November 30, 2023

Hotel Caribe Hilton, San Juan

November 30, 2023

Hotel Caribe Hilton
San Juan




Welcome & Forward Introduction

Andreica Maldonado
Director, Research Grants Program
Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust

Opening Remarks

Eng. Lucy A. Crespo
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust


Exploring the Global Space Economy: A Comprehensive Perspective

Richard DalBello
Director, Office of Space Commerce, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce


Overview of the Space Ecosystem in Puerto Rico

José Castro Segarra
Senior Business Development Officer, Department of Economic Development & Commerce of Puerto Rico

Jose Molina
Aerospace Engineer Consultant
Co-founder, Puerto Rico Space Foundation


Highlight of the importance of teamwork, communication, and leadership in high-stakes environments like space missions.

Dr. Marla Pérez Davis
Former Director, Glenn Research Center, NASA



A Comprehensive Overview of the International Space Station National Lab’s Pioneering Research and Innovations

Ray Lugo
Chief Executive Officer
International Space Station National Laboratory

How Does Space Policy Shape the Commercial Space

Steven Wolfe
President and Co-Founder of the Beyond Earth Institute

Fireside Chat — Space-Informed Paths for Navigating Climate Change in Puerto Rico

Fernando Pabón, AIA, CAAPPR
Program Director, Caribbean Center for Rising Seas, Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust

Alejandro Mieses
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder


Microgravity Monoclonal Antibody Crystallization Experimentation

Dr. Paul Reichert
Merck Research Laboratories

Micro Satellites R&D and Manufacturing in PR

Amilcar Rincon-Charris
Principal Research Engineer, Telecommunications with Collins Aerospace in Puerto Rico

Innovation and entrepreneurship from the university

Dr. Michelle Martinez Montomayor
Associate Professor
Universidad Central del Caribe

Gian L. Ortiz Perales
Business Development Associate, Colmena66 (PRSTRT)

Valentina Pirazzi
Project Manager, SBIR-STTR Grant Program (PRSTRT)


Empowering the Future: Unveiling the Crucial Contributions of the MILO Space Research Institute and our Visionary Workforce Development Initiatives

David Thomas
Executive Director
Milo Space Science Institute

Engine 4 – NASA Project

Luis Torres
Co-Founder at Engine-4 CWS / Partner with T-mobile 5G & NB-IoT Innovation LAB Puerto Rico And US Virgin Island.

Dr. Ubaldo Córdova
Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust

Expanding the Horizons of On-Orbit Services: The New Era of Ground Stations

Dr. Axel Garcia
Research Scientist & Entrepreneur
PRatian LLC


Bridging aerospace science communication and STEM education

Ada Monzón
Founder and President, Board of Directors – EcoExploratorio, Inc.


Hon. Machelle Sanders

Secretary of Commerce, North Carolina


Networking Lunch


Poster Session



Academic Panel – Designing an Integrated Pipeline for Advancements in Science and Space Industry

Dra. Ingrid Padilla
Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Creative Endeavors, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez

Dra. Sheilla Torres
Director, TurboLab: A Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence at UPRM

Dr. Seetha Ragavan
Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. Quincy Brown
Director of Space STEM and Workforce Policy, Office of the Vice President of the United States

Disrupting Bioscience in Space: Developing Emerging Markets Through Rhodium Scientific’s Space Launch Challenge Series

Heath J. Mills, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer


Space, Climate, and Beyond: Unleashing Technology for a Sustainable Future

Dr. Miguel O. Román
Senior Director and Chief Scientist at Leidos


Panel – Navigating the Future of Puerto Rico’s Space Industry

Jorge Morales
Deputy General Manager-Pratt & Whitney Puerto Rico

Luis Ramos

P.R. Research & Technology Center Site Leader CSA COE Engineering Sr. Director Honeywell Aerospace

Pedro R. Nieves
Director Puerto Rico Center of Excellence (PRCOE) – Lockheed Martin


Coffee Break


Space for All: Bridging the Cosmic Divide for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investment

Shelli Brunswick
Chief Operating Officer
Space Foundation


Last 5 years of Puerto Rico in the ISS

Dr. Gerardo Morell
Director, NASA PR Space Grant Consortium and PR NASA


Listening for Gravitational waves…effective or not?

Dr. Wanda Díaz-Merced
AstroParticle and Cosmology (APC) laboratory at the Centre for Scientific Research, France


Paving your way to Space

Yajaira Sierra Sastre, Ph.D.
Sustaining Lunar Development (SLD) Crew Mockups Lead, Blue Origin


[Keynote] Living and Working in Space: A Journey with an Astronaut

Joseph M. Acaba
Chief of the Astronaut Office
NASA – Johnson Space Center


Closing Remarks and Poster Recognition


Closing Cocktail

About us

The Puerto Rico, Science Technology and Research Trust is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to invest, facilitate, and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ wellbeing through innovation-driven enterprises, science, technology, and public health. The Forward Summit is also powered by the Research Grants program, dedicated to providing critical source of competitive financial support for fundamental research and commercialization activities. For more information, contact

Andreica Maldonado
Program Director

Grace M. Rendón
Program Specialist