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The executive director of RedCLARA visits the RedIRIS facilities

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The executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas and the CFO of the Latin American network, Mark Urban, visited the RedIRIS facilities in Madrid at the beginning of December, accompanied by the director of the Spanish academic and research network, Alberto Pérez Gómez, and of a part of his team.

(By: José Antonio Álvarez-Canal Estrada, RedIRIS)

“It is an honour for RedIRIS to receive the visit of Luis Eliécer Cadenas, not only for his recognized experience in the field of ICT in Latin America, but also for the fundamental role he has played in RedCLARA since 2017, and for the close cooperation ties that they unite us with our Latin American counterparts", said Alberto Pérez Gómez.

In the words of Luis Eliécer Cadenas, “it is always a pleasure to exchange impressions and get to know by first-hand the work carried out by the professionals who make up the RedIRIS team, in particular during this key year where we finally launched the direct connectivity between Latin America. and Europe thanks to the BELLA Programme, which will further strengthen cooperation between academic and scientific communities on both sides of the Atlantic”. "The BELLA Programme will pave the way for cooperation in the areas of high-performance computing and the collection of Earth observation data", explained the executive director of RedCLARA during the meeting.

One of the main objectives of the BELLA initiative has been the union of Latin America and Europe through a submarine cable (from Fortaleza in Brazil to Sines in Portugal) of very high capacity and very low latency, which facilitates collaboration and development in science, research and education between both continents, thanks to the more than 6,000 kilometres of digital highway dedicated to the exchange of data, and whose deployment has been coordinated by the international associations of academic and scientific networks of Europe (GÉANT) and Latin America ( RedCLARA).

“We are beginning to receive the first proposals for Enlighten Your Research (EYR), a programme designed to increase the use and knowledge of e-Infrastructure resources in various research fields, ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Climate Research or Cybersecurity, Earth Sciences to e-Health and Telemedicine”, highlighted Luis Eliécer Cadenas.

Funding for the BELLA-S Program (spectrum on the EllaLink submarine cable) amounts to € 40 million, € 25 million from the EU and € 15 million from the Latin American academic network community, which also make contributions in kind.

Collaboration between RedIRIS and RedCLARA on blockchain

In the weeks prior to Luis Eliécer Cadenas' visit to Madrid, the RedIRIS and RedCLARA teams held a series of technical videoconferences on the progress of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) initiative, from BLUE (the blockchain project led by the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities) and of LACChain, a Latin American blockchain initiative, promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and with which RedCLARA collaborates.

The activity that was perceived to be of greatest common interest is the one that is being developed in terms of diplomas: blockchain allows students to add, in a complementary way to their conventional training accreditation, a distributed registry that provides immediate verifiability of their degrees, and that is integrated into your digital identity, endorsing the veracity of the documentation provided and, at the same time, safeguarding data protection requirements.

Through the collaboration between RedIRIS, CRUE-TIC, LACChain and RedCLARA the Latin American and the Spanish academic networks want to promote interoperability between their respective blockchain platforms, so that titles that can be recognized as valid in Spain through BLUE, can also be validated in Latin America.

"Given the similarity of our technical developments and our common conceptual vision of technology and its use, there is great potential for collaboration between RedIRIS and RedCLARA to establish interoperability frameworks in terms of academic certificates on blockchain between Europe and Latin America", pointed out Luis Eliécer Cadenas.