Annual Reports 2006


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Annual Reports 2006

  1. 1. ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT 2006 1. Basic Data Country: Ecuador 2006 activity programme with: ESCUELA SUPERIOR POLITECNICA DEL LITORAL (ESPOL) Co-coordinating university: University of Gent Co-coordinator /co-coordinating university: Prof. Magda Vincx Co-coordinator /partner institution: Prof. Sergio Flores Period covered (actual period): April 2006 to March 2007 2. Introduction The general objectives of the programme are under the umbrella of SUSTAINABILITY being this issue important for the future. The eight projects have an emphasis on: ‘educational and research capacity building’: Project 1: Enhancement of Research Capabilities Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Serge Hoste Local Project Leader: Dr. Paúl Carrión Mero Project 2: Education Innovation in Engineering & Environmental Sciences and Research Enhancement (The CEIRE Project) Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Ronald Soetaert Local Project Leader: Dr. Enrique Peláez J. Project 3: Tools for an environmental friendly banana production in Ecuador Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Rony Swennen Local Project Leader: Dr. Helga Rodríguez Von Platen Project 4: Environmental management systems in agriculture and aquaculture (EMSAA) Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Leo Van Biesen Local Project Leader: Dr. Pilar Cornejo R. Project 5: Management techniques for a sustainable shrimp aquaculture (MATESA) Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Liliane Shoofs Local Project Leader: Dr. Julie Nieto Project 6: Applications research of non-metallic materials. Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Jan Elsen Local Project Leader: Dr. Cecilia Paredes Verduga Project 7: Entrepreneurship Development Programme. Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dirk Deschoolmeester Local Project Leader: Dr. Virginia Lasio Morello Project 8: Education & Research capabilities Development Programme for: Software Engineering, Telecommunications and Robotics. Flemish Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Guido Dedene Local Project Leader: Ir. Carlos Monsalve
  2. 2. 3. End of activity programme status per component: PROJECT 1: ENHANCEMENT OF RESEARCH CAPABILITIES FLEMISH PROJECT LEADER: Prof. Dr. Serge Hoste LOCAL PROJECT LEADER: Dr. Paúl Carrión Mero PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: M.Sc. Hernando Sánchez, Research Advisor M.Sc. Alicia Guerrero, Research Advisor Ing. Viviana Suntaxi, Assistant Parque de la Ciencia ¡AJÁ! (Representative before VLIR). M.Sc. Clara Segarra, Academic Assistant MAD. Edmundo Aguilar, Administrative Assistant Econ. Catalina Vera Moscoso, Financial Assistant Com. Ir. Johanna Ponce Chilán, Administrative Support; Coordinator of Quality Martha Campoverde, Academic Support Alexandra Falcones, Assistant of Scientific Events Diana Hidalgo, Research Projects Support Carlita Manzano, Financial Support (since March 2007) Soraya Montesdeoca Pinela, Secretary Jorge Mera, Graphical Designer Joseph Herrera, Graphical Designer Gabriel Guzmán, Technical Assistant Andres Flores, Technical Assistant Carlos Lazo Luna, Driver Nelson Carrera, Services Support. At the end of the fourth year of the second phase and the eighth year in the development of the VLIR ESPOL Programme, it is possible to affirm that Project 1 has improved and enhanced the development of the technological and scientific research of ESPOL. This has been possible due to the support of the authorities of ESPOL in the execution of the established plan in the Programme VLIR-ESPOL. ESPOL has been able to apply the suggestions of Promoter VLIR Prof. Dr Serge Hoste due to the coincidence that ESPOL was reforming its regulations. Due to the work accomplished by CICYT, the Polytechnical Council issued the following resolution: 07-02-037.- TO CONGRATULATE Dr PAÚL CARRIÓN, Director of the Scientific and Technological Research Center (CICYT), by the magnificent work fulfilled in the direction of this organism and that is reflected in the results reached at the end of the year in the Report presented to the Polytechnical Council. Project OUTPUT aimed Planned ACTIVITIES in view Responsible IMPLEMENTATION at of the output aimed at 1 A program to 1.1. Attendance to Paúl Carrión Implemented: During all promote/finance local and international conferences (8 Catalina Vera the year international for this year). networking/conference attendance is in place 2 A program providing 2.1. Call for competitive funds Paúl Carrión Implemented: During all competitive research Edmundo Aguilar the year grants to the VLIR Clara Segarra projects, and other Hernando Sanchez ESPOL researchers is Johanna Ponce operational. Martha Campoverde Program providing competitive seed grants is 3.1. Call for seed funds
  3. 3. operational 3 Groups leaded by ESPOL 4.1. First Phase of Ph.D. Paúl Carrión SENACYT, PhD’s working in multi- program continues, second Edmundo Aguilar CONESUP.CEREPS funds disciplinary programs in at phase starts. Hernando Sanchez offered the conditions to least seven thematic perform research in these areas new groups. 4 An ongoing system to 5.1. System to access Paúl Carrión In progress. access, organize and scientific information is Edmundo Aguilar The Director and General internally disseminate improved at ESPOL Vice chancellor , have a scientific information is new proposal for the established purchase of this service. 5 An ongoing 6.1. Training workshops; Paúl Carrión Implemented: During all training/coaching/mentori ESPOLciencia and Edmundo Aguilar the year ng program on proposal Production of 3 CICYT Catalina Vera writing/resource Newsletters, manuals and Johanna Ponce mobilization/scientific other printed material Jorge Mera writing is in a place. The use of internet-searches to access scientific information is stimulated. 6 CIC (Interactive Science 7.1. Construction of a Paúl Carrión Implemented: During all Center) is operational permanent exhibition area for Johanna Ponce the year model to encourage CIC Viviana Suntaxi student 7.2. Exhibits for an interactive innovation/research Science center are designed and built by students, teachers and researchers 7.3. Exhibits Maintenance. 