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EELA takes off

By means of the action of a group of very skilled and highly motivated people in Europe and Latin America, the EELA Project will create a human network dedicated to work on Grids, e-Infrastructures, and e-Science. EELA started on 1 January 2006 and will be officially launched during its Kick-off Meeting (KoM) that is currently being held at CIEMAT in Madrid and Trujillo (Spain) between 30 January and 2 February 2006.

Funded by the European Commission with 1.7 million Euro, the EELA Project ("E-Infrastructure shared between Europe and Latin America") aims to build a digital bridge between the existing e-Infrastructure initiatives that are in process of consolidation in Europe (in the framework of the European EGEE Project), and those that are emerging in Latin America, throughout the creation of a collaborative network that will share an interoperable Grid infrastructure to support the development and test of advanced applications.

In two years EELA will establish a collaboration network within which will be possible to identify and promote a frame of sustainability for e-Science in Latin America. This initiative is considered very strategic to reinforce the collaboration between Latin America and Europe, taking advantage of the establishment of the connection and of the advanced network that has been developed thanks to the ALICE project: RedCLARA, the first regional research and education network in Latin America.

The extraordinary goals reached in Europe in the scope of advanced networks and research infrastructures have paved the way for the development of a powerful Grid infrastructure, which allows distributed computation and shared storage between different geographic and administrative domains. All this e-Infrastructure - where the initiatives of GÉANT and EGEE are leaders - has resulted in the creation of an ideal platform for the development of the so-called European Research Area (ERA).

Through specific support actions, EELA aims to position the Latin American countries at the same level of the European developments in terms of e-Infrastructures. Now that the network infrastructure in Latin America is stable, the EELA focus will be in the Grid infrastructure and in some related e-Science applications. Therefore, the project's participant institutions have identified two fundamental scopes: the creation of a human network in e-Science - valuing its necessities and giving training to it - and the conduction of the technological developments that will allow Grid development and operation in the region.

In its collective effort, EELA will start up a common infrastructure in Latin America and Europe, interconnected by means of the RedCLARA and GÉANT networks, in which to implement certain applications of general interest: Biomedicine, High Energy Physics, e-Education and Climate. Because of the scope of its action, EELA will help to reduce the digital divide in the Latin-American region, making available to researchers a very powerful e-Infrastructure on which to make complex investigations in a simple way that can be extended in the future to serve as basis for a greater community of users. In addition, this effort will allow Latin America to enter in an ordered form, and as a group, in the Grid technology.

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