Strategic Projects

Research & Technology


Puerto Rico’s economic development strategy is based on a clear vision: to transform our economy into a knowledge-based one in order to effectively compete in globalized economy. Part of the goals to ensure this include consolidating Puerto Rico’s position as a manufacturing leader in addition to becoming one in emerging sectors. As Puerto Rico moves toward these goals, developing a thriving biotechnology industry is a priority in order to serve as a breeding ground for innovation, the driving force of a new economic standard.

Fortunately, Puerto Rico already has key elements to attract, grow and retain successful biotech operations: advanced legislation, an ongoing reform agenda to facilitate business, and a well-developed infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications network. In addition, our sophisticated manufacturing industry provides the foundation for a strong biotechnology sector, boasting a bilingual, well-educated workforce, over 50 years of industry experience, seasoned management teams and higher-than-average productivity rates.

Currently, innovation-based sectors such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology represent a third of the Island’s gross domestic product and more than half our exports. The continuous development of these industries will play a critical role in improving the quality of life of Puerto Ricans and people around the world.

The Government of Puerto Rico is committed to forging alliances with industry stakeholders and doing what is needed in order to foster growth in these areas, with advancement as our lead, Puerto Rico will show its partners around the world why we are the All-Star Island.

The Science, Technology & Research Trust

As part of Puerto Rico's focus on attracting Research & Development activity to the island, Act No. 73 established a Special Fund for Economic Development (FEDE by its Spanish acronym). This fund can be used for scientific and technical research and the development of new industrial product businesses, among other purposes.

Since good business often starts with great science, the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, an autonomous entity that receives funding from FEDE and the Scientific Research Fund of the University of Puerto Rico, among other sources, was created in 2004 to act as an agent to promote financial and industrial investments, supporting research, science and technology developments. It serves to foster collaboration among the government, academic and manufacturing sectors. The trust's main goal is to develop the technology needed and to pinpoint the infrastructure requirements to allow all sectors to maximize their contribution to our economic development.

Similarly, the Trust provides a financing option for research, development and infrastructure projects in the fields of science and technology. 30% to 40% of the Trust's annual budget is used to finance corporate activities and projects that have an impact on science and technology R&D in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust helps to:

  • Create jobs by financing science and innovation
  • Define and implement public policy for science, technology, and R&D in Puerto Rico
  • Finance, sponsor and create strategies to attract world-class scientists to the Island
  • Establish alliances between public and private sectors that foster research and the commercialization of research
  • Provide Technology Transfer Services for public and private universities as well as companies
  • Procure direct investments and business assistance for start-up companies

The Trust provides the feeding ground to conduct business within the global knowledge economy. It offers a myriad of initiatives as part of its economic development and urban reengineering strategies in research and development:

  • Key R&D Areas
    • Computer Science and Information Technologies
    • Electronics, Aerospace, and Aeronautics
    • Alternative and Sustainable Energy
    • Bio Science
    • Medical Devices
    • Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science
    • New Industrial Technologies
  • Technology Development Targets include:
    • Cloud Computing, Gaming, and Animation
    • Bioinformatics and Tele-Medicine
    • Aerospace Systems and Process Engineering
    • Tropical and Sustainable Agriculture
    • Water Purification and Remediation
    • Specialty and Advances Materials (including Nanotechnology)
    • Any other emerging technology
  • Technology-Related Assistance Programs
    • Technology Commercialization Plans
    • Patent or other Intellectual Property Protection Support (i.e. IP licensing support)
    • Market Research and Market Validation
    • FDA Regulatory Compliance Assistance
    • Prototype Development
    • Small Business Innovation Research
    • Technology Management Mentoring
    • Help Build R&D Capacity
    • Incubator Development Support
    • Attract Scientific Human Resources to Puerto Rico
    • Tax Incentive Certification for Qualified Researchers
    • Links with Potential Funding Sources
  • R&D and other related Tax Incentives
    • Eligible researchers/scientists residing in Puerto Rico can receive a tax exemption of up to $195,000 on income generated from qualified federal research grants or up to $250,000 if the research is conducted within the Science District
    • Firms can receive a 50% tax credit for eligible investments in research and development, clinical trials, toxicology test, and any other qualified intangible property
    • Scientific or industrial R&D laboratories pay a fixed 4% corporate income tax rate
    • 0 to 1% income tax rate for pioneer activities
    • Puerto Rico-based firms providing export services such as: environmental, technological, scientific, information technology or engineering consulting services pay a 4% corporate income tax rate or a 3% corporate tax rate if 90% or more of its gross income comes from the export of services.

The Science District

One of the Trust’s initiatives includes the Science District, an urban reengineering initiative. The Science District advances the transformation of Puerto Rico’s economy from a manufacture-based system to one relying on the commercialization of knowledge and innovation. The District will take up over 2,000 acres (approximately 8.5 million square meters) of public and private land. Its success is based on the synergy and connectivity among all sectors. The District will interconnect existing and future academic and state-of-the-art research and development facilities, which will produce valuable knowledge, particularly when developing new products for international markets.

This District, based on the knowledge economy (science, information, latest technology, etc.), is the backbone of an ambitious strategy for economic development and urban reengineering in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Science District is:

  • Currently under construction. This Cluster is designed to significantly spur the development of Puerto Rico’s knowledge economy.
  • Located in San Juan, it will integrate high-tech R&D facilities, commercial laboratories, incubators, training facilities, and a Center of Excellence.
  • It will also sponsor a network of satellite, world-class R& D facilities (Centers of Excellence) throughout the island.
  • Research firms, start-ups, and investors who establish/finance operations within the Science District will receive attractive tax exemptions, tax credits and other incentives/benefits.

Contact us to learn more about the Science District