Science and technology in Colombia
Science and technology in Colombia refers to the development of scientific research and technological innovation in Colombia, and how these in turn affect Colombian society, politics, and culture. Colciencias is a government agency that supports fundamental and applied research in Colombia.
Research groups in science and technology
Colombia has more than 3,950 research groups in science and technology. iNNpulsa, a government body that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, provides grants to startups, in addition to other services it and institutions like Apps.co provide. Co-working spaces have arisen to serve as communities for startups large and small. Organizations such as the Corporation for Biological Research (CIB) for the support of young people interested in scientific work has been successfully developed in Colombia. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture based in Colombia investigates the increasing challenge of global warming and food security.
Some leading Colombian scientists are Joseph M. Tohme, researcher recognized for his work on the genetic diversity of food, Manuel Elkin Patarroyo who is known for his groundbreaking work on synthetic vaccines for malaria, Francisco Lopera who discovered the "Paisa Mutation" or a type of early-onset Alzheimer's, Rodolfo Llinás known for his study of the intrinsic neurons properties and the theory of a syndrome that had changed the way of understanding the functioning of the brain, Jairo Quiroga Puello recognized for his studies on the characterization of synthetic substances which can be used to fight fungus, tumors, tuberculosis and even some viruses and Ángela Restrepo who established accurate diagnoses and treatments to combat the effects of a disease caused by the Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, among other scientists.
Colombia is seventh of the eight Latin American countries to have satellites in orbit. On April 7, 2007 Libertad I (CubeSat), was sent from Baikonur cosmodrome, to orbit around the planet offering telemetry information and as a research purpose. It represents a milestone in the history of Colombia and the first step of the Colombian aerospace development.
With the establishment in Colombia of the Aeroleaver factory more than 50 years ago, and with a joint effort of the government, it was managed to develop the first Colombian airship, completely with Colombian technology and elaborated in the country, the "Sparrowhawk". At the moment Armed Forces of Colombia uses some of these airplanes, and others are of commercial use.
Colombia also builds a completely new version of Lancair Legacy aircraft for its Air Force. This is the first aircraft to be made in Colombia by the government and serves as trainer aircraft.
Colombia has one of the largest if not the largest Shipyards in Latin America located in Cartagena. It produces Fluvial Support Patrol Ships, like the ARC TF Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera which were developed by Cotecmar Co. These ships are intended to patrol rivers and littoral waters and features a helicopter deck.
The IAN-R1, which was donated by the United States and is currently located in Bogota, is a small nuclear reactor that was reactivated recently after being inactive for a few years. The IAN-R1 is used for research purposes. This reactor is used in the production of neutrons and every year it provides 4,400 samples for analysis. The electricity production in Colombia comes mainly from renewable energy sources. 69.97% is obtained from the hydroelectric generation. Colombia's commitment to renewable energy was recognized in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI), ranking among the top 10 nations in the world in terms of greening efficiency sectors.
As of 2007 Colombian medicine has been recognized as one of the most advanced in the world. The refractive surgery keratomileusis was developed by Ignacio Barraquer in 1964 in Bogotá. On January 10, 1985 Dr. Elkin Lucena performed the first successful In vitro fertilization, that allowed the birth of the first Latin American test tube baby Carolina Mendez. On December 14, 1985 the Dr. Alberto Villegas performed the first heart transplant in Latin America to Antonio Yepes.
On May 20, 1994 Manuel Elkin Patarroyo received the Prince of Asturias Awards by his technical and scientific research in the development of synthetic malaria vaccine. Dr. Jorge Reynolds Pombo is credited with having helped in the design of the first successful internal pacemaker in 1958.
Colombia ranks 22nd on the World Health Organization’s list of the best healthcare systems.  Health standards in Colombia have improved very much since the 1980s, healthcare reforms have led to the massive improvements in the healthcare systems of the country. Although this new system has widened population coverage by the social and health security system from 21% (pre-1993) to 96% in 2012, health disparities persist.
A study conducted by América Economía magazine ranked 21 Colombian health care institutions among the top 44 in Latin America, amounting to 48 percent of the total. A cancer research and treatment centre was declared as a Project of National Strategic Interest.
Colombia has begun to innovate in military technology for its army and other armies of the world; especially in the design and creation of personal ballistic protection products, military hardware, military robots, bombs, simulators and radar.
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