Inter-American’s Center for Food Security receives federal funds for biotech lab equipment
By The Star Staff
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón on Tuesday announced the disbursement of $932,580 in federal funds for the Center for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture at Inter-American University of Puerto Rico’s Institute of Sustainable Biotechnology (ISBiot).
The resident commissioner welcomed the proposal made by Inter-American University to contribute to food security, which was among the community projects for which she obtained funds within the budget bill, or omnibus, for fiscal year 2023 that was converted into federal law last December.
The funds are being allocated under the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Research Facilities Construction account, which funds the construction and renovation of research facilities. NIST informed González Colón’s office that the funds were ready to be transferred to the university. Some $942,000 was approved for the project, of which the aforementioned sum will go to SBiot and the remaining 1% will be used for administrative expenses.
The allocation will be used to supply equipment for the recently built Center for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, which the resident commissioner visited in June 2022 along with Barranquitas Mayor Elliot Colón, the then-interim president and now president of Inter-American University; and Dr. Rafael Ramírez, chancellor of Inter American’s Barranquitas Campus, Dr. Juan Negrón; as well as scientists, professors and students.
The Center for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture will provide support for the development of modern agriculture in the mountain region and will consist of a building with a total construction area of 3,224 square feet, with seven laboratories representing the basic stages of bioprocessing for in vitro plant production and laboratory analysis.