ress Release - Brussels, 23 November 2004.
At the third Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) – European Union (EU) Ministerial Forum on the Information Society,
held in Rio de Janeiro on 22-23 November 2004, Ministers and their representatives officially launched RedCLARA,
the first Pan-Latin-American network for research and education. RedCLARA is directly connected to the Pan-European
research network. It will therefore allow 600 university research institutions in Latin America to intensify cooperation
with more than 3,500 institutions in Europe and many more around the world.
The European Commission was represented at the Ministerial Forum by Mr Fabio Colasanti, Director-General for Information
Society and also by representatives from the External Relations, EuropeAid and Development services. Mr Colasanti stated:
The concrete steps we have taken today by launching a policy and regulatory dialogue, and by interconnecting our research
and education networks, will further strengthen the fruitful relationship that the EU and LAC countries have been developing
over these last years. The @LIS Programme and the research programmes of the European Commission will make a major contribution
to developing an inclusive and cohesive Information and Knowledge Society in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
One of the highlights of this Forum was the official launch of the first pan-Latin-American network for research and education.
This new network, known as RedCLARA and delivered by the ALICE (América Latina Interconectada Con Europa) initiative, is set to
transform research collaboration and to deploy basic services such as health and education to the general public.
RedCLARA also provides a direct connection to the Pan-European research network GEANT, using a dedicated high-speed internet
The direct link to Europe opens the way for researchers in Latin America to participate in European research projects, and
will stimulate the development of Latin American expertise in important areas of scientific research such as high energy physics,
astronomy and biomedicine. Researchers in the region can now work together on-line on joint initiatives, and take part in
research projects worldwide, allowing them to play their full part in global research.
RedCLARA also opens the way for the use of modern technology to address basic requirements in the areas of health and
education. An example of the social benefit of the network is demonstrated by one of the projects funded by @LIS, T@lemed,
whose innovative use of networks delivers specialist medical equipment and advice to native populations in remote places
such as the Amazonian region in Brazil. Data from medical procedures such as scans used in gynaecology or oncology is sent
from the remote clinics where they are performed, to hospitals in large cities for analysis by specialists. Where a second
opinion is required, T@lemed again uses the network to send the data to expert medical consultants in Europe. The results are
rapidly processed and sent back to the local clinic, and any necessary follow-up treatment can be arranged without further
The network RedCLARA and its interconnection are funded by the @LIS (Alliance for the Information Society) cooperation
programme of the European Commission.
One of the EU’s priorities in Latin America is to help to narrow the digital divide throughout the region. To this end the
European Commission has committed €63.5 million to @LIS, which is an EU co-operation programme with Latin America aimed at
creating a long-term partnership between the two regions in the field of the Information Society.
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