7 Appropriate institutional 8.1. Preparation of All CICYT staff Totally implemented policies at ESPOL are guidelines/procedures See annex 10. Policies of providing incentives to Research faculties engaged in 8.11. Guidelines for career as research researcher at ESPOL. 8.1.2. Guidelines for incentives were formulated. 8 Logistic support is 9.1. Facilities of CICYT All staff of CICYT Implemented during all the provided for year implementation of the 9.2. Financial reports send to program by all projects the VLIR and approved / Activity 9.3. Activities reports sent to the VLIR on time Comparison between the planned and actual implementation of the activity programme Ten competitive projects were approved in the contestable funds VLIR-ESPOL. In the calls for projects of 2006 the total amount was assigned in only one call. In relation to attendance to international conferences, Project 1 had to make financial readjustments based on the suggestions and approval of the VLIR-ESPOL Committee for the next periods (a maximum of US$1.750, 00 will be offered per researcher since 2006). During 2006 the assistance to conferences was as follows:
  4. 4. Referring to the access to scientific information, the authorities have a new proposal that includes the participation of several research centers. In relation to scientific diffusion, it was published one number of the TECHNOLOGICAL journal and two of the RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT journal. The RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT special edition is a publication that came out of the accomplishment of the Second National Congress of Investigation, Technology and Innovation and Espolciencia Days 2006, that synthesized the historical visit of three Laureate Nobel Prizes: Ph.D. Ferid Murad, Nobel Prize in Medicine, year 1998; Ph.D. David Gross, Nobel Prize in Physics, year 2004, and Ph.D. Peter Agre, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, year 2003, that was a magnificent enhancement to the event, marking a reference-point in ESPOL, in our city and in Ecuador. ECOS 2006 was a publication with a graphical summary of the visit and reflected ESPOL experience that through the Technological and Scientific Research Centre (CICYT-ESPOL) worked arduously so that Guayaquil and Ecuador had the visit of such worthy ambassadors of science. The praiseworthy effort to create a research culture is becoming a reality that has its special impact with the Ph.D. Ferid Murad, Ph.D. David Gross, and Ph. D. Peter Agre. It is important to indicate that TECHNOLOGICAL journal is following a process with the final objective to become, in a couple of years, an indexed journal. The Technological Journal (on line and printed) each one with their respective ISSN, after fulfilling a series of requirements is indexed in Latindex, from beginning of the 2006, Directory category. At the moment both RTE are being evaluated to rise of category Catalogue. Latindex is the Regional System of Information on line for Scientific Magazines of Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. It is product of the cooperation of a network of institutions that work of coordinated way to collect and to scatter bibliographical data on produced regular scientific publications in the region. The potential users of Latindex are all those that use, interchange and generate published scientific information in the region, as they are: the investigators, educational, students, administrators and planners of the scientific activity, publishing, librarians and specialists of the information. It was organized in 2006 a workshop on Scientific Scripture in English (40 hours), dictated by local professors, who are expert in the subject. It was not possible to be dictated with international professors, in reason who had their agenda occupied in the planned date, as it is the case of the Prof. Paul Tewkesbury. It is to indicate that in this
  5. 5. workshop, 30% of which attended investigators were novels who collaborate in the different components from Program VLIR-ESPOL, 70% rest were professors and students of the different units academic from the ESPOL. During these four years, CICYT, was part –with logistic or financial support- in 70 events of science with the participation of researchers, not only of the VLIR-ESPOL Programme, but of ESPOL as a whole, being the main event ESPOLciencia 2006 with the visit of three Laureate Nobel prizes. FUNDACYT called to aid for projects of investigation 2006, ESPOL presented 63 projects of which 42 were approved, which is equivalent to 67%. In the regional offices of FUNDACYT in Guayaquil 100 projects of investigation in the call 2006 a appeared, between which they were the 63 of the ESPOL. This indicated that we contributed with a 63% of which they appeared in the region. At national level not yet they have spread statistical of presentation of projects. The projects presented by ESPOL have their base in the projects seeds ESPOL, VLIR Competitive, tendency that not only stays in the call to projects CEREPS 2007. The Interactive Museum of Sciences: “¡AJA! Parque de la Ciencia” was re-inaugurated; an agreement with the Very Illustrious Municipality of Guayaquil was signed. The implantation by ESPOL of the system of management of quality based on the requirements of the standard ISO 9001:2000, although is not contemplated in Program VLIR, by its process of work affects all process and operations of CICYT. ESPOL has now new bylaws that reaffirm the importance of research activity; new regulations have been already approved by the Polytechnical Council. CICYT has been playing its role as the logistic support office for other Projects of the Programme, with functions of coordination and management. Justification of the differences between the approved budget and the actual expenditure There are minor differences between the approved budget and the actual expenditure. One reason was due to the fact that the events of CICYT have acquired greater importance such as the event ESPOLciencia 2006. The funds allocated to competitive projects were managed by the directors of the projects with the promoter supervision; during the implementation of these projects there were transfer of funds from operating costs to other costs. At the end of the year, the directors of the competitive projects have presented their report approved by the promoters of each project. The competitive projects approved and their budget was as follows:
