Bioindustrial processes pilot plant: key for the development of biotechnology in Puerto Rico

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Cited from The pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico generates 30.000 direct jobs and “is responsible for more than 25% of the national gross Puerto Rican product.” In addition, “16 out of 20 pharmaceutical products of more sale in the United States are made in Puerto Rico.” Puerto Rico’s relationship with the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry has been very dynamic, and for that reason this plant has a transcendental importance for the consolidation of this relationship. The project of the Bioindustrial Processes Plant goes together with multiple efforts from the government, the academia and the private industry to strenghten and extend this relationship, promoting Puerto Rico as a perfect destiny for the biotechnological industry. The height of the pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico “began many years ago with the production of drugs that were developed elsewhere. Nowadays, we need to go beyond this. Puerto Rico looks forward not only to produce medicines, but to become a place where the scientific research that is carried out helps create new drugs.” “We must complement that production with an effort to attract to Puerto Rico the research and discovery of new products. That’s what we are talking about when we speak about turning Puerto Rico into a true center of biotechnology.” “To be successful in that effort, the creation of research centers is key. Puerto Rico must have the mechanisms to provide its people with the skills and knowledge that biotechnology demands.” “If it Puerto Rico does not do this and instead it relays on its people getting trained abroad, two problems are created: on one side, Puerto Ricans that for whatever reason cannot go abroad to get trained are excluded. On the other hand, making business in Puerto Rico becomes more expensive, because then companies must pay for their employees to train abroad, with the increased costs increases of moving adding up. The pilot plant to be constructed in Mayagüez is the correct answer to avoid those problems.” “What is a pilot plant? It’s a facility that provides a controlled environment to test bioindustrial processes and protocols that, after being proven to be effective, are applied in the industry. The plant allows, by all means, the training of technicians and scientists in those processes and protocols. Our competitors in the world of the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology already count on plants like this one. With the project that will be constructed in Mayagüez, we closed the breach that exists between Puerto Rico and its competitors.” “The proposed project is a collaboration between the University of Puerto Rico, the Department of Economic Development and the pharmaceutical companies established in Puerto Rico. This is the type of interaction that has to be reinforced, so we can successfully advance the ambitious agenda for the economic development of Puerto Rico.” The creation of the Bioindustrial Processes Pilot Plant is a step forward in the development of the biosciences in Puerto Rico, and it contributes to the strengthening of our greater resource: our people, their capacity and intellectual excellence.