Science and technology in Colombia

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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. In spite of its current internal armed conflict and economic struggle there is a growing interest about the developing of its technology in different fields. Colciencias is a government agency that supports fundamental and applied research in Colombia.


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 (FACE) 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.[1][2][3]


ARC TF Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera anchored in Cartagena.

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.[4] 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. Even though not powerful enough to be used for energy production, 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.[5]


As of 2007 Colombian medicine has been recognized as one of the most advanced in the world.[citation needed] 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.[6]

On May 20, 1994 Manuel Elkin Patarroyo received the Prince of Asturias Awards by his technical and scientific research in the development of syntetic malaria vaccine.

When the national constitution was reformed in 1991, the social security system was reformed through the implementation of Law 100, which has provided health coverage to much of the population. However, a continuing economic crisis has caused the collapse of many public health institutions and affected both the public and medical staff.[7]

Dr. Jorge Reynolds Pombo is credited with having helped in the design of the first successful internal pacemaker in 1958.


  1. Aero-News Network (February 2009). "Lancair To Provide Colombian Air Force With Training Aircraft". Retrieved 31 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Moore, Andrew (February 2009). "With new deal, Lancair is flying high". Retrieved 31 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pew, Glenn (October 2010). "Colombian Air Force Flies Lancair Synergy". AvWeb. Retrieved 11 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. (Spanish) Colombian National Armada: Sexta Patrullera de Apoyo Fluvial (sixth patroller of fluvial support)
  5. "Colombia will be the only bolivariano country with a nuclear reactor in operation"
  6. Historia de la Cirugía. Curso a Distancia
  7. La Ley 100