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Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust awards $1.5M in grants

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust has allocated $1.5 million in grants to 10 local researchers during a “recognition event” for winners of the Advanced Research Grant 2024. 

The Research Grants Program, a key component of the trust, is the only local financing program that allocates funding for research endeavors across the island through peer review. This year’s selection includes projects from various academic institutions and local companies, providing significant support for scientific and technological research in Puerto Rico.

Among the beneficiaries are researchers from the University of Puerto Rico (Mayagüez and Río Piedras campuses); Universidad Central del Caribe; Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey campus; Docare LLC; and, Cultimar Technologies Inc.

Each of the 10 selected projects will receive a $150,000 grant that will enable recipients to advance their research and improve their competitiveness nationally and internationally. The 2024 Advanced Research Grant aims to support innovative projects across a wide range of science and technology fields.

“We are eager to witness and actively contribute to the transformative impact of these grants in the advancement of scientific and technological exploration,” said Lucy Crespo, the trust’s chief executive officer. “This event celebrates our researchers and offers a unique opportunity to foster dialogue regarding our programs, grants and collaborations. Our commitment remains unwavering to strengthening human capital, attracting and retaining world-class scientists, and positioning Puerto Rico competitively to secure external funding, ensuring its continued recognition as a global innovation hub.”

Andreica Maldonado, director of the trust’s Research Grants Program, said, “Our mission is to serve as facilitators, aiding researchers in securing the resources necessary to elevate their projects to the next level. To achieve this, we offer structured, systematic, and open funding mechanisms that bolster the development of science and technology research projects in Puerto Rico. Ensuring local researchers have access to ample resources is imperative in cultivating a sustainable research economy in our country.”

The winning projects cover areas such as clinical trials, renewable energy, agriculture, natural hazards, biotechnology and life sciences. The topics include molecular mechanisms in aggressive breast cancer, age-related cognitive impairment, real-time landslide forecasting and the development of an aquaculture industry in the Caribbean.

Additionally, in collaboration with Rhodium Scientific, two $50,000 grants were awarded during the event as part of the Advanced Research Grant: Space Edition, bringing the total investment to some $1.6 million. 

These grants were given to researchers from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. One project focuses on water purification on the International Space Station (ISS), while the other explores microgravity. Both projects have been selected for the ISS.

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