RedCLARA talks digital transformation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

RedCLARA’s executive director, Luis Eliecer Cadenas, left; Manger for national research and education networks, Cecilia Ortiz; and EU ambassador to TT, Peter Cavendish, at the launch of the Bella II project on January 29 at the EU head office in POS. – Photo by Roger Jacob

INTERNATIONAL internet network provider RedCLARA launched its BELLA II project in Trinidad and Tobago on January 29 at the EU Delegation building in Queens Park East, Port of Spain.

Speaking at the launch, RedCLARA’s executive director, Luis Cadena, said the service is poised to bring substantial benefits across sectors, catering to the needs of students, the government and businesses.

Cadena stressed the vital role of training in ensuring the project’s success, which he says aims to serve as a transformative force in the region.

He delved into the core objectives of the Bella II project, saying it is strategically designed to establish strong national and educational networks, fostering enhanced connectivity and collaboration.

Responding to inquiries about the cybersecurity aspect, Cadena said the company has one of the safest systems in the world, while refraining from providing an exact start date, he shared plans for a phased pilot project that grants access to stakeholders, including the UWI.

Cadena spoke about the 2021 construction of the ELLALink suarbmine cable that links Portugal to Brazil, saying he hopes to have the cable extended to Trinidad and Tobago.

He describes the BELLA II project’s overarching mission as facilitating seamless data exchange for research purposes.

He said it is a collaborative effort involving companies, research centres and networks, with a particular focus on addressing global challenges such as climate change.

“The project is envisioned as an unprecedented effort to bridge the digital divide, fostering digital transformation across Latin American countries and the Caribbean.”

He spoke about the structural components of the BELLA II project and outlined four pillars guiding its implementation: connectivity, investment acceleration, political dialogue and the Copernicus programme.

The Copernicus programme is an earth observation programme that provides timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

The initiative is headed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency.

The BELLA II project is funded by the EU through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Co-operation Instrument (NDICI). Its objectives are expansive, encompassing the development of the necessary infrastructure to foster a digital ecosystem in science, technology, education and innovation across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cadena detailed the specific goals of BELLA II, including the design, construction, and operation of digital infrastructure for guaranteed connectivity in Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Additionally, the project aims to expand further, contingent on feasibility analysis, prioritisation and economic resources, to include Caribbean nations, Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

The project’s multifaceted approach involves increasing the adoption of digital transformation technologies, fostering co-operative relationships with European counterparts and engaging with initiatives such as the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.