The physical and philosophical proximity of experts in social and hard sciences and engineering, coupled with the peculiarities of a tropical environment such as ours, make UPRM uniquely suited to face current and envisioned challenges that impact the well being of PR and the Nation. Lessons derived from recent Irma and Maria events have demonstrated the need for a rapid response from UPRM to contribute to the reinstatement of PR’s productive infrastructure, telecommunications and food security. Consistent with this vision, in consultation with the UPRM research community, it is clear that we need to establish an actual synergistic and inclusive approach to sustain RICE (research, innovation and creative endeavors) under very demanding financial conditions, and accordingly, a technology challenge-oriented approach is proposed, instead of a traditional discipline based definition. This vision is built on current mature and strong areas of research and expertise, without excluding important work in emerging and incipient niches, to keep research active.
The nature of current and forthcoming challenges forces our RICE Agenda to be shifted towards a real synergistic and global response. Keeping that concept in mind, the following target areas have been identified. Enclosed figures seek to graphically summarize this new approach.