  6. 6. During 2006 and with the amount not used in the calling of Competitive Funds, it was decided by the Project Leaders of the VLIR-ESPOL Programme to finance the study: Estudio del impacto del Programa VLIR-ESPOL en los profesores y estudiantes de ESPOL, the results of the research are presented in Annex 8. Regarding, the increment of the projects presented by ESPOL to national calls, there was the need to contract the services of Martha Campoverde, Alexandra Falcones, Joseph Herrera who collaborated in the administrative control of the projects, of the proposals presented, of the development of the competitive and seed projects and collaborating in the updating of the data bases of CICYT based on the participation of researchers of ESPOL in congress and their scientific publications. Currently the Local Promotor of the Project is presenting the proposal to the authorities of ESPOL to hire and contract permanently (tenured staff of ESPOL) services of several staff of CICYT. During 2006, these contracts were partially financed with the 5% (€2.817.75) of the total amount budgeted for competitive funds (€56.355.00). This 5% was authorized by the VLIR committee of Project Leaders to be used to improve the process of the call for competitive funds. General comments regarding the implementation of the activity programme. With the organization of ESPOLciencia 2006, which was the main event in 2006, it was necessary to make some adjustments in the planned activities. It is evident a stronger participation of CICYT in the process of doing research in ESPOL at the end of the fourth year of the Programme VLIR-ESPOL. There is a constant increment in the scientific production not only in projects but in publications, too. Statistics of this production is being developed by CICYT. The Polytechnical Council gave CICYT the responsibility of carrying out these statistics. It is worthy to mention that this statistical control was an initiative of Program VLIR-ESPOL. 1. With 42 projects accepted in 2006, ESPOL is –in the national context- considered as a reference of leadership. ESPOL at the moment has around 140 approved projects. 2. ESPOL continues as the leader in national publications. 3. International recognition in the web ranking, where ESPOL appears as one of the best 100 universities of Latin America. Additionally, ESPOL is considered amongst the 5 best Universities of the Andean countries.
  7. 7. Educational quality Project 1 keeps working on the training of researchers in order to develop the formulation of projects with research methodology, logical framework and statistics applied to research. These workshops had the participation of 150 researchers of ESPOL, these participations were reflected in proposals presented by ESPOL at national level and especially within the national calling for CEREPS funds. FUNDACYT has required CICYT to organize similar trainings for other cities of the country (Ambato, Machala, Ibarra, etc.). During 2006, ESPOL organized the II National Congress of Science, Technology and Innovation.& ESPOLCIENCIA 2006, obtaining the record of presented works. There was also a record in the participation of external researches of Ecuador. Annexes 1. Inventory of equipments, furniture and vehicules. 2. Books published with support of CICYT 3. Workshops developed with support of CICYT-VLIR 4. Activity 1.1: Assistance to International Conferences of VLIR researchers 5. Pictures of JSC2007 6. Assistance of Proffesors of ESPOL to Conferences or Workshops 7. Publications of Proffesors of ESPOL during 2006-2007 8. Results of study: Impacto del Programa VLIR-ESPOL en los profesores y estudiantes de ESPOL 9. Projects of ESPOL approved by SENACYT 10. Policies of Research
  8. 8. EDUCATION INNOVATION IN ENGINEERING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY. FLEMISH PROMOTOR SPOKESMEN: Prof. Dr. Ronald Soetaert LOCAL PROMOTOR SPOKESMEN: Prof. Dr. Enrique Peláez J. PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: • Prof. Dr. Erick Duval Co-promotor of Xavier Ochoa’s - PhD research • Prof. Dr. Wim Van Petegem Co-promotor of Xavier Ochoa’s – PhD research • Katherine Chiluiza CTI research coordinator and k. transferring • Xavier Ochoa.PhD student • Elena Fernandez Responsible of teacher training and tutor • Federico Raue SIDWeb designer and expert • Federico Dominguez IPTv designer and expert • Gonzalo Luzardo Multimedia developer and Web Master • Cristina Guerrero Videoconferencing expert and support • Enrique Guevara Multimedia programmer and support • Paulina Arevalo Graphics and multimedia designer and support • Carlos Guerrero Networking and technical support • Jimmy PizarroTechnical support • Xavier Caicedo Web designer and design support • Roberto VelezAnnalist and programmer • Gonzalo Parra System annalist • Diego Carrera Multimedia programmer and support • Juan Carlos Vizueta Annalist and programmer • José Oramas Annalist and programmer • Vicente Ordoñez Annalist and programmer • Jorge Sánchez Annalist and programmer • Galo Tobar Technical support Implementation Project output aimed at Planned activities in view of the Responsible party N = not yet implemented output aimed at If implemented, time of implementation 1. A critical mass of 1.1 Training of two staff members Enrique Peláez In progress professors and staff from CTI in web related members within technologies and Internet2. ESPOL has been developed, with the 1.2 Training of two professors in capacity for innovating education at ESPOL. Enrique Peláez In progress their educational 1.3 Training professors or practices in the instructors in the use of ICT in classroom, through the Enrique Peláez the classroom. In progress use of information and communication technologies.
