About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7041-7047
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

BIO-MINDS: AN INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PROGRAM TO PROMOTE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND RELATED AREAS

R. Buxeda, L. Saliceti-Piazza

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (PUERTO RICO)
Biotechnology has been given a top priority level for the economic development of several countries as part of a strategy to establish a knowledge-based economy. This economic model requires a strong interaction among its three important constituents: government, industry, and academia. Some governments have promoted biotechnology as a key development area by offering biotechnology companies to establish their operations through special legislation and tax incentives and by approving fiscal incentives in research and development initiatives. The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM), representing the academic sector, has contributed in developing and implementing educational and research initiatives in biotechnology during the past eight years. The biotechnology initiatives of UPRM have being designed, implemented and strongly supported by the industrial sector, as well.

The selection of biotechnology as one of the main targets in a country’s economic development efforts brings the necessity of educating and preparing the next generation of professionals with the profile and skills required in the field of biotechnology. The level of science and engineering education to support a knowledge-based economic model must include a strong research component. Professionals with advanced graduate degrees (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) are of utmost importance to maintain and sustain a high-tech, knowledge-based economic activity, such as that generated in a biotechnology-based environment. The interdisciplinary nature of biotechnology increases the need to nurture research personnel from diverse fields such as biology, industrial microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, and various engineering disciplines.

With this in mind, the UPRM designed and is implementing the Biotechnology Mentorship Initiative to Develop Science Program (Bio-MINDS), an example of university-industry collaboration. All of the funding to sustain Bio-MINDS was provided by a world-known biotechnology company foundation. A total of 200 students will be impacted in a four-year period. Science and engineering students enrolled in five UPR campuses were eligible to participate from their junior to senior years of undergraduate studies. Two cohorts of 100 students each will participate in a maximum period of two years.

The main objective of the Bio-MINDS Program is to incorporate research experiences within the undergraduate science and engineering curricular activities in order to strengthen student’s exposure to cutting edge technology and a science-based approach to solve problems in the biosciences. As a result, critical thinking, ethical behavior, communication skills, and teamwork were embedded into their research experiences. Not only participating students are required to perform a thorough undergraduate research project, but they must keep a monthly bio-blog entry to inform their progress, challenges, and outcomes of their experience. Students are also encouraged to present their results in scientific meetings. This whole experience will result in more competitive professionals that can pursue graduate school or will become part of a highly educated workforce needed to support a knowledge-based economy.
@InProceedings{BUXEDA2010BIO,
author = {Buxeda, R. and Saliceti-Piazza, L.},
title = {BIO-MINDS: AN INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PROGRAM TO PROMOTE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND RELATED AREAS},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {7041-7047}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Buxeda AU - L. Saliceti-Piazza
TI - BIO-MINDS: AN INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PROGRAM TO PROMOTE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND RELATED AREAS
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 7041
EP - 7047
ER -
R. Buxeda, L. Saliceti-Piazza (2010) BIO-MINDS: AN INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PROGRAM TO PROMOTE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND RELATED AREAS, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 7041-7047.
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