Guest post by Lucy Crespo, CEO PR Science, Technology & Research Trust
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust (PRSTRT) was created in 2004 to promote innovation, technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual capital. The mission of the Trust is to invest, facilitate and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ well-being through innovation-driven enterprises, science and technology and its industrial base. A parcel of land of 70 acres was entitled to the Trust to be developed as Science City. The vision for Science City is to become a globally recognized innovation hub connecting and integrating our science and technology ecosystems. As a multidisciplinary international center of collaboration it will inspire new ideas, inventions and enterprises, resulting from its vibrant and rich environment to innovate, work, and live. The PRSTRT is taking several actions to transform this vision into a reality.
The Puerto Rico Environmental Research Laboratory construction is at full speed. This state-of-the-art laboratory facility will house the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) laboratory. In partnership with EQB, the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust will provide to our environmental researchers and scientists the use of this 16,000,000k sq. ft. facility to perform activities such as environmental parameters analysis, new materials and/or products qualification and/or validation. This eco-friendly remodeled building will also use energy efficient technology. The project schedule is on time and we expect to complete the project by September 2016.
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust signed a contract with AFI to manage the construction of Laboratory Road, one of the two projects we are undertaking to develop Science City road infrastructure. The construction of “Via Laboratorio” in on target from the schedule and cost point of view and we expect substantial completion by October 2016.
Our current Dry Lab facility housed about 10 startup companies in addition to PRSTRT headquarters and personnel. During the next couple of months we are adding two companies that will be working with the recently established Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation (PRCCI). We are aggressively pursuing additional tenants for Science City based on a Science City marketing plan prepared at the end of 2015. The marketing plan identified potential anchor tenants for the site based on Puerto Rico’s R&D capabilities and competitive factors such as availability of scientists in the sector, and labor cost assessment for the R&D personnel. Main targets based on the study are: 1) Medical Device companies, 2) Companies in the Information Technology sector, identified as the most competitive sector, and 3) Biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including a small number of CMOs.
Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust has an ongoing open Request for Proposal (RFP) process to qualify potential site master developers for Science City. We are looking for experienced master developers with financial and marketing capability to develop Science City to its full potential. We expect to complete the prequalification process in April 2016.
Information about the Science City RFP process is available on the PRSTRT website www.prsciencetrust.org.
Meet with Crespo, The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, and international executives from the life science value chain at Biolatam® 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 29–30, 2016.