  9. 9. 2. A Ph.D. student in the 2.1 To continue Xavier Ochoa’s Prof. Dr. Erick Duval & In progress area of applied ICT is Ph.D. scholarship in the area of Enrique Peláez formed to enhance the applied ICT in education. means of research, development and innovation of the use of applied ICT, as part of the critical mass for a regular educational program in ESPOL. 3. The technological 3.1 Installation & maintenance of Enrique Peláez In progress infrastructure for computer networking course content design hardware, software and and development using infrastructure for Internet 2 ICT, as well as the development at CTI. technological infrastructure within 3.2 Development of multimedia and In progress ESPOL for Internet 2 interactive components for two Enrique Peláez has been deployed. courses in semi virtual type of education or semi face to face program. 3.3 Development of interactive components for enhancing face to face teaching. In progress Enrique Peláez 3.4 Curriculum development for general courses from the engineering programs. 3.5 Continue the development of interactive components for Enrique Peláez In progress SIDWeb and e-learning to facilitate the creation, administration and support of Web sites to support the face Enrique Peláez In progress to face as well as the semi virtual programs of engineering. 3.6 Development of multimedia and interactive components for enhancing the learning environments offer to students in the face to face engineering programs. Enrique Peláez In progress 4. Adequate knowledge 4.1 Development of a virtual world Prof. Dr. Wim Van In progress and experience for the model to perform statistical Petegem & Xavier Ochoa design and analysis and their correlation development of Internet with the real world, prior to next generation type extend the model to teach applications, course probabilities. content, tele education, Enrique Peláez & Xavier virtual laboratories, 4.2 Development of a networked Ochoa In progress remote manipulation, virtual world model to 3D visualization and represent space and time simulation, has been variables and their correlation acquired. with the real world, prior to
  10. 10. extend the model to advance networks. 4.3 Applied the virtual world models within the classroom. Enrique Peláez & Xavier Ochoa In progress 5. ESPOL is part of global 5.1 To arrange for facilitating a Prof. Ronald Soetaert, Prof. In progress inter university collaborative effort with one Dr. Wim Van Petegem, networks working in Flemish or other University to Prof. Dr. Erick Duval & technology transfer, start the development of an Enrique Peláez technology innovation, Internet2 application in the area development, and of Information Technology or training through the Computer / Engineering or next generation of Science applied to teaching Internet. statistics and probabilities for non-engineering students. 6. A framework for the 6.1 Develop a survey for students Katherine Chiluiza In progress evaluation of the and professors from the integration of ICT in courses enhanced with the use Higher Education has of ICT. been identified and applied to this project. 6.2 A results report with the Katherine Chiluiza In progress evaluation and comparison of techniques used against the traditional methods. 6.3 Publishing of results from the In progress evaluation of the survey and Katherine Chiluiza technologies learned. Comparison between the planned and actual implementation of the activity programme At this stage all activities continue to be developed as planed from the last year project. Activities 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 are developed periodically during the year, and during 2006 there has been an increase in the number of professors trained from ESPOL in the area of engineering as well as from the programs that will be offered in a virtual format. Annex A1, A2 and A3, show a summary of these trainings. Activity 2.1, Xavier Ochoa is the process of concluding his research activities, the Members of his Committee have been followed the reports and it is expected to be ready for defense no later than larch 2008. Annex A4 shows a report on his status. Activities 3.1, during this year we have updated the infrastructure of the auditorium for virtual education and have included additional equipment for wireless interaction and instructor control in the front, through a touch panel and headphones. Activity 3.2, during this year project there has been 23 new courses that include multimedia components for virtual education. See annex A5 for a list of courses. In activities 3.3 and 3.4 we have continued developing multimedia components for enhancing face to face courses. See annex A6 for a report in these new developments. Activity 3.5. As part of the continuous process of improving SIDWeb, the Center has release the 3.5.1 version of the LMS that has mainly enhanced the interaction between students and tutors, as well as publishing files. See annex A7 for report.
