Highlight: Universities of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding to Promote Economic Resilience and Leverage Each Institution’s Capabilities
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 EDA has with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and will maximize available resources and efforts that can lead both islands toward essential workforce and economic development.
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.
In remarks delivered at the event, Dr. Hall, who has served as UVI’s president for 10 years, said the signing of the MOU was a “longtime dream” of his, and he also praised the role of EDA.
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.