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Term Biotechnology

Any technological application (industrial or commercial) that makes use of biological systems (living organisms or their derivatives, such as cells or biological molecules) to develop or modify products or processes and achieve specific practical goals. Today, biotechnology is focused on the application of in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques and the direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles. It also includes the fusion of cells beyond their taxonomic family, overcoming natural physiological reproductive or recombination barriers. These techniques are not used in traditional breeding and selection and are what distinguish modern biotechnology from traditional biotechnology, which is mainly based on the genetic breeding of animals and plants for commercial exploitation, and on alcoholic fermentation.

In February 2005, the Instituto de Innovación en Biotecnología e Industria (IIBI) (Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology and Industry) was created in the country. Its mission is to conduct research, technology transfer and innovation and to provide technical consulting in areas important to national development, with the aim of developing products and services that may compete at an international level.1 Among the services offered by this agency, are laboratories for technical assistance and analytical testing, environmental measurements, environmental studies, training centers and testing for renewable energy. The IIBI research efforts are directed towards the food industry, the agriculture and forestry sectors, medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and the environment. In addition, the institute offers workshops and courses on different areas of biotechnology. 3

Another institution using biotechnology as a tool for industrial development and innovation is the Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) (Dominican Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Research).This state agency, which is in charge of applied research in agriculture, livestock and forestry in the Dominican Republic, manages the Laboratorio de Recursos Fitogenéticos y Biotecnología (Laboratory of Plant Genetic Resources and Biotechnology), whose mission is to develop research and provide services through the use of biotechnological techniques.2

In the educational field, the Instituto Superior de Agricultura (ISA), is the only national institution that offers a Masters degree in Biotechnology. The objective of this Masters degree program, is to create a critical mass of researchers capable of applying biotechnology to improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of Dominican families through the implementation and improvement of technologies in the agribusiness, food, agricultural and natural resources sectors.3

1. IDIAF (Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales). Sobre el IDIAF [en línea]. (Consulta: 11 feb. 2011).
2. IIBI (Instituto de Innovación en Biotecnología e Industria). Perfil Institucional [en línea] (Consulta: 11 feb. 2011).
3.Instituto Superior de Agricultura (ISA). (Consulta: 11 feb. 2011).



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Topic  BiodiversityProtected areasLegal and Institutional