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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Over $7.4 million secured for Aerospace Research Institute at UPR Mayagüez

By The Star Staff

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón has secured federal funding for community programs, agencies and projects in Puerto Rico for fiscal year 2023, including over $7.4 million for the construction of the Aerospace Research Institute (AIR) at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Mayagüez, the resident commissioner said in a press release.

On Thursday, the congresswoman announced the official transfer of the funds, with $7.4 million going to UPR and the rest, $75,000, to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce as part of the administration of the funds.

“I congratulate the UPR at Mayagüez, first for presenting me with this proposal and, after we ensured its inclusion for federal funding, duly requesting the funds,” the resident commissioner said. “For this past fiscal year 2023 we secured a total of $19.4 million for 10 community projects, including this one for UPR Mayagüez. “Space exploration and the aerospace industry is now assuming a greater role globally. In Puerto Rico we have highly trained professionals in this field and through this institute we will be able to advance even more in the research and teaching of this field.”

González Colón said the federal Department of Commerce notified her office about the disbursement of funds by the NIST for the construction of the AIR, which will be focused on aerospace industry research and development through new technologies; forming academic partnerships to enhance the study of propulsion technologies, materials science, navigation and atmospheric sciences, among other things; serving as a headquarters or liaison between academia, island-based industry, small businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organizations; and becoming a landing site for foreign companies interested in establishing operations in Puerto Rico.

The project includes the planned construction of an annex of between 9,000 and 12,000 square feet.

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