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Panama: RedCLARA and SENACYT boosting a new RNEN

Panama: RedCLARA and SENACYT boosting a new RNEN

The first step for a new National Research and Education Network (RNEN) in Panamá was taken today by RedCLARA and the National Secretariat of Science, Technology, and Innovation (SENACYT, Spanish acronym), with the creation of a commission for this purpose.

The event was held in a hybrid format (online-offline) with the participation of the authorities of both organizations and representatives of public and private entities, which work on science, education, and technology and are committed to Panama’s digital transformation and digital ecosystem.

The SENACYT Secretary, Eduardo Ortega, remarks on the high relevance of science and research networks in facing global challenges and crises. He also emphasizes Panama has made great innovation strides in the last 30 years, and a new RNEN would be a fresh ímpetus.

Furthermore, he underlines the European Commission and RedCLARA’s support: “I applaud RedCLARA. Panama has a great opportunity, and we are ready to make it a great success, we will work to make this network a reality.”

The European Union Ambassador in Panama, Izabela Matusz, said that the NREN creation is highly relevant because is related to a priority area of cooperation between Europe and Latin America: Digital Transformation.  Recently, both regions signed a Digital Alliance to boost collaboration and investment in connectivity, regulatory environment, digital skills, innovation, digital entrepreneurship, digitization of public services, and use of Earth observation data.

"This UELAC Digital Alliance requires connectivity: BELLA cable connects our continents and our science and innovation communities, providing the necessary infrastructure to consolidate and expand a digital ecosystem for science, technology, education, and innovation," she emphasized.

The EU ambassador explains that Panama was connected to BELLA a year ago bringing a range of opportunities such as the new regional center Copernicus, the digital economy dynamization, and scientific cooperation promotion.  Panama could also become the gateway for the integration of Central American and Caribbean countries into BELLA.

“EU congratulates Panama on the creation and implementation of an NREN, which will have strategic and practical relevance for the scientific and educational community so that they can take full advantage of the BELLA network opportunities. We will give you full support.”, she concluded.

RedCLARA's executive director, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, talks about the opportunities of the new phase of the BELLA programme for Panama and all the región.

"The region has a golden opportunity to take advantage of the RedCLARA digital infrastructure, which has been built over the years thanks to important projects supported and funded by the European Union. Now, we are implementing the second phase of BELLA, the BELLA II project, and we are very excited about how it will impact the development of our societies," he said.

Luis Cadenas also explained that RedCLARA aims to contribute to the development of the region's science, education, technology, and innovation through the articulation, connection, and strengthening of its national research and education networks. “This is one of the reasons because the working committee for a new NREN is so important: this is the way Panama will plenty participate in our Project and will take advantage of our infrastructure and BELLA II opportunities," he emphasized.

The event was also attended by the director of government innovation of Panama, Carlos Kan, the coordinator of academic projects of Red CLARA, Laura Castellana, and the operations and cybersecurity manager of REUNA (Chile's RNIE), Claudia Inostroza, who shared opportunities and success stories.


At the closed session, Mark Urban, director of international cooperation, academic relations, and communications of RedCLARA, announced Panama’s next steps to move forward in the formation of its NREN. He also explained the role and importance of the commission as a plural team, composed of public and private actors in the field of science and education that drive the digital transformation.


BELLA II receives funding from the European Union through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), under agreement number 438-964 with DG-INTPA, signed in December 2022. The implementation period of BELLA II is 48 months.


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