The advances in the manipulation of the genetic code or DNA and other biomolecules have pushed the development of biotechnology forward. It's potential impact on society is enormous. Different fields such as agriculture, health, and manufacturing are being transformed at an accelerated rate by this new discipline. In Puerto Rico, the height of biotechnology is noticeable in the pharmaceutical industry. Given the obvious potential from biotechnology for Puerto Rico, the Arecibo and Barranquitas campuses from the Inter American University System have planned to add a Bachelors Degree in Biotechnology as part of the curriculum for the Department of Natural Sciences. To achieve this goal, both campuses have established an alliance through the Strengthen Science Through Biotechnology project. This project is sponsored by a proposal submitted to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants program, with a budget of $297,329.00.

The project will be active from September 2003 until September 2005. It involves implementing the BS in Biotechnology at the Arecibo and Barranquitas campuses of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. The program's objectives:

  • Implement the BS in Biotechnology at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico Barranquitas & Arecibo Campuses.
  • Provide professional training activities for the faculty in order to develop the skills in biotechnology and molecular biology.
  • Improve the infrastructure of the Biology laboratories by acquiring new equipment to strengthen the knowledge of biotechnology and molecular biology.