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The local agricultural biotechnology industry and the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico join forces to further research, strengthen academic endeavors and drive innovation

August 12, 2016

Ponce, Puerto Rico,– As part of a shared commitment to promoting and supporting education, research and community outreach, the Puerto Rico Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Association (PRABIA) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico (PUCPR, its Spanish acronym) entered a general collaborative agreement to foster and provide opportunities to students majoring in science and biotech fields.


The alliance between PRABIA and PUCPR comes at a historic moment in which Puerto Rico is ramping up its public policy of inserting the country in the global knowledge economy, based on strengthening research, innovation, academia and the development of qualified science professionals.


According to Beatriz Carrión, Executive Director of PRABIA, “The association is committed with the education of aspiring biotechnology students through research, internships, lectures and summer camps. The University and PRABIA both consider that increasing opportunities for cooperation and exchange to educate our communities is instrumental in creating a solid foot print to achieve sustainable growth. This is why our main objective is to develop partnerships and strengthen our relationship with the academia by educating skilled professionals who can contribute to economic development.”  


For his part, Dr. Jorge Iván Vélez, president of PUCPR, added that “The University’s mission consists of four components: teaching, research, diffusion and economic development. The University is focused on establishing ties with leaders in the productive sector who enable access to cutting-edge processes and technologies for our students and faculty. This objective is of particular relevance in fields related to agriculture, which directly impact Puerto Rico’s economic development. This agreement strengthens the platform that supports endeavors to be undertaken in the field of Agro Biotechnology and opens the door to new areas of research.”


Among the key points of the collaborative agreement between PRABIA and PUCPR, most notable are the development of an academic proposal for curriculums in up-to-date AgBio topics and latest technologies, collaboration and active participation in both parties’ Steering Committees as Industry and Academia advisors, and cooperative design of courses, conferences, symposiums, lectures or academic programs.


Also, the agreement facilitates cooperative research and development of activities at PRABIA member companies. University students will be able to have their first year experience in the AgBio companies and these will visit the University to identify potential candidates nearing the end of their academic careers to recruit students as employees.


“This agreement is one of many endeavors that PRABIA is undertaking with leading academic institutions and other partners to support current and future visionaries, individuals and organizations that guide our collective progress, chart our course and push the boundaries of achievement,” said Carrión.


The agreement with PUCPR is a natural fit for PRABIA, as the Association has previously worked with the University’s Center for Teaching and Research in Biotechnology and Agro-Biotechnology (CEIBA, its Spanish acronym) in numerous initiatives.




Founded in 1995, PRABIA is a nonprofit organization that gathers the main agricultural biotechnology companies that operate in Puerto Rico – AgReliant Genetics, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, Illinois Crop Improvement, Monsanto del Caribe and DuPont Pioneer. The objective of the Association is to strengthen the agricultural biotechnology ecosystem on the Island in the face of global food production challenges. The operations of the PRABIA member companies promote economic development by creating about 5,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, foster education, support communities, strengthen the academic community, and establish programs aimed at future scientists and agronomists.


For additional information regarding PRABIA, visit or the official PRABIA Facebook Page


Acerca de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico –

La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico es una institución católica romana de enseñanza superior mixta, privada, sin fines de lucro, fundada en septiembre de 1948.  La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico está acreditada por la Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, por el Consejo de Educación Superior de Puerto Rico y por otras agencias acreditadoras.  El campus principal está localizado en Ponce, mientras que otros recintos se encuentran en Arecibo y Mayagüez.  Para más información:

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