PUPR Looks Forward to the 21st Century with a Program of Research and Development
Vélez Delgado, Gilberto A.
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The New Economic Development model adopted by the Government of Puerto Rico is an effort to provide a diversified and solid foundation for future economic development in view of changes in the global economic context. The policy established the development of Science and Technology and their role in Puerto Rico's economic future as an integral part of the new model. , „ The recoSnition that Puerto Rico's annual rate of economic growth remained stagnant at about 2.5% from 1976 to 1993, in contrast to a growth rate above 6% in the sixties, was the launching pad for the New Economic Development Model. The importance of science and technology in the new knowledge-based economy is widely recognized. The model establishes a general framework for the positive participation of various components of the science and technology system by developing actions in support of specific objectives. The Government of Puerto Rico, being fully committed to the development of Puerto Rico's capacity to innovate and to understand, produce and harness developments in science and technology, will promote development through alliances with the private sector and academia. One of the objectives is to strengthen and further develop the scientific community. Universities are encouraged to establish and develop collaborative efforts aimed at attracting scientific talent by the pooling of resources and creating joint teaching and research activities. Combined research institutes that provide the underpinning for the establishment of science and technology-based industries are also encouraged. It is also singled out that universities should initiate manufacturing engineering programs at the master's degree level. The Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR), conscious of its role in our society, has been actively involved in the articulation of an action plan that will catapult the institution to new levels of competency. This will permit us to significantly contribute to the economic development of Puerto Rico. Several things that have been done already are discussed below.