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MAIN OBJECTIVES

To define the concepts of Bioprospecting, Synthetic Biology, and Technology Based Enterprises.

To link how such disciplines and synergistic partnership, can advance science, engineering and entrepreneurship in gaining knowledge and solving important biological problems.

To serve as a platform for multidisciplinary networking among Microbiology, Combinatorial Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biotechnology and Business Administration seeking business opportunities in Technology Based Enterprises.

To reflex about local environmental and scientific opportunities to search for bioprospects, and how to turn them into research and educational innovations.

To describe educational initiatives which apply the concepts of Bioprospecting using the Synthetic Biology approaches with application in problem solving at K-12 and general and advance college levels.

What is Bioprospecting?

Is the search in environments for biodiversity and/or bioprocesses, scientifically and technologically, for practical and valuable applications. This could involve the isolation of novel animals, plants or microbes that have new activities or can perform processes with applications in solving problems. Some have described it as the explorations of wild plants, animals and microorganisms for commercially valuable genetic and biochemical resources.

What is Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biology is defined as the combination of science and engineering (some have called it bioengineering) in order to design and construct new biological functions, devices and systems. Based on known function, re-design and combined them in order to generate new and problem solving applicable systems. Some have described Synthetic Biology as just as the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes, or the generation of transgenic organisms (because genetic manipulation allows the development of new activities). In order to simplify complex systems, the modular nature of bio-molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins, and the technical vocabulary used between scientists from different disciplines, a series of what are called abstractions hierarchies have been created.

What is Technology-Based Entrepreneurship?

The Technology Innovation Center of the College of Business Administration of the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Campus, understands that Technology-Based Entrepreneurship (TBE) is about recognizing and developing business opportunities that are knowledge-based and/or technology intensive. TBE employs advances in science and engineering (life sciences, nanotechnology, materials sciences, sustainable energy sources, information technology, food technology ) to develop new products, services and processes or innovate existing ones.  A central goal for TBE is to create value by enabling individuals and organizations to face important challenges and to identify rewarding opportunities.  Technology-Based Enterprises are characterized by knowledge-based businesses that are driven by high-technology. This includes start-ups and spin-offs with high-growth potential that provide innovative products or services.

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