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The BELLA Ideathon kicks off: Copernicus innovation challenge to face regional quests

The BELLA Ideathon kicks off: Copernicus innovation challenge to face regional quests

More than 80 researchers, scientists, and experts within the region are participating in the BELLA Ideathon, an innovation challenge between Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, organized by RedCLARA, GÉANT, and the NRENs of both continents.

This initiative promotes collaborative proposals to take advantage of Copernicus data - the European Earth observation initiative, addressing and facing the regional sustainable development challenges.

 The Ideathon aims solution proposals for risk management, climate change, environment, water and land, and food security in Latin America and the Caribbean. The registered participants come from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Spain, and Ireland.

The Ideathon is part of the efforts of the Europe and Latin America & Caribbean Digital Alliance, signed  last week in Colombia, a relevant opportunity to strengthen collaboration between the two continents. The new partnership will support the Global Gateway flagship initiatives, including the BELLA II Project, led by RedCLARA, which aims to expand the new submarine connection and benefits of the BELLA Programme to more countries. Also, the Earth observation component of the European Union Space programme, Copernicus, provides information services and develops new data centers in Panamá and Chile.

Paul Rouse, Chief Community Relations Officer of GEANT, remarks on the historical collaboration between the European and Latin American&Caribbean NRENs since 20 years ago and highlights the RedCLARA role in promoting this collaboration.

"The Ideathon highlights the relevance and potential of this bicontinental cooperation. Our innovation challenge is not limited to technical proposals but aims the new ideas to face the most critical challenges of our societies. Achieve sustainable development and inclusion need innovative ideas", emphasized Luis Eliécer Cadenas, RedCLARA Executive director.

The executive director also explains that the Ideathon is the first of multiple innovation challenges to identify ideas and proposals to face regional challenges. "RedCLARA and the National Research and Education Networks have a high capacity to create innovative solutions, connecting more than 2,000 higher education institutions and research centers in the region. We want to address this innovation to support governments and countries. Joint efforts with the European ecosystem have enormous potential.' he said.

The Ideaton will be in synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions, conferences, training, and mentoring virtual spaces. Participants will work in teams for two days and submit their proposals on March 22.

A high-level team will evaluate the concept notes from March 23 to March 28 and announce the selected proposals on March 29.


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.


For more information about BELLA II please contact:

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