Chapter 4: Biotechnology, University and Scientific and Technological Policy in Cuba: A Look at Progress and Challenges
Jorge Núñez Jover, Isarelis Pérez Ones and Luis Félix Montalvo Arriete INTRODUCTION Biotechnology is an important and strategic area in Cuba’s scientific and technological policy. The primary locus of the Cuban biotech industry lies in the West Scientific Pole [cluster] of Havana (here referred to as the ‘Scientific Pole’). The highest priority has been given to the application of biotechnology to the medical-pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, also underway are important projects for agriculture, food production, animal husbandry and environmental protection. The results of biotechnology benefit the Cuban health care system and they represent an increasing share in national exports. The development of biotechnology, the establishment of the Scientific Pole and its breakthroughs, underscore the priority that the Cuban state has given to scientific and technological development and the training of researchers during five decades. Different studies have been made on this topic (including, Lage, 1994; Kaiser, 1998; Majoli, 2002; López et al., 2006; López et al., 2007). This chapter emphasizes the following issues: 1. It establishes the relationship between the development of biotechnology in Cuba and the S&T policy and the decision-making mechanisms in this field. It analyses the role of the university in biotech development, building on previous work (Núñez and Pérez, 2007; Núñez et al., 2008; Pérez and Núñez, 2009). It illustrates, through three success stories, some of the progress made and challenges faced both by biotech industry and the S&T policy. 80 2. 3. M2793 -...
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