March 31, 2022

PUCP Anniversary: 105 years of research, innovation and creation

Dr. AldoPanfichi, Vice-president for Research at PUCP, explains in retrospect the path of research at our University, the challenges that emerged from the pandemic, as well as the development opportunities in this new decade and the future projection.

Research at PUCP in these first 105 years

Research has been present since the beginning of the University, with committed professors; such as, José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma, a member of the Board of Trustees since 1931, among others with teaching and research vocation for arts and humanities, at first, and who are strengthening the knowledge base.

Dr. Aldo Panfichi states as follows: “We can talk about three milestones in our research training process: in 1947, with the foundation of the Riva-Agüero Institute, the first formal institution of historical research was established at our University. Then, in 1970, due to changes in internal organization, the Academic Office of Research (DAI, by its Spanish acronym) was created, a direct precedent of the Research Vice-president’s Office (VRI, by its Spanish acronym). And finally, in March 2009, with the amendment of the Statutes, the Research Vice-president’s Office was established institutionally as a significant commitment of PUCP in the formation and promotion of research”.

“We areoptimistic about our university community's ability to continue serving thecountry, as we have been doing for 105 years”.
Aldo Panfichi, Ph.D. | Vice-presidentfor Research

Challenges at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

On this matter, the vice-president tells us about four challenges posed by the University: “First, we had to provide a timely response to a critical situation by harnessing and enhancing our research capacities developed in previous years. In this way, we were able to implement projects related to emergency ventilators, oxygen plants, genomic surveillance, mental health, virtual education and public policy advice.”

Second, there were difficulties working in adverse conditions brought about by the pandemic, with high infection and mortality rates. In addition, “we had to mass-produce and manufacture emergency biomedical equipment, a practice little known in the country where most equipment of this nature is imported. Moreover, the Ministry of Health did not have regulations and protocols to obtain manufacturing licenses and the use of these technological innovations.” Finally, it was crucial to obtain the necessary resources, from donations, good will and readiness, to carry out these initiatives and raise the country during this very dramatic stage.

Hybrid Research and Learning

Research in all areas of knowledge cannot stop. “Since 2021, following strict protocols, researchers, especially from laboratories, have returned progressively as we maintain commitments with national and international entities that finance our projects. At present, we have over 200 authorized researchers for a safe return to the campus,” says the vice-president.

PUCP Professors and research

Since 2009, 1370 research projects have been conducted, out of which 10% are multidisciplinary. Of this total, 67% of the projects were supported and funded by PUCP. That is, 919 research projects with own resources, a strategic commitment of the University. The other 33%, corresponding to 451 research projects, have been funded by external sources and, out of these, 267 correspond to national funds and 184 come from foreign funding.

Projects in the areas of health, education and technology

“All projects carried out at PUCP are relevant. Currently, we are developing projects in the area of health linked to potential outbreaks of new pandemics and/or endemic diseases. Female researchers at our University focus their efforts on the Peruvian Amazon to decipher the impact of the predation of natural spaces on the population's health,” says the Vice-president for Research.

Likewise, we focus efforts on studying and mitigating the different manifestations of climate change that affect the living conditions of Peruvian society, especially its more vulnerable sectors.

In education, Dr. Panfichi emphasizes the use of technology and artificial intelligence to promote new learning methodologies in hybrid and face-to-face environments; such as the use of specialized software for the registration and processing of Andean, Amazonian and sign languages.

“As aUniversity, we are knowledge and technology builders that must be transferredto the public and private sectors to jointly produce innovations that add valueand solve problems".
Aldo Panfichi, Ph.D. | Vice-presidentfor Research

Alliances with companies

For the Research Vice-president’s Office, innovation is a commitment that allows connecting the University, companies and the State in the implementation of solutions to the demands of the country. “To date, we have worked with over 145 companies located in different economic sectors. “As a University, we are knowledge and technology builders that must be transferred to the public and private sectors to jointly produce innovations that add value and solve problems,” says Dr. Panfichi.

Promotion of Research-Creation

The promotion of activities related to Research-Creation represents a milestone in the development of artistic disciplines in Peru. Therefore, institutionally, this year we call for the First Annual Creation Project Bidding Contest to consolidate these areas of knowledge. We believe that these projects will meet international quality standards.

Anniversary of Research: 13 years of the VRI

In this post-pandemic context, the role of science and the need for new knowledge are crucial for the well-being of humanity. At PUCP, through the VRI, the commitment to research, innovation and creation is a priority. We have celebrated 13 years in this task. We are optimistic about our university community's ability to continue serving the country, as we have been doing for 105 years.


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