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Foundation for Puerto Rico’s Innovation and Public Policy Council holds 1st meeting

The Foundation for Puerto Rico’s Innovation Center will hold the Innovation Council’s first meeting on Sept. 28, to bring together more than 60 leaders from a cross-section of sectors including communities, government, private sector, academia, nonprofits, and professional associations.

The goal is to establish a priority agenda to be developed under a participatory process, the nonprofit explained.

The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in the Convention District, and will be structured in panels, presentations and discussion groups that will enable knowledge and best practices exchanges with international resources.

In addition, the event will feature a first-ever report of Puerto Rico’s ranking within the Global Innovation Index that will enable identifying the island’s priorities in an intersectoral manner as well discuss and outline affirmative actions in crafting a work plan aligned with the agreed objectives.

The list of speakers includes: Leonie Zapata, innovation advisor of the National Competitiveness Council of the Dominican Republic; Paula Andrea Escobar, presidential advisor for Competitiveness of the Republic of Colombia; Lorena Molina, director of operations of the innovation laboratory of the US Census Bureau; and Pamela Patenaude, director of Granite Housing Strategies, LLC, a strategic advisory firm for real estate development, affordable housing, and disaster recovery management.

Previously, Patenaude served as assistant secretary and chief operating officer of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Under her tenure, more than $37 billion were allocated to direct recovery efforts after natural disasters occurred in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the American Native Islands and California, among other jurisdictions.

Other speakers include Jon Borschow, CEO of Foundation for Puerto Rico, as well as Economist Mario Marazzi, who will present the Global Innovation Index and Puerto Rico’s ranking in the study.

“Prioritizing innovation as an economic development strategy requires identifying and recognizing our positioning and how benchmark against the rest of the world using key innovation indicators,” said Alexandra Lúgaro, director of the Innovation Center.

“Faced with the reality that Puerto Rico doesn’t participate in most of these benchmarking instruments, the Innovation Center took on this task using methodologies that are standardized internationally,” she said.

“The study’s results will help us identify our strengths and weaknesses, as well as establish priority areas to work jointly with multisectoral representation, with a collective goal of increasing innovation, growth and competitiveness,” she added.

This initiative is part of Foundation for Puerto Rico’s Innovation Center’s commitment “to promote transformative changes on the island through research, education, technological infrastructure, and multi-sector strategic alliances.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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