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Headlines Published on 23 May 2007

Title EU extends financing for RedCLARA network

Latin American scientists and researchers have for quite some time been forging sound partnerships with their international peers, including Europeans. The RedCLARA network, established through the ALICE Project and coordinated by DANTE, is a fine example, as it is intensifying its role to develop a strong foundation and expand its activities. A nod from the European Union to extend funding for RedCLARA until March 2008, further proves the significance of the network.

EU to support RedCLARA through March 2008. © RedCLARA
EU to support RedCLARA through March 2008.
The research and education sectors in Latin America have benefited from the RedCLARA network for the last three years. The NRENs of 12 countries and 750 universities are connected with speeds of up to 622Mbps. RedCLARA has given scientists and researchers the means to develop working relationships with regional and foreign partners, particularly through links to the European GÉANT2 and US Internet2 research and education networks.

The extension of EU funding offers the network the means to further reinforce the foundation, expand the management team and oversee new tenders. ALICE launched CLARA to encourage academic collaboration in Latin America. RedCLARA can now develop a sustainable regional research network community, which will be instrumental in building successful projects, both locally and internationally.

The network's members are already working on academic research and educational/developmental areas, including the EXPREeS and AugerAccess astronomy projects that link observatories in Argentina and Chile with partner institutions in Latin America and Europe. The EELA grid computing initiative is also important, as regions share technical resources that enable them to provide solutions to research problems without delay. The @lis-TechNet project, which attracted researchers from Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico, aims to launch a global virtual teaching environment.

The general manager of DANTE is pleased that RedCLARA is increasing its role in the management and expansion of the research network. Dr Dai Davies noted, however, that there is a need to build on these successes and expand RedCLARA so as to ensure that the regions benefit from the research partnerships. ‘Further funding beyond 2008 is needed to ensure that RedCLARA continues to grow and secure the sustainability of research and education networking in the region,’ Dr Davies said.

The European Commission is a strong supporter of Latin American research networking. Not only has the EU allocated 80% of the funding for RedCLARA, but it is also offering support, guidance and feedback through the @lis programme.

Dr Antonio Crespo, European Commission @lis programme coordinator, commented that ALICE set up a ‘firm foundation for research and education in Latin America and demonstrated the benefits that close collaboration provide for global and regional development, benefiting the wider community through initiatives such as monitoring climate change, telemedicine and e-learning.’ Dr Crespo noted that the EC sees this work ‘as a reference model’ for the parties that have set their sights on ‘building research communities in other geographical regions’.

More information:

  • RedCLARA

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