Puerto Rico governor asks MIT for help in rebuilding after Hurricane María
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló met Tuesday with the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), L. Rafael Rief, to request collaboration from the research institution in Puerto Rico’s hurricane-recovery process.
“The resources offered by this institution will be of importance in the development of cutting-edge design and execution, as well as excellence in the reconstruction of the Island after the hurricanes Irma and María,” Rosselló, an MIT graduate, said in a release Tuesday.
Also attending the meeting were the executive director of Puerto Rico’s Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Carlos Mercader, and Chief Innovation Officer Glorimar Ripoll Balet.
After the meeting, the governor participated in MIT’s International Conference on the Resilient Reconstruction of the Caribbean, where he stressed that innovation is a critical factor in achieving a better Puerto Rico.
The conference is intended “to frame and mobilize a multidisciplinary research and outreach program based both at MIT and in the region” and focuses on electrification, infrastructure and “Human Settlements.”
“The disaster, although it brought some challenges, also gave us some opportunities. For example, we had a vision for a new energy system in 15 years in Puerto Rico with all the normal obstacles. Now we can start talking about remaking our energy system in three years, and make it much more resilient, modern, and effective,” the governor said.
Rosselló also met with the MIT Association of Puerto Rican Students, who expressed interest in integrating the island’s reconstruction into their respective university projects.