  11. 11. Activities 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 are now in the process of been developed. Ecuador is connected to CLARA network in Santiago de Chile, this connection allow us to interconnect directly to GEANT, the advance academic backbone in Europe and ABILE – Intenet2, the advance academic backbone in the US. See annex A8 for on its status. Activity 5.1, we have been working in improving the interaction through videoconferencing, we have evaluated and tested several environments, which allow multipoint interaction, mainly taking advantage of the national and regional academic backbones, as well as the grid environment for video conference available through these networks. See annex A9 for a report in this testing. Xavier also has continued working in the Design of a Service Oriented Architecture to integrate Learning Management Systems and Learning Object Resources. SIDWeb and the ARIADNE repository have been integrated. Justification of the differences between the approved budget and the actual expenditure During this year Project 2, won 2 additional projects proposed by Federico Dominguez, and Federico Raue, which represented 5.942 Euro for the project: “IPTv Multicast”, and 6.805 Euro, for the project: “Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) using learning objects and pedagogical agents”,.(See annex A10 and A11 for the proposals, and Annex A12 and A13 for the report of the projects implemented). General comments regarding the implementation of the activity programme During this year’s project, we continue the implementation of the courses for ESPOL using the SIDWeb tool, (see annex A7 for a list of courses implemented). During this year we have also added the following functionality to the SIDWeb environment: o Improvements to the Web Editor. The Web editor in SIDWeb allows the instructor to create rich html pages (including graphics, tables, links) without the need to know HTML programming. This editor was improved to have a complete level of compatibility with the different browsers in the market and to include new function as the automatic upload of images or flash animations. o Assignment Management. Now it is easier for the instructor to review the status of delivery of the different assignments given in a course. The instructor could also grade the assignment in the system and provide feedback to the student about it. The student could also reply to that feedback. o New Examination System. Another module that has been changed is the examination module. This module is more flexible, for creating questions and, it has a new interface for taking the examination. The presentation of the statistics to the instructor was also improved. o Discussion Forums. New options and interfaces were added to the discussion groups module. A hierarchical view of the messages was developed together with a summary view of the discussion, very useful for the evaluation of the discussion by the instructor. During this year SIDWeb was actively used by 293 professors of ESPOL, and around 896 professor have been using SIDWeb in different semesters. Although, all courses include various levels of Internet related technologies and multimedia, there are several that incorporate a formal instructional model, which make them ready to be offered as virtual courses or using a distance education platform. During this year Project 2 offered 7 formal workshops on this topic. (See annex A14 for the list of participants in these workshops, and annex A15 shows the training materials used in these workshops). We have also offered 2 courses using distance education. (See annex A16 for the courses developed.) We have also developed a prototype implementing for advance networks, such as Internet2 type application, which will further be focus on improving the learning process in statistics for non engineering students. Below is a description of the activities performed and their state. 1.1 To train staff members from CTI in web related technologies and Internet2.
  12. 12. This is an on going activity that looks for creating a significant critical mass in ESPOL. (See annex A17, for the list of personnel involved in this component). 1.2 Training of two professors in education at ESPOL. During the year there has been an increase in the number of professors trained from ESPOL, not only in the area of engineering as well as from the education program. Annex A1 shows the list of professors trained, A2 and A3, show a summary of these trainings 1.3 Training professors or instructors in the use of ICT in the classroom. During this year CTI has been developing and supporting the development of multimedia materials and class content for professors, as well as training on the new version of SIDWeb. During this year there are 23 new courses developed, we have trained 293 new professors. (See annex A14 for a list of professors trained, and for a list of courses developed this year and their URL addresses). 2.1 To offer one Ph.D. scholarship in the area of applied ICT in education. During this year the Ph.D. student, Xavier Ochoa, has continued working in his research about innovative approaches to improve the tools used to create, index, share, find and reuse Learning Objects. (See annex A4 for Xavier’s Ph.D. the report). This research is been performed at the University of Leuven and the Ph.D. Promotor from this University will Prof. Dr. Erik Duval from the Computer Department of the Engineering Faculty of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven). During this year he has published 5 full papers in conferences (see annex A18 for the list of papers published). He also spent 2 months in K.U. Leuven, working at the research group of Erik Duval. 3.1 To equip the CTI with computer networking hardware and software for Internet 2 development. We have started the implementation of the environment that will be used as a common platform during the development of the Internet2 application, and that includes the implementation of technological infrastructure. (See annex A19 a list of equipment and books purchased during this year.) During this year, and thanks to the increase of the Internet bandwidth and the connection to the Advanced Internet of Ecuador (CEDIA), we were able to provide videoconference support for several courses: 1. Audio and Video Processing 2. Computer Graphics I 3. Computer Graphics II 4. Wireless Communications The videoconference infrastructure has been used also for seminars and meetings. A detailed description of all the videoconferences (date, participants, medium) is available in annex A20. 