A total of 33 research projects in different strategic sectors have received grants from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, promoting economic activity in the sector, the nonprofit said during a weekend event.
A selection of researchers who have been funded by the Trust’s Research Grants Program — which has awarded more than $6 million in grants for science and technology projects since 2015 — were present at the “Forward Grantees Symposium.
The purpose of the symposium was to outline and know the scope and progress of these research projects as well as the short and long-term impact of the grants awarded by this program.
“Research is hope. Now, more than ever, we must work together — academia, researchers and the industry — to get out of the economic challenges we have. Research brings jobs and we have to make it a priority,” said Kenira Thompson of Ponce Health Sciences, one of a group of panelists present.
The Trust’s Grants Program is a structured, systematic, open and competitive mechanism that supports the development of research projects in the areas of science and technology.
This has allowed to promote and develop research in the strategic sectors of biotechnology and natural sciences, renewable energy and/or clean technologies, aerospace, information and communications technology, medical devices, electronics, agriculture and environmental sciences.
These funds seek to create a new paradigm of economic development to maximize Puerto Rico’s participation in the knowledge economy at the global level.
About 450 scientists and entrepreneurs have requested funds from the Grants Program, which has impacted more than 100 local researchers, the nonprofit said.
The funds have provided research and financial support opportunities to more than 50 students, have enabled our researchers to present their results in more than 15 local and international conferences, and have generated intellectual property, companies, and patents.
“It has been a very important day for our grantees, but also for our community of scientists and entrepreneurs in general, as we were able to demonstrate the potential that these researches can achieve by receiving adequate investment and support,” said Greetchen Díaz-Muñoz, director of the Trust’s Grants Program and moderator of the panel that also included Emma Fernandez, UPR Medical Sciences campus, Laura Cantero, Grupo Guayacán’s executive director, and José Rodríguez-Orengo, of the UPR’s Medical Sciences Campus.
So far the Trust’s Grants Program has generated the following activity:
- 462 applications
- 33 grant recipients
- 24 direct jobs created
- 127 impacted students
- 12 peer-reviewed publications
- 88 abstracts and presentations
- Seven patents submitted
- Six established companies
“I am extremely pleased and confident that this program so young and with such positive results is advancing and contributing directly to the transformation of our economy into a knowledge-based economy, and I am sure we are going in the right direction,” said Lucy Crespo, the Trust’s CEO.