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The successful conclusion of the “BELLA Ideathon: Copernicus Innovation Challenge.” See the winning ideas.

The successful conclusion of the “BELLA Ideathon: Copernicus Innovation Challenge.” See the winning ideas.

It was 82 participants from 19 countries, many working days, two keynote speeches, and just one conviction in the Bella Ideathon Copernicus Innovation Challenge: we can find suitable solutions for all technological, climatic, and social challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The BELLA Ideathon, an initiative promoted by the BELLA II Project and RedCLARA in alliance with the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, Copernicus, and the advanced pan-European network GÉANT, finished successfully on 29 March.

The winners of this challenge were announced during the virtual closing session attended by all the participants, the competition judging panel -made up of Earth Observation and Copernicus data management experts-, and representatives of the organizing institutions, including the Executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, and the Head of International Relations of GÉANT, Tom Fryer.

After a week of evaluation of the concept notes, four proposals were selected for support out of eight submitted by the working teams. The teams were composed of experts from different countries, which aimed to promote using Copernicus data in solving and addressing significant challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to GÉANT's Head of International Relations, Tom Fryer, the results of the Ideathon and the winning ideas were "excellent.” "When socio-environmental problems multiply and discourage us, we are fortunate to have a programme like Copernicus, offering data to understand and solve these challenges. The proposals presented should encourage us for a future where our problems can find solutions. The Ideathon gives us hope. Now, we need to move toward implementation," he said.

The Executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, emphasized that the Ideathon was just an example of the enormous potential of the Digital Alliance between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the BELLA II Programme: "I am very excited about all the possibilities proposed to solve the more challenging problems of the region. I believe that BELLA II and the EU-LAC Alliance provide a robust platform to articulate capacities and positively impact our region in health, environment, and climate change, among others ", he celebrated.

The BELLA Ideathon was held from 21 to 29 March 2023, with synchronous and asynchronous sessions for training and mentoring, joint workspaces to develop the final proposals, and live opening and closing events.

The Ideathon aimed to promote innovative and collaborative ideas to address the significant challenges of risk management, environment, climate change, water, land management, and food security in Latin America and the Caribbean. The initiatives could be based on any combination of digital transformation technologies, including AI, supercomputing, cloud services, 5G, IoT, quantum computing, big data, blockchain, and more.

Winner proposals

1st place: Group 7

Name of the proposal: "Monitoring model of the spatiotemporal distribution of vegetation in the region for the protection and sustainable management of biodiversity through open access processing in the Copernicus Wekeo cloud for academia, citizens, and institutions".

Team members:

  • Geraldine Vega (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
  • Metzi Aguilar (Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas)
  • Aníbal Feder (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación)
  • Paola Rondón (Universidad de Santander)
  • Alejandra Rubí (Agencia Espacial de Colombia)
  • Daniela Ruiz (Centro de formación e Investigación en Inteligencia Artificial, CINFONIA)
  • María Ortiz (Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)
  • Gumercindo Bartra (Secretaría de Gobierno y Transformación Digital)
  • Francisco García (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación)

Award*: Participation of five (5) members of the group in the TICAL2023 Conference in Panama.

2nd place: Group 3

Name of the proposal: "Applications of remote sensing for biodiversity conservation in forest ecosystems.”

Team members:

  • Oscar Cárdenas (Universidad de Guadalajara, México)
  • Jorge Villa (REDUNVI; Red Nacional Universitaria de Cuba)

Award: Participation of one (1) member of the Group in the AmeriGEO 2023 Week in Costa Rica.

3rd place: Group 8

Name of the proposal: "Satellite Data Interpreter - SADAI -- SAD - Decision Support System + AI - Artificial Intelligence.”

Team members:

  • Thanya Idoyaga (Agencia Espacial del Paraguay, Paraguay)
  • Enmanuel Henriquez (Instituto Tecnológico de la Américas, República Dominicana)

Award: Development of the idea within the Hackathon BELLA

4th place: Group 4

Name of the proposal: "A platform for the visualization and interpretation of climate data to support family farming in Latin American countries."

Team members

  • Efraín Hernando Pinzón Reyes (Universidad de Santander)
  • Ivonne Marisol Torres Atencio (Universidad de Panamá y Fundación Ciencia)
  • Evelyn Lissette Hernández de Jiménez (Universidad Don Bosco)
  • Esteban Carreño (Ministerio de Ciencia, Chile)
  • Sergio Rojas (Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander Von Humboldt)
  • Karol Ramírez (Agencia Espacial de Colombia)
  • Isaí Daniel Chacon Silvan (Instituto de Investigación y Formación en Inteligencia Artificial (CINFONIA))
  • Jacinto Elìas Sedeño Díaz (Instituto Politécnico Nacional)
  • Huascar Martínez (Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña)
  • María Eugenia Mañon-Brown (Delegación de la Unión Europea en República Dominicana)

Award: Development of the idea within the Hackathon BELLA

* All groups will also be rewarded with training in the use of Copernicus data.


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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