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ANID and REUNA join forces to develop the "Patagonia Project"

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The Austral Macrozone is a third of Chile's surface, it has a high scientific potential with national and global impact, it fulfills a strategic role to face the Climate Crisis and it has global comparative advantages (Ice Fields, Antarctica, subantarctic and pristine territory); however, it is one of the few geographical areas on the planet that is digitally disconnected, without being possible to carry out data traffic with the necessary speed.

(Source: ANID/REUNA)

This has slowed down the integral and strategic development of the CTCI system in the territory, losing opportunities for growth, competitiveness, use of supercomputers, transfer of climate data and scientific activity in general. Therefore, the need for Digital Enabling Infrastructure is evident and imperative, an axis that is part of the new CTCI National Policy.

In this context, and to achieve national and international connectivity from the Austral macro-zone (MZ) to the fiber optic network for research purposes, on November 24, ANID and REUNA, a leading organization in connectivity services and digital infrastructure for the development of the CTCI, started the "Patagonia Project".

The agreement contemplates an investment of 800 million pesos for enabling infrastructure, which will allow the connection of the knowledge-generating institutions of the MZ Austral with the technological services offered by REUNA - made up of 45 institutions of the science, culture, higher education and research system- digitally integrating the Aysén and Magallanes regions with the rest of the country and the world.

For Aisén Etcheverry, National Director of ANID, “when we think of Magallanes, and we see this scientific potential, but also the human potential, which is one of the things that one reads in documents but when they come here you see it, there is a group of people committed to the scientific development of this region, in the university, in the CADI, in the government, in the delegation, in the regional ministerial secretary, there is a community that is beginning to feel identified with this concept of scientific city, and that has na enormous value”.

The Science Regional Ministerial Secretary of the Austral Macro-zone, Pamela Santibáñez, pointed out that, “the third axis of the National Policy of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, is the strengthening of the CTCI system, and one of its objectives is to implement enabling infrastructure. Until now, our geographical area is not connected to national and global research and development digital traffic, and this signing of an agreement between ANID and REUNA is the first step, so that in the future we can have the necessary digital tools, such as the use of supercomputers, which will not only benefit the CTCI system, but also for the inhabitants of these territories”.

Paola Arellano, Executive Director of REUNA, commented that “joining the Austral Macro-zone to the National Research and Education Network is a dream that REUNA has pursued since its formation, as a Fondef project, in the early 90's. Today, in the era of Big Data, the Patagonia Project is the first step for the area to have a digital infrastructure of excellence, exclusively dedicated to science and education, interconnected nationally and internationally, which consolidates the Austral Macro-zone as a pole of development and creation of knowledge worldwide, and with a strong territorial sense”.