DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) was established in 1993 in Cambridge, UK. It is a limited liability company and a “Not for Profit” organisation. The location of Cambridge was chosen as a result of an international competition, with the tax benefits which the UK government offered constituting a significant factor in determining the choice of location.

DANTE’s purpose is to plan, build and operate pan-European research networks. It was set up, and is owned, by a group of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). It was established in 1993 and has since played a pivotal role in four consecutive generations of pan-European research network: EuropaNET, TEN-34, TEN-155 and now GÉANT.

Although based in the UK, DANTE is a truly European company. It has a diverse, multi-lingual staff representing many different nationalities and operates throughout Europe. The company has had a conscious policy of recruiting from across Europe throughout its eleven-year history. Information about DANTE’s shareholders, directors and staff is available via the links in the left-hand menu.

DANTE publishes information about its activities, and a full set of financial accounts, each year in its Annual Report. Recent annual reports are available for download via the links alongside.

DANTE’s activities typically include:

  • Project management
  • Data communications infrastructure development
  • Project feasibility assessment
  • Procurement exercises
  • Network technology research
  • Network service development and provision
  • Information dissemination and customer support

DANTE currently has an annual turnover of approximately 50 million Euros, of which around half comes from European Commission project funding. It has ‘Research Association’ status in the UK.

DANTE’s Role

The European NRENs need an efficient and cost-effective vehicle to co-ordinate pan-European research networking on their behalf, and to ensure that project results are delivered on time, within budget and with high levels of reliability. DANTE was created by 11 of Europe’s NRENs to do this.

Due to their pan-European nature and the essential role they play in enabling and supporting research activities, Europe’s research networking backbones have typically been co-funded by the European Commission within the EU’s Research & Development Framework Programmes. Within these Programmes, funding is provided to projects, which must involve partners in at least three EU member states. In the case of pan-European research networking projects, the NRENs and DANTE are the project partners, and DANTE acts as the managing partner of the project. It serves as a secretariat, undertaking management and coordination functions on behalf of the other project partners, as well as taking responsibility for building and managing the network itself. This organisational model has proven to be a very successful way of operating research networking on a “continental” level and is beginning to be emulated by other world regions, which are adopting a similar model for their research networking requirements.

DANTE is also involved in other EU-funded projects related to research networking, sometimes but not always as the managing partner. DANTE is involved in projects due to its strong track record of achievement in pan-European research networking, and its concentration of expertise, particularly in networking technology and operations, and procurement and contract negotiation. More information about the projects in which DANTE is or has been involved is available from the link alongside.

What about other activities?

DANTE is also involved with a number of technical Task Forces that are concerned with developing, testing and experimenting with new technologies and services that relate to research networking. More information about Task Forces is available via the link alongside.

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