As climate change impacts ecosystems and economies around the world, building resilience requires a deeper and more detailed understanding of region-specific dynamic forces, as well as the investment in people to use this understanding to develop new technology for protecting communities and infrastructure. Large populations surrounding the Caribbean Sea are exposed to increased risk of loss of life, health, home, and income due to sea-level rise and more frequent powerful hurricanes.

The Caribbean Green Engine (CGE) proposes a multi-disciplinary approach to research connecting the biological, geological, chemical, and physical interactions endemic to coastal environments in order to develop technologies in renewable energy, CO2 capture, and sustainable manufacturing.

The island is an ideal location: with a historic infrastructure for manufacturing; a university system with eleven campuses and available facilities for education and technical development; key military bases; a higher unemployment rate than any state in the U.S.; and abundant wind, sun and water to harness for clean energy. Centered in the city of Bayamon, the CGE will bring together researchers from the University of Puerto Rico, Purdue University, Purdue Global, and partners to collaborate on key questions and train students, as well as generate new intellectual property and stimulate start-up formation and licensing.




The Regional Innovation Engines Development Award focuses on R&D to address coastal vulnerability and use big data to develop approaches for increasing sustainability and informing policy. The National Academy of Sciences recognizes the need to evaluate adaptive choices due to evidence supporting climate change. One approach is designing resilient coastal communities implementing green infrastructure and understanding living shorelines. The Caribbean is suitable for renewable energy alternatives, with abundant sun and wind, and efficient technology with reduced costs. New technologies can minimize greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption for electricity production. PR serves as a dynamic, living laboratory for convergence of various disciplines and proof-of-concept experiments in high-risk innovations due to its unique ecosystem.

CGE’s activity will be organized in three clusters ranging from Multi-scale Coastal Processes to Bioinspired Mangroves for mitigation of coastal erosion while capturing CO2. Each network will have individual metrics to track progress in four major areas:

1. R&D on Coastal Resiliency Value Creation: Robust data collection throughout the region on environmental inputs will be gathered, analyzed and shared to inform innovation, infrastructure development and policy.

2. Key Strategic Partnerships Value: CGE has key academic partners that include UPR system, with UPR-Bayamon (lead), Industries, Economic Development Department, DOD and existing funded ONR consortium– the Blue Integrated Partnership Consortium (FIU, Purdue, D-DEC, LIFT, Invest PR, PRTEC ) and VCs are poised to be a major economic driver for the region. An incubator Engine-4 will play a key role in accelerating new technologies from the lab to the market.

3. Workforce Development Value: CGE will develop a highly competitive, inclusive and diverse engineering workforce related to resilient renewable energy, sustainable manufacturing, and federal contracting, as well as train first responders who can provide vital services. A summer institute for coastal resiliency and climate change and a 3-days conference will engage the community while building the future workforce.

4. Startup Ecosystem and Innovation Community: CGE will promote technology transfer and the creation of new technologies related to sustainability and coastal resiliency based on the renewable energy-water nexus, microgrids, and data driven system integration, seed cohorts of startups based on CGE research within the six networks and coordinate with regional and national early-stage investors and venture philanthropists committed to economic development in the region, ensuring maximum impact of research, supporting economic growth and expanding inclusion in the ownership economy.



The Caribbean Green Engine (CGE) proposes a multi-disciplinary approach to research connecting the biological, geological, chemical, and physical interactions endemic to coastal environments in order to develop technologies in renewable energy, CO2 capture, and sustainable manufacturing. Specific goals of the CGE include:

1. Data Driven Ecosystem: Collection and analysis of data to develop and understand the dynamics of the rapidly changing ecosystem, elucidate interactions with the built environment, and develop and refine resilient technologies. We envision a scalable work platform for multiple users across institutions to access field data from a sophisticated, adaptive system of sensors for prediction of increasingly frequent devastating extreme hurricanes and incorporate AI to rapidly identify solutions.

2. Renewable Energy: A Resilient Power Grid in PR: Development of an optimally resilient power grid in Puerto Rico to support economic growth and a resilient innovation ecosystem.

3. Carbon Capture Technologies: Development of technologies to reduce wind vulnerability and capture wind energy, while also incorporating carbon-capture materials and design.

