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Panama:TICAL 2023 closes successfully celebrating the past and looking to the future

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The challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence for research and education and the importance of cybersecurity for the sector were some of the topics highlighted on the second and final day of activities of the TICAL2023 conference held in Panama City, which brought together more than 200 experts from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe to discuss the role of NRENs in the digital transformation of education, research and innovation and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of RedCLARA.

The last day of the event, organized by the regional advanced network, began with the panel "Cybersecurity", offered by the Binário Group, which discussed different aspects related to the topic, such as the state of cybersecurity in Latin American universities, initiatives developed with blockchain technology and the presentation of the SOC of the Brazilian NREN, RNP, which serves as a model for a joint project of Latin American networks.

According to Bruno Adorno, CEO of Binário Group, the scenario of discussion and exchange of good practices promoted by TICAL is fundamental for the development of the region: "This is the first time I am in TICAL as a director and I will leave here very encouraged. I am an enthusiast of education and digital transformation, and the environment that RedCLARA has provided us during these days is fundamental to raise the level of our region, not only in cybersecurity, but also in several other topics. From our side, we would like to continue strengthening relations with other RNIES," Adorno said.

The following session "Technological Trends and Digital Transformation", promoted by CALRIZ, highlighted how universities in the region can benefit from artificial intelligence programs to develop their user experience and transform teaching and learning processes.v For the Rector of the Digital University of Antioquia (Colombia), Jasson de la Rosa, NRENs play a fundamental role in ensuring that technologies effectively benefit end users in the region. "TICAL shows me that we need to join forces. We have very similar challenges and if we combine our capacities to address them, we will be able to create a new generation of students who will change their lives and the lives of others through quality higher education. NRENs are bridges not only for digital transformation, but also for social transformation," he explained. His presentation entitled "A Proximal Digital Model for Educational Transformation" was part of the SheerID Session: Digital Infrastructures for Research and Education.

The final session of the day was called "Sustainability," and covered topics such as sustainable development and gender equality. In addition, the venue for the next edition of TICAL was announced: in 2024, the event will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the support of the Brazilian Advanced Network, RNP.

A big party for RedCLARA's 20th anniversary

The twelfth edition of TICAL, and the first to be held in person in the last three years due to the pandemic, closed with a cocktail party at the Biomuseo in Panama City; an appropriate moment to recall the history of RedCLARA - with the presentation of historical videos and speeches of its founding members - and to renew energies to face the challenges ahead.

For the Head of International Relations of the pan-European network GÉANT, Tom Fryer, TICAL2023 marks a unique moment of great maturity in the history of the Latin American and Caribbean network. "As a representative of GÉANT, I have been working side by side with RedCLARA for 15 years.I believe that the network is at a stage where it understands the challenges of the region, but also its responsibilities and potential.There is a solid vision and resources to face each of these challenges. With GEÁNT as a "sister" network, we have a strategic ally in CLARA; a strong, mature network capable of generating solutions for the future of Latin America and the Caribbean by learning from what it has experienced in these 20 years," he celebrated.

TICAL2023 was organized by RedCLARA and the BELLA II project, with the support of the National Secretariat of Science and Technology (SENACYT) and the National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG) of Panama, under the auspices of SheerID, Grupo Binário, Liberty Networks and CALRIZ.

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