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Feature - EELA-2 Conference

Feature - EELA-2 Conference

Fernando Liello gives a keynote at the 2nd EELA-2 Conference in Choroni, Venezuela. Image courtesy of EELA-2.

On 25-27 November, researchers from Latin America and Europe descended on the town of Choroní, Venezuela for the second EELA-2 Conference, hosted by the University of Los Andes and CeCalCULA.

Financed by the European Commission, the EELA-2 Project (E-science grid facility for Europe and Latin America) has the objective of promoting grid technology in Latin America and Europe. EELA, which began four years ago, is a high capacity grid with quality production. Using the RedCLARA and GÉANT2 networks, EELA also created a digital bridge between Europe and Latin America.

Over this cooperation network the EELA-2 grid is supporting the development and testing of several advanced applications that are serving to improve not only scientific and technological development, but also everyday lives. The science supported by EELA-2 ranges from analyzing climate change to trying to find a cure to malaria.

The objectives of the EELA-2 conference were twofold. First, it served as an "open conference" and "users' forum," allowing researchers to present a selection of major results obtained by the scientific community using EELA-2 and other similar e-Infrastructures. Second, the conference was a space to discuss policy and long term plans for the sustainability of the regional e-Infrastructures, with particular focus on the Latin American case.

During the conference three main subjects were developed: Grid Communities and Applications, Infrastructure and Application-related Software and Perspectives of the e-Infrastructures.

Attendees examine posters at the 2nd EELA-2 Conference in Choroni, Venezuela. Image courtesy of EELA-2.

Results from the most important grid technology investigations over the last few years were presented in a total of 13 posters and more than 45 presentations (including eight invited talks). All of the presented projects were original, took advantage of the available advanced networks, and demonstrated practical applications.

Attendees presented, commented, and shared their opinions on a variety of topics. These included the accomplishments and goals of the EELA-2 Project, support of virtual research communities, and the GISELA proposal (Grid Initiatives for e-Science virtual communities in Europe and Latin America).

During the conference's final round table session, "Long Term Sustainability," project leaders and representatives of SEEGrid-SCI and ALICE2 expressed their visions for the future of the Latin-American grid initiatives and the GISELA proposal, which was recently submitted to the FP7 - Infrastructures Call.

The conference also demonstrated the region is now up to speed in terms of infrastructure. To keep pace, Latin America will need more scientists, researchers, academics, and engineers.

-Verónica Uribe and María José López Pourailly, EELA-2

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