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History of RedCLARA

We strengthen the development of science, education, culture and innovation in Latin America, through the innovative use of networks, infrastructure and advanced information technologies.

In order that RedCLARA become a reality that benefits the Latin American Academy and Science, many people and actions had to be articulated. Using the links in this section, we invite you to learn about the history of RedCLARA.

RedCLARA - 2003 (English)

With the central aim of analyzing the possibilities for direct interconnection between the pan-European research network, GÉANT, and its national equivalents in Latin America, the year 2002 saw the emergence of the alliance between the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of Portugal and Spain (FCCN and RedIRIS, respectively) and DANTE around the feasibility study named CAESAR (Connecting All European and South (Latin) American Researchers).

Funded by the European Commission through the Directorate-General for Information Society Technologies (EC DG IST), CAESAR was developed between March and October 2002. It took just eight months for the vision to become crystal clear: it was necessary to create a regional backbone network in Latin America and connect it to GÉANT.

During the first CAESAR meeting, held on March 1, 2002, in Madrid, none of the representatives from FCCN, RedIRIS, and DANTE could have suspected what would happen just a few months later; we refer to the Toledo Workshop, held on June 13 and 14, at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Toledo, Spain), with the central financial support of RedIRIS.

The Toledo Workshop, which brought together, around the issue of continental interconnection, 15 top representatives of organizations dedicated to the development of research and education networks (or related) from twelve Latin American countries, representatives from the Committee of Policies of the NRENs of Europe, representatives from DANTE, and delegates from the European Commission. Only two days were needed for what seemed like a long-lasting dream: the representatives of the Latin American networks committed to cooperating in the creation and organization of a regional infrastructure for research, education, and innovation.

The initial impact of this Workshop did not fade over time; quite the contrary. Just two weeks after Toledo, the Latin American networks organized their own grouping, CLARA (Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas), and united under this new entity, on July 15 and 16, just one month after the Workshop that had renewed their hope, they met in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to advance the agreements made during the Toledo meeting. Such was the progress that on July 16, the participating networks in that meeting, who had not been part of the June meeting, now united in CLARA, also subscribed to what was already called the "Toledo Declaration":

Toledo Declaration

On Research and Education Networks in Latin America

"Gathered in the City of Toledo, on June 13 and 14, 2002, at the initiative of the European Commission, the signatories, members of networks from Latin America, recognize:

"1. The importance for the academic and research community of Latin America to have a regional data communication structure based on advanced networks that allow for better cooperation in the academic and research fields.

"2. The efforts made by the European Commission for the development of a Global Information Society project, where the academic space is considered in a special way.

"3. That it is necessary to make a similar integration effort, not only at the level of our respective countries but also at the regional and global levels.

"For the foregoing, we declare:

"1. That the existence of national research and education networks (NRENs) is necessary.

"2. That it is desirable to establish a Latin American research network, based on the existing networks in the various countries.

"3. That cooperation is agreed upon in the development of national networks in countries where they do not exist, and the creation of a coordination space for their integration and coordinated regional development.

"4. That in view of the possibility of obtaining financing from the European Commission, through @LIS, it is necessary to coordinate efforts in the interconnection of research and education networks, and propose the creation of a Latin American regional coordination group for this purpose. For this purpose, Nelson Simões (Brazil) and Sidia Sánchez (Panama) are appointed.

"5. That prior to the next workshop proposed to be held by the European Union with members of the networks from Latin America in September, the representatives of Toledo agree to hold two regional meetings to establish criteria for the organization of the Latin American network. The first of the meetings will take place in Brazil on July 15, 2002. And the second one a month later."

The Toledo Declaration was signed by: Nelson Simões – RNP (Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa, Brazil), Sidia Moreno de Sánchez – PanNet (Red Académica y de Investigación Nacional, Panama), Carlos Casasús – CUDI (Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de la Internet, Mexico), Carlos Francisco Frank – RETINA (Red Teleinformática Académica, Argentina), Clifford Paravicini Hurtado – BolNet (Red Boliviana de Comunicación de Datos, Bolivia), Florencio Ignacio Utreras Díaz – REUNA (Red Universitaria Nacional – Chile), Ida Holz Baird – RAU (Red Académica Uruguaya, Uruguay), Jorge Luis LópezPresmanes – RedUniv (Red Universitaria, Cuba), Pablo José A. G. Herken – UNA/CNC (Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay), Rafael Antonio Ibarra Fernández - RAICES (El Salvador), and Sandro Venturo – Red Científica Peruana (Peru).

In addition to signing the Declaration, at the Rio de Janeiro meeting, working groups were established to address issues related to the future presentation of the Latin American network project and its interconnection with Europe, the @LIS (Alliance for the Information Society) Program of the European Commission, namely: regional connectivity, interconnection with GÉANT, organizational model, and financing. Regarding CLARA, the executives gathered in Brazil agreed that it would have the function of representation and coordination, initially composed of an elected committee and then becoming a consortium of NRENs, which would be the starting point for future regional organizations in networks, and that it would begin as an informal organization, which by March 2003 could become a formal organization, through a model to be proposed jointly by the Latin American NRENs.

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