November 3rd, 2014
ELCIRA Reaches its Conclusion
ELCIRA (Europe Latin America Collaborative e-Infrastructure for Research Activities), an EC-funded project designed to facilitate collaboration among European-Latin American research teams, reached its conclusion at the end of October this year.
Led by RedCLARA, with partners from Brazil (RNP), Colombia (RENATA), Italy (GARR), Spain (RedIRIS), as well as DANTE and TERENA, the successes of the nearly 2½-year-long project have been numerous, from significantly increasing the presence of eduroam in Latin America, to enabling the creation of new identify federations in the region, providing a suite of collaboration tools, and improving videoconferencing through a dialling system which has improved the possibilities for communication between European and Latin American researchers.
Having set out to establish eduroam in at least two Latin American countries, ELCIRA has far outstripped expectations through the deployment of eduroam in six Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru). In addition, ELCIRA has supported the ongoing expansion of eduroam in Brazil, where Porto Alegre has become the first eduroam city on the continent.
The objective of supporting the creation of identity federations in two countries was not only met but doubled with operational identity federations having been established in Argentina (MATE), Chile (COFRe), Colombia (COLFIRE) and Ecuador (MiNGA). Of these, the Chilean federation is a member of eduGAIN, alongside the Brazilian identity federation.
ELCIRA has also established gatekeepers for RedCLARA and the Costa Rican and Colombian NRENs. With Brazil and Mexico also integrated with the RedCLARA gatekeeper which is in turn integrated with eduCONF, users of videoconferencing facilities behind the RedCLARA gatekeeper can now dial terminals behind eduCONF in Europe, and vice versa.
An additional aim of ELCIRA was to improve collaboration for Europe-Latin American research communities. This has been done through the creation of a virtual federated platform, known as Colaboratorio V1.0. The platform makes tools (read more here) and services delivered by Latin American and European NRENs available to end users in a single location and facilitates collaboration in the following ways:
- Webconferencing through the VC Espresso tool.
- Large file transfer through the eNVIO service, based on FileSender, and provided by GARR.
- The reservation of multi-point H.323 videoconferencing facilities behind SIVIC, RedCLARA’s equivalent of eduCONF
- Participation in discussions and events organised by RedCLARA user groups
- A search facility for documents produced by RedCLARA and the user groups supported by RedCLARA.
- A search facility for funding opportunities, project partners and collaboration opportunities.
An active dissemination programme has ensured visibility of ELCIRA and its successes both in Europe and Latin America, including participation in leading international conferences including the International Conference on Research Infrastructures, the TERENA Networking Conference and the TICAL Conference for ICT directors of Latin American universities.
Since June 2012 the ELCIRA project has provided a significant boost to improving the ways in which academics in Europe and Latin America are able to collaborate, adding extra value and needed services above and beyond R&E connectivity in Latin American and the transatlantic connection to GÉANT.