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Technology and innovation move the economy and the music… Forward

By: Natasha DeLeon-Rodriguez, Ph.D.

For this blog, I wanted to go a little out of the box and take you to a new place, a place of science, technology, innovation…music. I went to a music festival that somehow inspired me. There, I listened for the first time to Jorge Drexler. His music was very interesting, especially because of all the science terms he uses in them. I did some search while listening to him and discovered he actually did some science studies before going all indie singer on us. He is a medical doctor specialized in otorhinolaryngology or ENT, for short). I actually loved that. The way he mixed science and technology with love, art, nature and came out with amazing rhymes with a little bit of knowledge behind.

The first song, “Mi guitarra y vos”, talked about the technology behind a guitar, the nylon cords, the wood, the metal, he also mentioned that we even have equations to explain the spirals of a shell. We actually do, the Fibonacci sequences. But here he presents examples of technologies that we forget they were at one point…technology. If you go and look for new technologies, you’ll find amazing things like, heartless people (literally!). Scientists and engineers were able to replace the heart with a set of pumps (a-ma-zing!). Also, we are currently producing energy from other sources like the sun, wind, waves. We are all connected too, with Wi-Fi and internet everywhere, smartphones and tablets. We have the whole world in our palms. Technology have gone past our imagination. Going back to the song, I forgot to mention that he starts with a “¡Que viva la ciencia!”. Pretty sure we can all agree!

cocktailNowadays, technology and innovation are transforming our ecosystem. We have interdisciplinary research moving our knowledge forward. For example, biologists and architects are working together to createbio-inspired buildings. Farmers are working with microbiologists to fight plagues. And art and fashion are helping researchers to get funds for genomics studies. (You will hear about these projects at Forward)

Our ecosystem is definitively changing.

At the festival, Drexler move to sing another song, he said he will talk about mass and energy. “Todo se transforma” started in the background and my mind kept going. We are one month away from theForward Research and Innovation Summit. Speakers, mentors, and panelists are piling up. Everything is getting into place.

We are expecting to get together in one place: researchers from the academia and private sector, entrepreneurs, and investors. Our expectations: a change in our local ecosystem.  You should go to the summit with a new mind set. A mindset of learning new things from your peers, networking with people you never imagine to talk (or with people you always talk to but never about ideas you thought were insane!). September 17, 2016, will be a day to transform Puerto Rico’s current energy. Transform our economy into one based on knowledge.

But the most important part of all this, is to not let it die there. Forward Research and Innovation Summit is not just one day. It is a new energy that should and will spread around the Island. A movement that will keep going, because conversations will not end there. They will just start.

Bring your smartphone, your business cards, your willingness to share and explore. We need to get together. Transform the economy. Hear the music. Move Forward. ¡Que viva la Ciencia!