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Project Spider seeks to expand the scope and benefits of BELLA II

Project Spider seeks to expand the scope and benefits of BELLA II

The initiative, which involves nine organizations from Europe and Latin America, is funded by the Horizon Europe Framework Program and began its activities in December of this year.


To extend the scope and benefits of the BELLA II project, the advanced academic networks of Chile REUNA, Ecuador (Cedia), Brazil (RNP) and Costa Rica (RedCONARE, of the High Technology Center Foundation-FunCeNAT), the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the European digital innovation ecosystem EIT DIGITAL, and the companies Inmark and EurA PT formed a bi-regional consortium that was awarded the SPIDER project (EU-LAC Strategic Partnership for the Implementation of Digital Dialogues in R&I Cooperation).

The initiative is led by Inmark, and funded by the European Union's Framework Program for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe. It has recently started its implementation with a duration of two and a half years. Its main objective is to support the exploitation of the full potential of the BELLA network - driven by RedCLARA and already in its second phase - and the implementation of the results of the dialogues between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) in the context of digitization, innovation and education. To this end, it proposes a multi-stakeholder approach to enable the development of a strategic partnership between the two regions.

In this context, REUNA will play an active role in the project's development and will lead the working group responsible for implementing actions aimed at expanding the potential of BELLA. As Paola Arellano, Executive Director of REUNA, explains, "For us, the success of the BELLA project is not measured by the number of bits or bytes, nor by the new kilometers of network deployed, but by the impact it will have on the countries and communities that will benefit from it, and by its contribution to the digital transformation of Latin America and the Caribbean. In this sense, we are committed to SPIDER because it is a project that seeks to strengthen and complement BELLA through collaborative work and actions that promote the use of this mega-infrastructure.

SPIDER will adopt a participatory and people-centered approach, combined with an inclusive and intersectional perspective, to support the development of strategic partnerships aimed at stimulating the use of digital technologies that can benefit from BELLA and are relevant for EU-LAC research and education cooperation.

At the heart of this strategy is the EU-LAC Digital Dialogues Implementation Forum (DIF), unique in international R&D cooperation, which will serve as a multi-stakeholder platform to foster discussion, co-creation and exchange of best practices to support the implementation of the commitments made. In addition, the DIF working groups will promote adopting a human-centered approach to technology development, along with the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In parallel, SPIDER will analyze the use of BELLA and identify ways for its future use, involving key actors of the digital ecosystem in the project activities. Similarly, SPIDER will implement a "Twinning Program" to foster digital partnerships, connecting EU and LAC innovation centers that can take advantage of BELLA's digital transformation opportunities and, at the same time, benefit from the huge potential of networking through knowledge transfer and exchange of best practices.

At the dissemination level, a series of events including dialogue forums, focus groups, call for ideas, webinars and workshops, demonstration days and a final conference will support the project activities.


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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