3.2 To develop course content for general courses from the engineering programs. During this year we have continue implementing and supporting the courses from the Computer Engineering Department, see annex A5 for a list of courses developed this year and their URL addresses. There have been 23 new courses that include multimedia components for virtual education. 3.3 Development of interactive components for enhancing face to face teaching. 3.4 Curriculum development for general courses from the engineering programs, and 3.6 Development of multimedia and interactive components for enhancing the learning environments offer to students in the face to face engineering programs We have continued developing multimedia components for enhancing face to face courses and curriculum development. See annex A6 for a report in these new developments 3.5 Continue the development of interactive components for SIDWeb and e-learning to facilitate the creation, administration and support of Web sites to support the face to face as well as the semi virtual programs of engineering. And, 3.6 Development of multimedia and interactive components for enhancing the learning environments offer to students in the face to face engineering programs
  13. 13. As part of the continuous process of improving SIDWeb, the Center has release the 3.5.1 version of the LMS that has mainly enhanced the interaction between students and tutors, as well as publishing files. See annex A7 for report. 4.1 To develop Internet2 type applications in tele-education through Internet 2. During this year we have continue the development of the visualization tools to allow the display of high resolution images, as well as the framework for processing the data for applications that require high computation power, and an application for interaction aver high speed networks. In order to support remote classes, we have been using Isabel, an online tool provided by redCLARA. The tools developed are allowing the instructor with a web cam to communicate with their students individually (one web cam for each students), or in a classroom setting (one web cam for the whole class). The audio and video of the instructor is broadcast to all the participants. The instructor could also give the floor to any of the participant, and in this case, the student image and sound is broadcasted to all his/her fellow students and the instructor. The tools works completely online, that is, the users do not need to download any special program to their machine. This project is in pre-prototype version but can be accessed and tried at the following URL: 4.2 To develop Internet2 type applications in the area of teaching statistics and probabilities to non-engineering students. We have started the implementation schema for the development of the application for learning statistics. To improve the learning process, we have been developing an immersive visual environment where the students could collaborate “play” to solve problems, while they are learning new skills. We have named this project SharedWorld. We are using of-the-shelf 3d games engines (Unreal Engine 2.0) and parallelization software (UTCave) to create a multi-projector screen where the world can be presented, increasing the immersion and realism sensation in the participants. The size of the screen also helps to use it not just for one participant but in a classroom setting. (See annex A21 for report on the project) To be able to give access to remote students to local laboratories, we are developing a Virtual Lab, connected to real devices to perform experiments. The main research areas in this project are how to control de devices remotely, how to design an interface that is usable by the students and how to capture data to transmit to the student. This project is in pre-prototype version but can be accessed and tried at the following URL: 5.1 To arrange for facilitating a collaborative effort with one Flemish or other University to start the development of an Internet2 application in the area of Information Technology or Computer / Engineering or Science applied to teaching statistics and probabilities for non-engineering students. As part of this activity we have applied to the AVNET Project in Europe to participate in the joint development of knowledge objects. This is an international effort with the involvement of several Universities around the World. (See annex A22, for the report of this application). 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 To elaborate an evaluation survey, write a report and publish a paper about the evaluation results of the integration of ICT in the learning - teaching dynamics, and the transferring process to other Institutions. As part of Katherine’s research a survey was deployed to evaluate both students participation in this model of learning, and the Professor approach to introduce the information technologies in the classroom through SIDWeb in ESPOL. This survey has been used for the last three semesters and it is providing the means for evaluating the training approach we are using and the quantitative assessment of the use of ICT with students. (see annex A23 for the survey form and annex A24 with the report and analysis of the data.) Institutional impact and sustainability As part of the leading role for consolidating a national academic research network, during this year the national network CEDIA started operations with a direct fiber optic link to one of the points of presence of the Latin-American network called CLARA, located in Santiago – Chile. This national network through CLARA has access to the advance academic networks of the world, consolidating our objective of been part of the international inter-university networks. (See annex 25 for a report on the CEDIA’s backbone).
