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RedCLARA and the European Commission enter into an agreement to execute the new phase of the BELLA Programme

On December 14th, RedCLARA and the European Commission (EC) signed a contract for the execution of the second phase of the BELLA Programme (Building the Europe Link to Latin America) – called BELLA II - with the aim of expanding its benefits and contributing to closing the digital divide in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The document was signed by the executive director of RedCLARA, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, and the director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the General Directorate for Cooperation and Development (DG-INTPA) of the European Commission, Felix Fernandez Shaw. The agreement establishes the conditions and expected objectives of BELLA II, whose expected period of implementation is 48 months from the date of signing. During this period, the European Commission undertakes to contribute an amount of 13 million euros, of the 28 million necessary for the conclusion of the initiative. The model is similar to the one carried out in the first phase of BELLA, when the total cost of the Programme was shared between the EC and the national research and education networks (NREN) of Latin America.

BELLA II is an initiative that seeks to strengthen collaborative actions between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, based on good practices and lessons learned during the implementation of the BELLA Programme. In its second phase, it is expected to strengthen and expand the Latin American and Caribbean digital ecosystem, a facilitator of relations and exchanges between companies, research centers, educational institutions and Latin American, Caribbean and European academic networks to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the region, focused on supporting education, science, technology and innovation.

To achieve this great objective, the initiative will design, build and operate the digital infrastructure capable of guaranteeing adequate connectivity between Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras with the rest of the BELLA infrastructure and, in particular, with the submarine cable that connects Europe with Latin America from 2021. Likewise, the project will allow the possibility of further extension, depending on the feasibility analysis, prioritization of the community and availability of economic resources to some of the following countries: Caribbean nations, Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

BELLA II will also seek to increase the adoption and use of digital transformation technologies to develop digital research and education solutions; intensify cooperative relations with the European educational and research digital ecosystems to promote the exchange of knowledge, access to good practices and the creation of spaces for dialogue necessary to design, formulate and execute innovative research and education projects; and commit to the initiatives of the European Union, in particular the EU-LAC Digital Alliance, to develop capacities in the application of digital transformation technologies to foster innovation in the public and private sectors.

“We will do it in such a way that the entire ecosystem contributes and supports other initiatives such as the digital accelerator D4D Hub (Digital for Development Hub), or the cybersecurity center in the Dominican Republic and the Copernicus regional center in Panama, while we attract and promote investments that can help expand the infrastructure to provide services to many other sectors besides the academic one”, explains the text of the contract. These initiatives are part of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance - a regional initiative of Team Europe (TEI) that brings together the European Commission and EU Member States, as well as their counterparts in Latin America and the Caribbean, to work together towards digital transformation in its various aspects.

“Latin America and the Caribbean have a considerable digital divide, which has a greater impact on the low-income population and women. Digital transformation technologies are a significant opportunity for the region and this will be uniquely realized at BELLA II. The long tradition of cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean will help us build and deploy the digital infrastructures necessary to overcome the challenges of connectivity and development in the region”, celebrated Luis Eliécer Cadenas.

The development of BELLA II, until the end of 2025, will be widely documented and published on the BELLA and RedCLARA websites, and their social networks. To keep abreast of the news and progress of the Programm, we invite you to review them. For more information about BELLA and BELLA II, please visit




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