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Private-Public Venture To Build Technology Center
Manufacturing Industry, Government, And Academia Commit To Raising $14 Million
By MARIALBA MARTINEZ
August 28, 2003
Members of the manufacturing industry, the government, and academia announced their commitment to raising $14 million to establish an Excellence Center for Advanced Technology (ECAT) in Barceloneta for the continuing education of personnel in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
"This center is an initiative between northern-region pharmaceutical manufacturing companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Aventis, BASF Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, and Pfizer Inc. and the municipality of Barceloneta, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, and the Ana G. Mendez University System [Suagm by its Spanish acronym]," said Merck Vice President Daneris Fernandez.
In September, ECAT will begin offering pharmaceutical and biotechnology courses at Suagms Universidad del Este in Manati. The initial curriculum will focus on quality technology. Courses will be added later in biotechnology, industrial mechanics, environmental analysis, and research & development.
Several sites in the Barceloneta region are being considered for ECAT, including the former RCA building currently owned by General Electric. Numerous pharmaceutical companies have established operations in Barceloneta, and Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez is supporting them by spearheading the efforts to establish ECAT.
"Our municipality has drafted a measure to promote the establishment of new industries and the expansion of others," said the mayor. "It is important to train the human resources, which will be possible through ECAT."
The center, which is slated to be operating by 2004, will have laboratories, classrooms, a library, conference rooms, and videoconferencing facilities. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will donate equipment and machinery to simulate actual working environments. On the staff will be experienced professors, laboratory technicians, academic counselors, and administrative personnel.
Universidad del Turabo designed the centers curriculum in conjunction with members of the manufacturing industry. "ECAT is the ideal project to identify new work styles and establish ties with the manufacturing community and the government," said Jose F. Mendez, president of the Ana G. Mendez University System. "With this undertaking, the university opens its doors to the industry to listen and react to its needs."
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.