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Words at the opening of the Permanent Seminar on the Dominican Reality (SEMPER-INTEC) on the Situation of Food Safety in the Dominican Republic

On this 50th anniversary of the foundation of INTEC, in 1972, as part of the commemorative activities and inspired by its motto to celebrate these first 50 years, that of A legacy that inspires and moves us to the future, we re-launch today the Permanent Seminar on the Dominican Reality, SEMPER-INTEC.

Why do we do it?

As a university, we recognize ourselves responsible for three different roles, as Robert A. Scott, an academic who was president of Adelphi University, points out, those of curator, creator and critic.


In his role as curator, The university preserves, maintains, disseminates, disseminates and, especially, selects information and knowledge from all the intellectual and cultural production of the country and humanity to include in its training programs at the different undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, as well as of continuing education.


In its role as creator, INTEC, as a university, is committed to generating new scientific, technological and humanistic knowledge, as well as techniques, procedures and prototypes that represent, in one way or another, contributions to potential innovation via productive and service activities in society.

INTEC's commitment to scientific and academic research is inalienable and over time it has been able to give sustainability to its role in scientific, technological, humanistic and intellectual creation in general. This is how it has been and this is how it should be maintained and deepened in the next 50 years.

Now, without neglecting or resisting the pressures of the dominant paradigm of the university institutional field at an international level, INTEC, like the technology center of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, insists on the creation of knowledge and research as a two-sided, which we must approach with a Janusian approach.

A two-sided strategy that covers both research within the framework of the dominant academic paradigm as well as relevant and pertinent “applied” research, more of the type of research (basic or applied) “inspired by use” (according to Stokes )[1], as part of the R + D + i cycle.

Thus, it is about promoting and decisively supporting research in its broadest sense, including research aimed at solving problems and satisfying the practical needs of the productive sectors and the population, generating designs, techniques, procedures and formulas, improvements of processes and products, prototypes in their different stages of development, which can be exploited and transformed into different forms of innovation by private and public companies, service organizations and, in general, agents operating in the markets and in the different fields functioning of our society in general.


In its critical role, INTEC has been a space, forum, platform and agent for exchange, debate, formulation of proposals and the search for agreements around the most important issues of different order and nature, always preserving its academic, nonpartisan, pluralistic and of exclusive commitment to objectivity, the search for truth and the best solutions to national problems. Likewise, it has been a participant in scenarios and structures in which its representation has adhered to these principles and values ​​by contributing the best of its experience and capabilities.

Valuing the legacy of our first 50 years, looking to the future, we must continue to play and even expand our performance of that important role that corresponds to us as a university and as a partner in the social transformation of the country and its development in all spheres. And we must insist on doing so following Chancellor Emeritus Rhodes's recommendation that the university see "academically independent but constructively associated".[2]


Within the framework of the celebration of the 50th anniversary and, in compliance with the reasons that gave rise to INTEC, it has been proposed to resume the Permanent Seminar of the Dominican Reality (SEMPER INTEC) to make contributions to Dominican society.

3 and a half decades ago, INTEC deployed an important initiative: Permanent Seminar on the Dominican Reality. In the presentation of this initiative, Mr. Héctor Mejía Constanzo, who was regent and great collaborator of INTEC, did so in the following terms:

“SEMPER INTEC, whose development must be framed within the scope of INTEC's work, which has as its first and only aspiration in the field of research, that of an offer, of a total dedication to the Dominican nation, of its effort to contribute to the orientation and to the clarification of our problems in their dissimilar aspects of manifestation or hint.” [3]

On that occasion, at SEMPER INTEC, topics of high relevance were addressed at those conjunctural moments of national life. By addressing these issues, the INTEC academic community raised public debate and society's awareness of these issues, some of which were placed on the public agenda for the first time. Among these topics we can remember the following:

  • The directed restructuring of the Dominican economy: towards a policy to promote small and medium-sized enterprises, by Miguel Ceara Hatton.
  • Corruption as a social phenomenon in the Dominican Republic, by Héctor Mejía Constanzo
  • Dominican inflation: causes and perspectives, by/ Ramón Pérez Minaya
  • Considerations regarding the employment situation and the social policy of the State, by Isidoro Santana

Today, when relaunching SEMPER INTEC, the theme chosen for its first edition in 2022 is Food Safety.

