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BELLA II kicks off to strengthen the region’s digital environment

BELLA II kicks off to strengthen the region’s digital environment

The BELLA II project, implemented by RedCLARA and funded by UE’s DG INTPA, aims to contribute to overcoming the digital divide in the region to transform the lives of all people and prompt the countries' development. After the successful BELLA project, which achieved a direct submarine connection between Europe and Latin America, and the improvement of the South American linkage of RedCLARA, BELLA II will promote the strengthening of the Latin American and Caribbean digital ecosystem, through state-of-the-art connectivity, to leverage the development of science, academy, and regional innovation

On March 2nd of 2023, and with the participation of the main board of RedCLARA -Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas (Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks), the representatives of the European Union in Chile, Team Europe, and Chilean Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, also from Red Universitaria Nacional (REUNA) (Nacional Universities Union), BELLA II was launched. BELLA is the acronym for Building the Europe Link to Latin America and the Caribbean.  

BELLA II will work to strengthen and expand the digital ecosystem of Latin America and the Caribbean, streamlining the joint work among companies, research centers, education entities, Latinamerican academic networks, and also others from Europe and the Caribbean, to achieve their strategic regional goals, to contribute to education, science, technology, and innovation.

“BELLA’s digital ecosystem is an open, inclusive, gender-neutral technical partnership where interested participants, acting as an open social system, will connect on design and create a smart digital ecosystem capable of supporting the networking of smart actors integrated into cooperative processes, knowledge exchange, innovation management and development of approaches for the great socio-economic challenges of the region”, explained Luis Eliecer Cadenas, CEO of RedCLARA, the leading entity on BELLA’s implementation.

Furthermore, Cadenas underlined that BELLA II will promote a human-centered digital transformation. “The Digital Alliance between Europe and Latin America is a great opportunity to recover hope, especially for those with the largest challenges, and open a different path towards the many regional challenges”, he pointed out.

Specifically, the project will work on designing, building, and managing a digital infrastructure that guarantees optimal connectivity among Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras with the rest of the BELLA network, making full use of the submarine cable that connects Europe and the region since 2021. If the feasibility analysis comes through, the project will expand to the following countries: Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and some Caribbean countries.

UE Cooperation Representative in Chile, Ewout Sandker, stated that “BELLA and RedClara are an example of cooperation between countries, regions, and the private and public sector, and that is very important to extend the project to other countries, to take full advantage of the endless possibilities that technology allows, not only on infrastructure but also as science and knowledge generator.

Gonzalo Arenas, Advisor on International Matters for the Chilean Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, pointed up “I want to thank the EU for incentivizing Latin American countries to join efforts on this subject. Science can be a cooperation axle and Latin Americans need to create and establish capacities in the digital world, we must bring out our own voice”, emphasized. 

BELLA II will be implemented over 48 months. It will start with deliberation and knowledge exchange, as well as agreements through several national and regional discussions to identify challenges and create proposals and approaches to create a regional digital ecosystem. 

“Science is moving and BELLA has proven that everything can happen but we all need to collaborate”, said Paola Arellano, REUNA CEO, and added “technologies are very important, but much more are people,” she said, while pointing towards the opportunities that BELLA II will create through connectivity.

During the launch, there was also a presence from representatives of the TEI-Team Europen, which gathers the European Commission and EU members to work alongside their Latin American and Caribbean peers toward digital transformation through the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.


BELLA II is a regional initiative that aims to reduce the digital divide and support the development of the necessary infrastructure to consolidate and expand a digital ecosystem of science, technology, education, and innovation.

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 European Commission will provide funds of 13 million euros (€13,000,000); RedCLARA, the executing and coordinating organism, will support the mobilization of at least 15 million euros (€15,000,000) in alliance with governments, private companies, banks, and other stakeholders, to carry out the plans and objectives of BELLA II in 48 months.

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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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