Puerto Rico’s scientific, technological and entrepreneurial communities will have the opportunity to advance their potential as engines of economic development during an unprecedented event on the island, the Forward Summit, to be held on Sept. 17, at the Sheraton Convention Center.
The event, devised by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, is intended to showcase the best science and technology enterprises on the island, establish partnerships between scientists, technocrats and entrepreneurs, and empower them to move their projects forward as part of a robust economic ecosystem.
“Scientific and technological developments have changed the way we do business and generate wealth in the world, and Puerto Rico will not be left behind. Forward is synonymous with movement, progress and acceleration towards a common goal, which is to create the right conditions to be a scientific and technological innovation powerhouse, which in turn will advance the goals of sustained economic growth that we have as country,” said Lucy Crespo, Science Trust executive director.
The Forward Summit’s agenda includes presentations of ongoing scientific and technological business projects, educational lectures and panels with top local and international speakers in their respective fields, and extensive networking opportunities with other members of the ecosystem to foster collaborative opportunities.
“Forward Summit is more than an annual conference, it is a celebration of what we have achieved and much further we can go. It is also a platform to empower the local scientific and technological community as an engine of economic development of the island. I hope we can count on the support of all sectors,” said Greetchen Diaz, director of the Science Trust’s grant program and one of the organizers of the event.
The Ciencia Puerto Rico organization, the Office of Trade and Tourism of New York, the Parallel 18 accelerator — a Science Trust initiative — and the venture capital firm Grupo Guayacán support the Forward Summit organizing committee and support the event’s potential as a catalyst for scientific and technological enterprises on the island.
“As an organization that connects to the local scientific community and the diaspora, Ciencia Puerto Rico is excited to participate in this event that seeks to highlight the great human capital we have at our disposal in science and technology in and out of Puerto Rico. The Forward Summit will provide a unique opportunity to attract investors and encourage collaborations,” said Jenny Martínez-Bocanegra, project coordinator at Ciencia Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Sebastián Vidal, director of Parallel 18 said, “we have always stated that Puerto Rico has the potential to become a center of global innovation and the Parallel 18 experience confirms the island’s ability to attract and create new companies that can scale to global communities. An event like this strengthens that capacity and drives forward our common goal of creating economic development for Puerto Rico.”
More than 25 speakers and panelists have confirmed their participation in the Forward Summit. Students pursuing post-doctoral degrees, businesspeople and members of the academic community, will present about 200 research posters.