4. Workforce Development and Sustainable Manufacturing-Training: Critical to the sustainability of CGE and impact on the region is education and training. The CGE will leverage innovation in online education to maximize teamwork, virtual reality and other applicable technologies for development of next generation of online education, as well as provide robust mentorship and hands-on experience with leading researchers and industry mentors—mentorship is driver in all key areas of CGE

  • Highly skilled technical personnel for sustainable manufacturing and infrastructure development and implementation (earned via Associate Degrees & Advanced Degrees tailored for sustainable manufacturing and incorporating hands-on training in robotics).
  • A pipeline of researchers who can work across disciplines to solve complex problems (graduate students enrolled in academic partners who will gain lab experience working with senior faculty and in leading labs at multiple institutions)
  • Entrepreneurs who can bring new technologies to the public through start-ups and economic activity (provided by mentorship on company formation, funding, a network and foundation business training)
  • Front-line healthcare providers and public safety officers trained to respond to extreme climate events (provided by certificates and micro-credentials through the Purdue Global platform for online to provide customized educational programs for advanced training for a diverse workforce).

5. Applied Research & Development on Coastal Resiliency: In light of pressing issues with climate change & extreme events, the Caribbean Green Engine seeks to build a strong R&D and Innovation Ecosystem centered around coastal resiliency. We will focus on applied research to understand the interplay of physical, infrastructural, ecological, financial, and social subsystems as well as engage in education and outreach.

  • Data & Innovation: This data will also support development of wind-sun and water-generated energy, materials-structures capable of capturing CO2 emissions and sustaining major hurricanes (Category 3 to 5), and apply to sustainable manufacturing for aerospace industry that includes electric propulsion.
  • Data & Decision-Making: Data will be available for leaders to use for urban planning, first responders and policy to protect citizens, community and business investments.



Leadership Team

Key Senior Personnel





787-993-0000 Ext. 3090


Postal Address:

Urb Ind Minillas

170 Carr 174

Bayamón PR 00959-1919


Physical Address:

Centro de Estudiantes 170, 174 Rd. Minillas Industrial Park Bayamón, PR 00959



Miguel Vélez

PI Workforce,
Chancellor UPR Bayamón



Luciano Castillo
Project Director
Sr. Advisor & Visiting Scholar UPRB and the Kenninger Professor
of Renewable Energy, Purdue


Arindam Chowdhury

Arindam Chowdhury
Florida International University


Victor Claudio

Victor Claudio

LIFT U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD)

Manufacturing Innovation Institute


Asdrubal Galloza, AG Group, Mechanical Contractors Association

Rosny Jean, Florida A&M University (FAMU)

Oscar Curet, Florida Atlantic University

Sam Talman, Invest PR

LaTonia Jones,

Fernando E. Pabón Ric, Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust

Melissa Burdi, Purdue Global

Ana María Estrada, Purdue University

Mirian Velay, Purdue University

Benjamin Jaimes De La Cruz, University of Miami

Alfredo Torruella, UPR – Bayamón

Concepción Rodríguez, UPR – Bayamón

Elsie Rivera, UPR – Bayamón

Jorge Rovira, UPR – Bayamón

Fabio Alape Benitez, UPR – Humacao

Juan José Cruz, UPR – Mayagüez

Silvina Cancelos Mancini, UPR – Mayagüez

Umberto Ciri, UPR – Mayagüez

Clifford Louime, UPR – Río Piedras

José Castro, Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce


UPR Río Piedras UPR Humacao Purdue University Ohio University Florida International University Puerto Rico Techno Economic Corridor, Inc.
PI will be responsible for campus project management and reporting financial and technical progress to the lead institution, UPR-Bayamon, including supervision and mentoring of students. Project Director, will be responsible for the administrative and fiscal oversight of the grant. Also, will organize virtual and on-site workshops to give support to the creation of Startups for the Caribbean Green Engine for Coastal Resilience and Economic Growth proposal. PI, will lead some of the activities of the Central Cluster, especially the ones focused on the planning the technology testing for Converstion-to-CO2 Capture and emerging resilient sustainable materials campaigns. will help develop learning material for a new micro-certification for AI & Resilient Materials based on her research experience on resilient materials. Co-Principal Investigator, will provide direction and management for the project tasks to be carried out at UPRM, participate in the technical research and publication activities, and assist the PI in reporting requirements, and manage the data-driven ecosystem. Other personnel include a Research Assistantships for UPRM graduate student, which will work on research & development efforts in multi-scale coastal processes and assessment and design of resilient renewable energy systems in Puerto Rico. Co-Principal Investigator will design the experiments and oversee data acquisition and analysis with other team members of the Caribbean Green Engine. PRTEC Program Manager will be responsible for the incubation activities, project management and reporting financial and technical progress to the lead institution, UPR-Bayamon.