  14. 14. As part of the this initiative, now we are in the process of interconnecting the groups of scientists from Ecuador with the international counterparts, to be able to participate in the regional and international initiatives for the development of applications and advance training and truly be part of the development of science and technology. As a result of Program 2, ESPOL has also started the process for the creation of a Unit in ESPOL, which will be in charge of Virtual and Distance Education. This initiative was seemed as a natural step forward within Program 2 of the VLIR project, where we were developing the expertise for distance education. Additional Activities in Collaboration with other Projects: • Digital Information Repository for CIIFEN Continuing the interdisciplinary collaboration with participants from CENAIM, Project 2 and 4 of the ESPOL-IUC programme, CTI continues the enhancing of the Epidemiological Alert System for Aquaculture (SAEMA), a system to store documents related to Climate-Health issues in the Latin American Region. One of the key features of the system is that it “learns” what documents are relevant to the systems and regularly crawls the web looking for similar documents. See annex A26 for the proposal. The system is completely in operation and can be access at: • Comunal Area Network CTI won a grant from FRIDA (Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in America) to develop a pilot installation of a Comuna Area Network. This network links small communities using an inexpensive wireless technology through Access Points and directional antennas to wide the scope of the signals. The deployment of this pilot was very successful and now ESPOL is seen as reference for the implementation of this kind of networks in the region. More details about this project could be consulted in annex A27. • Ecualocal Based on the experience that the center has gained in the development of intelligent systems, we were contracted to build the second version of Ecualocal, a system to support the decision of local authorities in 3 microregions of the coast of Ecuador. The system will advice the decision makers with solutions based on the geographical and censual information available. It will also allow for “what-if” testing using a scenario generator engine. Finally the system will bring all the functionality of a small GIS to a Web application. More information on this project could be consulted in Annex A28. Project Proposals for External Funding: CTI has been looking for external funding to developed projects. This year, the center has been very active creating project proposals to present to local and external sources of funding. A list of these proposals follows: Title Proposed to: Electronic Voting for National Elections National Election Authorities Electronic Voting for University Elections ESPOL authorities (approved) Intelligent Tutoring System using Learning Objects and VLIR competitive-funding Pedagogical Agents Acceso inalámbrico a escuelas rurales en la península FODETEL de Santa Elena The impact of collaborative tools in the research FUNDACYT competitive-funding environments IPTV as a tool for Education VLIR competitive-funding Use of Alternative energy sources for wireless FUNDACYT competitive-funding equipment at Santa Elena Peninsula Recommendation of Learning Objects inside Learning FUNDACYT competitive-funding
  15. 15. Management Systems ICT for improving public education for the Province of Fonfo Ecuador - España as a debt relief Manabí. proposal with Italy Comité Binacional as a debt relief proposal with Spain. Project 2 has also been collaborating in development of several proposals, advice activities and knowledge transferring with Projects 3, 4, 6 and 8. Educational quality During the last year CTI has consistently been training ESPOL’s professors and trainers, on the pedagogical and andragogical aspects of the technology and virtual education. CTI has also worked together with the Faculty of Humanities and Economics Sciences of ESPOL, to create a Masters Program in Education, and with the undergraduate program in Information Systems from the Electrical and Computer Engineering. (See annex A29 for a description on the educational model proposed). During this year Component 2 has published 14 papers and has participated in 11 international conferences. See annex A30 for a list of papers published in journals as well as the papers presented in several conferences. Annexes 1.1 Staff members from CTI 1.1.1 Annex A1. List of personnel involved in the project 1.2 Training of professors in education at ESPOL. 1.2.1 Annex A2. List of professors trained 1.3 Training professors or instructors in the use of ICT 1.3.1 Annex A3. List of professors trained and list of courses developed with their URL addresses 2.1 Ph.D. scholarship in the area of applied ICT in education 2.1.1 Annex A4. Xavier Ochoa’s Ph.D. report 2.1.2 Annex A18. List of papers published 3.1 To equip the CTI with computer networking hardware and software 3.1.1 Annex A19. List of equipment and books purchased during this year 3.1.2 Annex A20. A detailed description of all the videoconferences 3.2 Course content for general courses from the engineering programs. 3.2.1 Annex A5 for a list of courses developed this year and their URL addresses. 3.3 Interactive components for enhancing face to face teaching. 3.4 Curriculum development for general courses, and 3.6 Development of multimedia and interactive components for enhancing face to face engineering programs 3.3.1 Annex A6. Report on the new multimedia developments 3.6 Interactive components for SIDWeb and e-learning to facilitate the creation 3.6.1 Annex A7. Report on new version of SIDWeb. 4.1 Internet2 type applications in tele-education through advance networking. 4.1.1 URL: 4.2 Internet2 type applications in the area of teaching statistics and probabilities to non-engineering students and 4.3 Apply the virtual world models within the classroom 4.2.1 Annex A21. Report on the virtual lab project 4.2.2 URL: 5.1 Facilitate a collaborative effort with one Flemish or other University to start the development of an Internet2 application.
  16. 16. 5.1.1 Annex A22. Report on the statistics game 5.1.2 Annex A25. Report on status of CEDIA’s backbone 6.1 Evaluation survey and a report about the evaluation results of the integration of ICT in the learning - teaching dynamics. 6.1.1 Annex A23. Survey form 6.1.2 Annex A24. Report and analysis of the data. Additional Activities in Collaboration with other Projects Annex A26. Digital Information Repository for CIIFEN. Annex A28. Ecualocal Project report Annex A29. Description on the educational model proposed. Annex A30. List of papers published in journals as well as the papers presented in several conferences.
