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He obtained a degree in Agronomy Engineer from the University of the Republic, Uruguay (1985); and a Master’s of Science in Molecular Biology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (1989). He is Executive Director of Bioceltis, an organization which develops intense knowledge projects in medicine and agriculture sectors. He is Member of the Board in the Agriculture, Education and Health Movement (MAES). He participated in the Board of the Uruguayan Association of Biotechnology (AUDEBIO) and the Latin American Federation of Biotechnology Companies (FELAEB). He taught in Uruguay as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Agronomy (1985–1991), University of the Republic, Uruguay; and in the Faculty of Agrarian Sciences, Business University, being Professor of Genetics and Biotechnology (2012–2018). In 1991 he joined the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), where he was founder and temporarily headed the Biotechnology Unit. He actively promoted and integrated the first Biosafety Committee at the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries. He led the first technical field trial of genetically-modified soybean plants in Uruguay, currently the country's main agricultural crop. He was co-editor of the first Technical Guidelines on Biosafety in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He participated, as a national delegate, in the instances that later generated the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at the United Nations. He was coordinator of the Chapter Biotechnology in the Food System, Technological Foresight Studies in Uruguay, developed under a cooperation agreement between the Presidency of the Republic and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Montevideo. He led the first project of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) in the Cooperative Program in Agricultural Research in the Southern Cone (PROCISUR-IICA). Former Director of the Association of Agronomy Engineers and the Uruguayan Association of University Professionals (AUDU), having integrated the Board of the Regional Council of Engineers in Mercosur (CIAM). He was elected by the Agronomy Engineers to integrate the General Assembly of the University of the Republic, and by the vote of all graduates University Professionals of Uruguay as Secretary of the Assembly. Former Member of the Sectorial Commission for Scientific Research (CSIC), University of the Republic, representing the Order of Graduates. He was founder and first President of the REDBIO Foundation, an NGO sponsored by FAO. He was Founding Director of Biotec Plaza SA, member of the holding company Zonamerica Business & Technology Park; and founder of the Zonamerica Foundation. He founded Nidetec, a company that was involved in all steps of the production and exportation of blueberries. He joined the private–public Blueberry Cluster, that within the framework of the Presidency of the Republic, Uruguay, developed organizational and promotional activities in the production chain of this fruit. He was Founding Director of Quiniman, The company that produced in vitro bovine embryos, and Calister, which produces microbial inoculants. He was Founder of the Union of Producers and Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables (UPEFRUY). He was a Member of the Board in the National Chamber of Commerce and Services of Uruguay. He worked for Micropagos and Facilcel, companies in the area of technologies and services for trade using digital technology platforms. He was member and President of the Rotary Club Villa Colón Melilla. He was Assistant Governor in District 4970 and Study Exchange Group Leader in 2006 to District 5500 in Arizona, USA. He is a member of the Eisenhower Fellowships. Currently, is a member of the Alumni Advisory Council.
Biotechnology in South America: trends and opportunities in Mercosur agriculture
Biotechnology in South America: trends and opportunities in Mercosur agriculture The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR for its Spanish initials) is a regional integration process in South America which involves the founder countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as full members, and Venezuela and Bolivia as having a dissimilar participation. Its territory extends over 14.869.775 km² in which diverse ecosystems coexist constituting one of the largest biodiversity reserves in the world. More of two decades of experience with commercial production using biotech crops have significantly positive contributed to the economy and social welfare. The regional area evolution and farmers adoption trends are very important, being today the largest area in the world (42% of the global area), challenging the countries’ innovation systems incorporating the academy, production, regulatory and commerce stakeholders’ efforts. The actual commercial biotech crops include soybeans, maize, cotton, sugarcane, alfalfa, potato, safflower, eucalyptus and beans. The strategic future paths include more systemic and matrix approaches, sustainable driven models with emphasis in environment, carbon balance, plants with smart traits, precision agriculture, value integrations from laboratories to markets, and bio-silica approaches. Shaping the future of agriculture must begin with the awareness on a biotech era, and continue with foresight studies, the integration of private and public efforts and resources, a prospective discovery and development strategies with clear emphasis in robust education and academic systems.