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BELLA II will contribute to strengthening the digital ecosystem and meaningful connectivity in El Salvador

BELLA II will contribute to strengthening the digital ecosystem and meaningful connectivity in El Salvador

The second open strategic dialogue of the BELLA II project was held on October 9 and 10 in San Salvador, El Salvador, to facilitate the exploration of strategies and enable practices for meaningful connectivity and contributing to the development of a people-centered digital ecosystem that promotes innovation, knowledge management, and socio-economic development.

The workshop, entitled "Strategic dialogues for the co-design and co-construction of the national digital ecosystem for Education, Research and Innovation", was organized by RedCLARA, the El Salvador Innovation Secretariat of the Presidency and the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in the Central American country.

On the first day, the event brought together national representatives, and on the second day, regional representatives of government institutions, national and multilateral private banks, international cooperation, universities, research centers, companies, EU delegation, DG-INTPA, and heads of cooperation of European countries, totaling more than 100 participants.

The specific objectives of the meeting were to contribute to the understanding of digital ecosystems, their functioning, and importance; identify specific challenges and opportunities for developing a portfolio of high-value and high-impact projects; foster collaboration among stakeholders; empower participants to design and create an ecosystem according to their needs and aspirations; enable viable roadmaps; and foster innovation.

The sessions included five working tables focused on financing and sustainability, governance, innovation, data and computing, capacity, digital skills development, and human capital and connectivity.

Opening the event, EU Ambassador François Roudié emphasized that BELLA II aims to strengthen the digital ecosystem and promote connectivity as a tool for economic growth and social transformation. He also stressed that the project is one of the pillars of the Digital Alliance between the European Union and Latin America, along with the Investment Accelerator, the Earth Observation Program, Copernicus, and the regulatory framework. “The key is to combine all this with trained human capital that will find its own space and grow in this ecosystem; that is why we are here and why we will move forward together,” he said.

The executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, said that BELLA II can soon provide superior connectivity to El Salvador: "BELLA II will have a great impact, it will be a success... I am very confident and sure that we will do an exceptional job," he said.

During the first day of the workshop, the Government of El Salvador presented the “#ConectandoElSalvador - BELLA II project”, highlighting the potential of BELLA II to promote research, innovation, and the creation of an enabling environment for creativity.

“El Salvador is moving forward by leaps and bounds, but this would not be possible without strategic partners, just like the European Union, BELLA II, and all the projects that accompany us,” assured the Secretary of Innovation, Daniel Méndez. "We believe that the BELLA II project, together with ´Conectando El Salvador´, has the potential to take the Internet to areas where we did not think it would go and to take advantage of all the research capacity. The potential is unimaginable," he added.

The project contributes to efforts to build an innovation ecosystem in smart cities through an advanced digital infrastructure that facilitates connectivity and collaboration between different institutions and communities in the region.

BELLA II aims to strengthen and expand the digital ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), contributing to the achievement of the region's strategic goals. It is coordinated by RedCLARA and funded by the European Union. The next Open Strategic Dialogue of the project will take place on November 15th in Panama.


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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