At this week’s Leading the Digital Decade, a two-day online event focused on Europe’s digital transformation towards 2030, the BELLA Programme welcomed on the first day the inauguration of the new 6,000km EllaLink submarine cable connection that directly links Europe and Latin America.
Marking a major milestone for BELLA, the EllaLink cable was inaugurated in a dedicated session in Sines, Portugal with speeches from Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Digital Transition Pedro Siza Vieira, Brazil’s Minister for Science Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, EllaLink President Philippe Dumont, and Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark. As part of the session, EllaLink showed a new video describing the journey taken to get to this point.
Later in the day, a plenary session on ‘International Partnerships for the Digital Decade’ saw a welcome address from the EC’s Roberto Viola, Director General of the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. In the panel session that followed, the BELLA Consortium was represented by RedCLARA Executive Director Luis Cadenas and GÉANT CEO Erik Huizer.
Commenting on the inauguration, Luis said, “Today is a day of celebration. With the inauguration of the EllaLink cable, we realise this dream of having a direct digital connection between Europe and Latin America. Taking advantage of the capacity that we inaugurated today will give us an even greater opportunity to collaborate, to engage more than ever before, and will greatly support economic and social growth.”
Commenting further, Erik added: “As a member of the BELLA Consortium, GÉANT warmly welcomes the EllaLink Inauguration in Sines, Portugal as part of the wider BELLA Programme. We look forward to an era of unprecedented research collaboration in many important areas. Enabling optimal data exchange between researchers in Europe and Latin America, BELLA will, for example, enable the data of the European Copernicus program – Earth Observation data – created by European researchers, to be accessed by researchers in Chile. These researchers can then use the data on the Atacama Desert, and combine it with local measurements to study the impact of Iodine mining. The results of that research will help the Chilean government to get insight in the effects of pollution, economic development and resource production estimation. This is just one example of the enormous benefits the BELLA Programme will bring, thanks to the EllaLink cable inaugurated today.”
With the submarine cable now complete and officially inaugurated, the next milestone for the BELLA Programme will see connectivity come online in the coming weeks, to provide the high capacity and low latency necessary for data-intensive research and education use.
In preparation for the event, members of the BELLA Consortium worked closely with the organisers, with EllaLink, and with several DGs on a promotional social media campaign and supporting materials. These materials are available here on the BELLA website.
What is BELLA?
The BELLA Programme provides for the long-term interconnectivity needs of European and Latin American research and education communities, achieved through two projects: BELLA-S which secures rights to spectrum on the EllaLink submarine cable and ensures future-proof connectivity requirements; and BELLA-T which sees the completion of fibre connectivity for Latin American NRENs – bringing much needed high-speed connectivity and equality of access for research and education communities across the continent.
BELLA receives funding from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement number 731505 – DG CNECT (BELLA-S1); DG INTPA, under number LA / 2016 / 376-534 (BELLA-T), and DG DEFIS. Complementary funding is provided by Latin American research and education networks.
To learn more, visit the BELLA website.
This article is featured on CONNECT37! Read or download the full magazine here