Incentives for science, tech SMEs in Puerto Rico announced
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Monday that the Economic Development and Commerce Department (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) has assigned a financial incentive for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) with business models based on science and technology.
The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco) will grant up to $100,000 per company to operate, market and export their innovations.
“Small and midsize companies are vital for the economic development of Puerto Rico, especially during the island’s recovery phase after Hurricane Maria. This incentive will help in the development of these companies and in the creation of products that can be commercialized, both in Puerto Rico and abroad,” Rosselló said in a release.
The governor’s office, La Fortaleza, said the incentive comes from the Special Fund for Economic Development (FEDE by its Spanish acronym) and will be disbursed “in accordance with the needs established in the petitioner’s business plan, as evaluated and approved by the Program Committee to Strengthen Pridco’s Innovative SMEs.”
More details about the fund, such as the process required to request the incentives to start or expand operations, as well as other sector-related programs, will be explained Wednesday, during the forum “PYMES innovadoras: impulso empresarial” (Innovative SMEs: entrepreneurial drive). The event will take place at the Science, Research and Technology Trust.
Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy said in the release that the hope is to “increase the capability of SMEs to market and export their products and services. With this, not only do business owners benefit: It also increases the Puerto Rican workforce [in] an innovative economy that is growing and in which Puerto Rico” can compete globally.
The forum’s themes include: Economic development initiatives to strengthen SMEs; Incentive for innovative SMEs; SME development process; Program of incentives and services for export and marketing; Opportunities with the federal government; and Integration of researchers and entrepreneurs to produce agreements to commercialize innovative technology.
To participate in the forum, businesses must make less that $3 million in gross sales, invest in innovation based on science and technology, and not have requested or participated in other Pridco incentive programs.
Petitioners with less than three years in operation “must have gone through a training process or have business experience,” according to the release.
The business plans of companies recommended by entrepreneurial groups that promote the development of science and technology, such as Parallel 18, Piloto 151, Colmena 66, Grupo Guayacán and SBTDC, among others, will be accepted.
“The main goal of these initiatives is to guide and incentivize small and midsize companies to begin to see export as their main [focus],” Laboy added.