In a bid to support high school and university students to continue their work in scientific research, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce’s Youth Development Program will disburse $263,000 for a project being developed at the Ponce Institute of Sciences, agency Secretary Manuel A. Laboy announced.
“Science and technology are subjects that are in high demand in various educational institutions. Our responsibility as a government is to offer various alternatives that empower and educate young people, so that they develop their skills, according to their interests, from an early age,” Laboy said.
“This project that impacts the entire southern region and which we’re supporting for the second consecutive year, is part of our Youth Development Program ‘From School to Business’ initiative and will impact about 60 students, 30 more than last year,” said Laboy.
Last year, Economic Development signed an agreement with the Ponce Institute of Sciences and the municipality of Ponce, pledging up to $763,000 over a three-year period from the Special for Economic Development Fund to be used for professional services, laboratory equipment, minor equipment and laboratory instruments, computers and related equipment, infrastructure materials, and perishable materials essential for daily activities (serological pipettes, bio-waste bags, means for feeding cells, gloves, bovine serum, gowns and disposable tips, among others).
“These disbursements are conditional on the availability of funds, as well as offering evidence on the good performance of the Ponce Institute of Sciences,” said Roberto Carlos Pagán, head of the Youth Development Program.
“They must also submit statistics supporting the From School to Business initiative and submit a proposal each year to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company’s board of directors. By the third year, the Institute must have identified the funds to subsidize its activities and be self-sustaining starting on the fourth year,” he said.
The Ponce Institute of Sciences plans to serve some 5,000 high students in 11 schools, undergraduate and graduate levels at six universities, and other post-secondary non-university institutions in Ponce, to promote interest in scientific research.