Thanks to EU-funding, new links are helping to connect Central and Latin American countries to the European research education network Géant2, as well as the worldwide research community, opening up opportunities to promote science and education in the region.
With new network links in place, the Latin American research community is now able to access and contribute to global research projects on a scale never seen before. Promoting regional integration, the €10 million EU-funded ALICE project has created the RedCLARA network connecting 14 countries across Central and South America. This means 738 universities and research institutes can communicate directly with their European and global peers.
|The EU ALICE project has created RedCLARA, the first regional research and education network for Latin America.|
Launched in 2004, ALICE (America Latina Interconectada Con Europa) provides IP research network infrastructure within the Latin American region and towards Europe. It has four European and 19 Latin American partners. According to its lead partner DANTE, the project has played a key role in bridging the digital divide in the region.
Improved communications infrastructure should boost scientific research and education, driving socio-economic development and stimulating the growth of national research networking organisations. For example, linking countries such as Ecuador, Brazil and Costa Rica has allowed national expertise on universal topics, including biodiversity loss and climate change, to be shared throughout the entire region and beyond.
e-Infrastructure behind new opportunities
“ALICE's success has opened up a multitude of opportunities for the Latin American research and education community, by integrating the region into the global academic arena,” says Dai Davies, General Manager of DANTE, which is managing Géant2 and other trans-regional networks such as EUMEDCONNECT and TEIN2.
“Now its effects are reaching far beyond improving the network infrastructure, and we are witnessing a rapidly emerging user community as a results,” Davies suggests. But he cautions that the infrastructure and NRENs (National Research and Education Networks) must continue to develop in order to sustain the success achieved so far.
The improved network capacity is also enabling faster collaboration between nations, such as Peru, Chile and Mexico and in their research relations with Europe, underpinning new global science initiatives such as EELA (E-infrastructure shared between Europe and Latin America).
The EU-backed EELA project aims to create a collaborative network to share grid infrastructures between the two continents, and to stimulate development of advanced applications in biomedicine, high-energy physics, e-learning and climate modelling.