Telecommunications/Technology

Science Trust opens RFP for $5M innovation grant cycle

Ivan Ríos-Mena Iván Ríos-Mena

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust has earmarked close to $5 million for a grants program focused on proposals presented by scientists and researchers related to the development and research in the fields of natural sciences, biotechnology, aerospace technology, communication, medical innovations, electronics, clean and renewable energies and related sciences, Iván Ríos-Mena, acting executive director of the PRST, said.

“Recently the Board of Trustees created a $4.7 million funding program for grants that have the purpose of promoting vanguard projects, which will propel Puerto Rico to become a center for research and innovation. This is a key tool for strengthening the knowledge economy, a pillar in Puerto Rico’s economic development strategy,” Ríos Mena said.

The RFP and the guidelines to request these funds will be available starting Aug. 15.  Each grant can be up to $150,000 and will be available for startups, established companies, public and private academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

The first phase of the RFP consists of the presentation of a Letter of Intent that must be submitted before or on, Sept. 26, 2014, and will only be accepted through the form available on the Trust’s website. The application form, the key dates and the list of necessary documents can also be found at www.prsciencetrust.org.

Daniel Colón-Ramos, member of the Board of Trustees, professor at Yale University and founder of the website www.cienciapr.org, said “based on the description in the Letter of Intent, the trust will select projects and invite selected applicants to submit proposals for evaluation.”

Scientific experts will evaluate the proposals and issue recommendations based on their merits, with the goal of recognizing and rewarding the best proposals that will result “in the greatest benefit in innovation and Puerto Rico’s scientific research.”

Colón-Ramos added that they are expecting a broad participation with great ideas for the island that will support Trust’s flagship program: Science City. He anticipated that the Trust expects to approve between 10 and 15 proposals submitted.

“With this announcement, we are taking an important step in our efforts to position Puerto Rico as a world-class center of research and innovation. In addition, we are generating opportunities so more creative and productive minds can have the resources to make their ideas and projects a reality,” Ríos-Mena said.

“These funds will pave the way for science and technology projects and provide the resources to bring ideas to a level that allows them to obtain additional funding, research and innovation impact in Puerto Rico and even promote their development and eventual commercialization,” he added.

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