Food Safety continues to be one of the most attended issues in recent years, not only by Governments and Regional and World Organizations [FAO, WHO], but also by private companies related to the production, processing and preparation of food. .

Food safety, for which so much is being advocated and important actions are being created at the global, regional and country levels, will not be properly addressed if its component related to safety is not properly addressed and valued. It is logical that this is the case, since the incidence of Foodborne Diseases (ETAs) is increasing, and this is only one of the problems related to food safety. There is enough data to demonstrate the transcendental nature of the subject.

However, until now the actions of the scientific community in the Dominican Republic on this issue have been very limited or isolated. Attention has been focused on problems when they arise, not on aspects related to monitoring, prevention and control.

If a search is made of the last ten years, on the scientific publications on this subject, in the Dominican Republic, the results are surprising: extremely scarce.

What do we want?

The purpose of dealing with this issue at SEMPER-INTEC is to create a space for debate and exchange to carry out a critical (constructive) analysis of the impact of the problem of food safety in all settings, from health to the economic life of the country.

To address this important issue, INTEC academics have prepared a document with a proposal to be submitted for analysis and debate by important actors from the government and private sectors. 

The leadership in the preparation of this document and proposal has been in charge of Professor Luis Maroto. Professor Maroto, with a doctorate in applied biological sciences, is a specialist in microbiology and disease diagnosis,

With this document, INTEC academics synthesize their position on one of the neuralgic issues that is on the discussion table of all countries, food security, and within this specifically food safety. At the same time, the proposal invites collaboration and cooperation for the development of research applied to the area of ​​food safety, through the creation of the Dominican Food Safety Research Network (REDIIA) and the National Food Safety Observatory ( ONIA).

As a proposal, this document is submitted to a plural and edified debate, which begins with the participation of prominent panelists who honor us with their contribution. They are Pedro de Padua, representing the General Directorate of Medicines, Food and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health, María de Lourdes Núñez, coordinator of the INTEC Logistics and Transport Engineering career and sector coordinator of Trade Facilitation and Logistics of the National Council of Competitiveness, Braulio Rodríguez Villavizar, General Manager at Rodemsa, SAS and Carlos Ariel Castillo Vicioso, specialist of the Department of Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture.

With your contribution, as well as that of each of those present, in the discussion tables, we will submit this proposal to validation and enrichment, so that, if we conclude with a document and a proposal that is improved and, thus, accepted, with the collective intelligence of diverse wills and expertise, but encouraged to make ours a better nation, then we can feel that we have made an important contribution.

Thanks to everyone who, in one way or another, has allowed us to get to this SEMPER-INTEC session. Deeper thanks to all who will help us arrive at a better proposal. Our promised thanks to those who will contribute to making this proposal a reality. That is what SEMPER-INTEC is all about, with which our university offers this open space, for discussion and cooperation, for the search for consensus in the diagnosis and proposals for solutions to issues and problems of national interest, with the only limit of preserving ourselves as “constructively associated, but academically independent¨

Thank you very much. 

[1] Stokes, D. (1997). Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Washington, DC: Brooking Institution Press.

[2] Rhodes, FHT (1999) The New University, in: Challenges Facing Higher Education at The Millenium, Chapter 17, edited by Werner Z. Hirsh and Lue E. Weber. Washington, DC: The American Council on Education and The Oryx Press.

[3] Mejia Constanzo, Hector B. (1986).  Corruption as a social phenomenon in the Dominican Republic  : Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Department of Permanent Education and Scientific Dissemination: Permanent Seminar on the Dominican Reality SEMPER-INTE . Mime.