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ISEED webinar highlighted the importance of RedCLARA for the social and technological advancement of the region

ISEED webinar highlighted the importance of RedCLARA for the social and technological advancement of the region

The role of RedCLARA and the NRENs in promoting science, technology, and innovation, and the importance of the BELLA II project in strengthening and consolidating a “human-centered” digital ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean were the main  topics of the Webinar “Connectivity with Meaning: RedCLARA and advanced networks for STI”, held this Thursday, October 26, as part  of the webinar series on Inclusion, Science, and Democracy, promoted by ISEED.

Mariela de León, representative of the Uruguayan Academic Network (RAU), Gabriel Kaplun,  Professor of the University of the Republic of Uruguay, and Luis Eliécer Cadenas, Executive Director of RedCLARA, participated in the discussions. Cadenas highlighted the great transformations that not only RedCLARA, but society as a whole has undergone in recent years.

"RedCLARA turns 20 in 2023, and our role, which at one point was more about 'pure and simple' connectivity, is now more than that.  Our role now is to drive what we call meaningful connectivity; it is that which helps solve the problems and challenges of our region," he explained. In this context, the BELLA II project has a fundamental role to play, according to Cadenas.

“What we want to do with BELLA II is to create a digital ecosystem that involves different actors to generate value for our entire region, closing the digital divide and promoting science, technology, and innovation, but with a human-centered approach,” emphasized the Executive Director of RedCLARA.

Cadenas pointed to El Salvador as an example of one countrie that are already benefiting from RedCLARA, through the BELLA project: “Together with the government of El Salvador, we are developing technological training programs for the so-called 'communities' and initiatives related to food security. In the latter case, the actions are aimed to developing what we call 'smart agriculture', increasing the country's production capacity through the use of artificial intelligence tools and the Internet of Things.” The expectation now is to extend these benefits to the entire region, connecting  Central America and the Caribbean Islands to each other and directly to Europe through BELLA II.

Mariela de León and Gabriel Kaplún presented an overview of the work of the RNIE Uruguaya, RAU, for the benefit of the country. Specifically, the UdeLAR professor presented the ParTICipa project, a laboratory for citizen participation in technologies that involved experts in engineering, social sciences, and communications through RAU. According to De León, one of the great challenges of the network for the coming years is precisely to be part of BELLA II: “We are already part of RedCLARA and now we are working hard with it to achieve this breakthrough, which is to access BELLA II, which represents a new magnitude of connectivity for the region.”

The “Connectivity with Meaning” was the third of five ISEED's webinar on “Inclusion, Science and Democracy,” which explore the intersections between science, knowledge-based democratic governance, and the inclusion of knowledge and people, especially the most vulnerable, in democratic deliberation and governance. The series is jointly coordinated by ISEED partners MEC Uruguay and NTNU.

All sessions will take place on Thursdays from 12:30 to 14:00 GMT, with occasional adjustments, and will be streamed live by Zoom. For more information, please visit


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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