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Colombia enters BELLA II through the National Academic Network of Advanced Technology

Colombia enters BELLA II through the National Academic Network of Advanced Technology

Colombia consolidates and expands its science, technology and innovation ecosystem with the linking of the National Academic Network of Advanced Technology - RENATA to BELLA II, the most important regional initiative in these areas, which seeks to reduce the digital divide between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

From November, the National Academic Network of Advanced Technology – RENATA will be part of BELLA II (Building the Europe Link to Latin America and the Caribbean), the initiative that supports the development of digital infrastructure to effectively promote science, innovation and technology in these regions. This alliance represents for Colombia, with RENATA as coordinator, the opportunity to generate new relationships and exchange of knowledge between the academic sector, the corporate sector, research centers, and national and international research and education networks.

The linking of RENATA to BELLA II will allow Colombia to participate in a digital infrastructure that today interconnects, through RedCLARA, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, and Latin America directly with Europe, and that, in the coming months, and until the end of 2026, will seek to connect Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Co-financed by the European Union, through DG-INTPA, BELLA II is an instrument that enhances the adoption and use of technologies for the development of digital solutions that benefit research and education.

BELLA II also constitutes a path that strengthens the commitment and union of efforts with the EU LAC Digital Alliance, which seeks to develop capabilities in the application of digital transformation technologies to promote innovation in the public and private sectors.

Mauricio Lizcano, colombian ICT Minister, indicates that: “With the joining of Colombia to this transcontinental fiber optic cable, the access routes, and the capacity of our countries to share and access more computing capacity are increased. This generates an immediate opportunity to activate the execution of Artificial Intelligence projects in cooperation with academia, industry, and the State. We are also converging on AI guidelines that promote the industry, and that generate economic and social benefits for the more than 1.1 billion people who live in Latin America and the European Union.”

“We are happy for Colombia to join BELLA II and the digital ecosystem that it integrates. Colombia is a very important actor in the education, science, technology and innovation ecosystem of the Latin American and Caribbean region, and its incorporation enriches it enormously”, said the executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, who concluded: “From this step, great opportunities for cooperation open up in areas that use digital technologies for such important topics as cybersecurity, strengthening human capital or food security. Welcome to the collaboration!”

The executive director of RENATA Said Lamk Beltrán highlighted the great importance for the country of being part of BELLA II: “For Colombia, get into BELLA II through RENATA is strategic, since it strengthens and complements the efforts in the areas of science, technology and innovation that have been developed in the country through an ecosystem of services, resources and enriching experiences to address digital transformation from a perspective of international understanding, at the service of the public, private and academic sectors, with the primary objective of joining forces and generating bonds of cooperation between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Félix Fernández Shaw, director of international alliances Latin America and the Caribbean of the European Commission, indicated regarding this alliance: “We celebrate the entry of Colombia into the BELLA family, you are a fundamental piece of our bi-regional Digital Alliance. This step is the basis to strengthen our alliance in data governance, Earth observation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and many other issues that we will be agreeing on with the Colombian authorities.”

The announcement of this important alliance took place on Tuesday, November 28 during the Digital Alliance Days, an activity of the EU LAC Regional Digital Alliance that is been carried out in the city of Cartagena. In the activity are also participating Luis Hernando Romero (Humboldt Institute, Colombia) and Gabriel Perilla (Wildlife Conservation Society , Colombia), members of the winning group of the BELLA Hackathon: “Copernicus Innovation Development”, which -organized by RedCLARA within the framework of BELLA II- took place during July, with the participation of 53 research groups of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to enhance the use of data from the European Union's Earth Observation Copernicus Programme, in both regions. The group introduced a visualization platform named "Application developed in Google Earth Engine for the visualization of agroclimatic variables and their overlap with polygons of interest" that was developed by choosing from the wide catalogue of products available from the Copernicus Programme, the ERA5 - Land product Monthly Aggregated - ECMWF Climate Reanalysis.

About The National Academic Network for Advanced Technology:

RENATA as the National Research and Education Network (RNIE) of Colombia, is the network par excellence that connects, articulates and integrates the actors of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) with each other and with the world, through advanced technology and specialized consulting, with which it contributes to the scientific and academic production of the country ( ).


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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