On August 8, 2019, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen recovery initiatives in the Caribbean Region after the devastating impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
The signing of this MOU is an example, and a direct result of, the commitment that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)—part of the U.S. Department of Commerce—has to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The goal is to maximize available resources and improve processes in order to boost essential workforce development and economic revitalization during disaster recovery and resilience-boosting efforts.
The event took place at the UPR Molecular Science and Research Building in San Juan. UPR President Dr. Jorge Haddock-Acevedo signed the MOU on behalf of UPR, and UVI President Dr. David Hall signed the MOU on behalf of UVI.
The MOU will “enable the collaboration between the two institutions in furtherance of conducting joint and shared research in areas that are germane to the growth, development, resiliency, and sustainability of both institutions and surrounding communities.”
Areas of research may include, but are not limited to, ocean economy, economic resilience; hazard mitigation; health disparities; infectious tropical diseases and other areas.
Dr. Haddock stated that “residents of Puerto Rico and USVI must be resilient in order to survive.”
Both presidents also stated that they look forward to more student and faculty interaction between the two universities.
After the signing of the MOU, Dr. Ana Guadalupe, representative of UPR and Director of the Molecular Science and Research Building lead the attendees on a tour of the Molecular Science and Research Building, a state-of-the art facility designed to encourage collaborative research.
Unless otherwise credited, all photos are courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands.