Current estate of biotechnology in Costa Rica
Astudy was carried out on the construction of indicators in biotechnology in Costa Rica as part of the project “SYMBIOSIS, Cooperative Program for the Construction of Indicators in Biotechnology adapted to Latin American and Caribbean countries, to motivate the application and transference of industrial technologies”. The study focused on two units: researchers and research projects developed in Costa Rica, between 1998 and 2002. For researchers, information was collected about indicators related to sex, age, teaching activities, number of projects, academic degree, area of speciality and number of publications. For research projects we obtained information about: speciality, sector of application, duration of projects and number of researchers per project. Very interesting results include the high participation of the women in this area of investigation (54%); the low participation of young researchers (13% younger than 30), and a high proportion of the investigators that are responsible for 4 or more projects (42%). With relation to the specialities of the projects, the majority are in the category Bio-Agro (39%) whereas in Acuaculture only 1 % was found. The sectors of application with the most number of projects are: Agriculture and Livestock (37%) and Human Health (35%). The main strengthts and limitatations for the development of biotechnology in Costa Rica are discussed.
Keywords: costa rica, biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, human health, indicators