’ growing demands for high-speed international connectivity and access to resources. With this link, MARWAN seeks to further expand its high-performance computing capabilities and to develop and extend its cloud services to host more applications, content, and services for the use of students and academics,” says Professor Redouane Merrouch, head of MARWAN.

MARWAN, the Moroccan Academic and Research Wide area network, has been established and run by the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) since 1998.

Collaboration on desertification, climate change

MARWAN is a member of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN), the regional networking organisation responsible for the delivery of the AfricaConnect3 project in North Africa.

“We encourage the Moroccan research and education communities to make full use of the potential this link brings in terms of advancing research and leveraging collaboration opportunities with their peers in a broader context and having access to highly intensive computing resources available elsewhere. Furthermore, they can benefit from the AfricaConncet3 extended service portfolio that includes the Africa Open Science Cloud, Africa Training Initiative, Identity Federation, eduroam and Cybersecurity,” says Yousef Torman, Managing Director at ASREN.

Besides the large physics projects, the new link will boost collaborative research into issues facing the Mediterranean – on both shores – such as climate change, desertification, and sustainable agriculture.

Published: 04/2022

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