  17. 17. PROJECT 3: TOOLS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY BANANA PRODUCTION IN ECUADOR FLEMISH PROJECT LEADER: Prof. Dr. Rony Swennen LOCAL PROJECT LEADER: Dr. Helga Rodríguez von Platen. PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: Efrén Santos, Ph.D. scholar. Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory. o Oscar Navarrete, Ph.D. scholar. Proteomics Laboratory. o MSc. Ma. Isabel Jiménez, Ph.D. Scholar. Plant Pathology Laboratory. o Ing. Maria Jama; Plant Pathology Laboratory. o Mrs. Edith Quishpe Ledesma; Plant Pathology Laboratory. o Ing. Enrique Marquez Plant Pathology Laboratory- PL-480/BANARED o Ing. Jose Manuel Ruiz, Plant Pathology Laboratory BANARED o MSc.c. Mónica Villamar Aveiga; Proteomics Laboratory. o M.Sc. Sofía Korneva; Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory o Mr. Fernando Piña; Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory o Mr. Joffre Mendoza; Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory. o Ing. Omar Ruiz Barzola; Biostatistics. o Ing. Sergio Bauz. Biostatistics. o Ing. Geovanni Choez Biostatistics. o Ing. Pamela Crown Biostatistics. o Ec. Ana Armijos; Administration o Mrs. Carola Hidalgo; Administration Secretary o Mrs. Blanca Ortega Granados; Administration Cleanning o Mr. Rufino Meza Valencia; Administration Field and driver worker. o Mr. Marcelo Hidalgo Administration Greenhouse and driver worker. Introduction 2006 External Factors and Opportunities outside and inside Ecuador The quality of food, especially in terms of supplying essential vitamins and other nutrients is central to achieving food security and reducing nutrient deficiencies in Ecuador and other countries. Although staple crops provide most energy requirements, they have some deficiencies in other minerals or trace elements needed for a healthy development and living. The above discussion has interesting connotations for CIBE’s goals. The EU is implementing a requirement for all foods that are exported. In the near future, banana exporters (farmers) will need labeling of the concentration of minerals, nutrients and vitamins. In view of this requirement, CIBE is preparing a full work package for 2007. This includes sharing the experiences between banana farmers, and helping banana farmers label their product by High Pressure Liquid Cromotography (HPLC). Later in this report, we will explain the strategy that has been initiated to maintain “the quality of principal supplier” which is Ecuador. It is important for farmers to continue to be the main providers of banana in highly competitive markets. The other important issue in Ecuador under debate is the tariff of 176 Euros that the European Union imposed from January 2006 on the banana exports from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia and other Latin-American countries. Ecuador has subscribed a demand against the EU to reduce this tariff again. It was reduced already from 230 Euros to 176 Euros (USD230). Ecuador produces an average of 1,500 boxes of banana per hectare per year. It is calculated that there are 190,000 hectares of banana planted in Ecuador. This issue has prevented the celebration of the FAO Meeting on Fruits Commodities in Guayaquil programmed for 2006 where CIBE wanted an active participation. Concerning Yields, Incomes and Profits at the Organic and Inorganic farms, CIBE last publication reports the following:
  18. 18. “Over a five year period, banana yields for the inorganic farm averaged 40.9 tonnes/ha/yr which was 69% greater (P = 0.01) than the 24.2 tonnes/ha/yr for the organic farm (Table 1). However, prices over the 5-yr period for the organic fruit averaged over two times that of conventional fruit (6.9 versus 3.1 dollars per box) resulting in gross product sales the same or higher on the organic farm (8,735 versus 6,757 dollars/ha/yr; P = 0.025). Hence on an annual basis the inorganic farm was more productive than the organic farm. However, as organic fruit fetches much higher prices, the lower yield in the organic farm was more than compensated. Therefore, an average 16% higher net profit (3,485 versus 1,457 dollars/ha/yr; P = 0.023) was calculated in the organic farm compared to the inorganic farm during 2001-2005” (Jimenez, et al., 2007). There are several Certification organizations for example: ECOCERT, Naturland, BCS, SGS, Biolatina, Skal and others. There is boom of organic products and many banana farmers are seeking opportunities in Canada, Holland, Germany and Japan. In this context, CIBE has been a pioneer and visionary to work with the environmental friendly banana production since their origins in 1999. The research done by the Plant Pathology Laboratory at CIBE has a great deal of success with organic banana farmers that joined CIBE since 1999. In a recent meeting at the Wagenningen Univeristy it was clear that CIBE needed to engage in a more aggressive international cooperation research with other Universities that are working in similar fields. Here I am attaching a new opportunity that has been offered to CIBE as result of a visit to Dr. Kema Gert last February. It is important that CIBE integrates its Plant Pathology Laboratory with other biotech Units that can supplement CIBE with some analysis that are not implemented in Ecuador to solve basic and fundamental research questions. CIBE has sent a positive response to this invitation and we are waiting for a call to collaborate this new initiative. As mentioned in last years report, Mr. Simon Cañarte, one of our organic banana farmers associated with CIBE in participative research, is an important link between University and private sector strengthening forces to produce a multiplicative momentum to promote and enhance the organic banana production in Ecuador. Cañarte’s farm is an example of participative research and it is presented as a model for other local companies as PRONACA. PRONACA and other local farmers are learning from CIBE’s approach to implement the bio-fertilization method in rice and artichoke. This is an important technology transfer to many small and medium farmers in Ecuador done by CIBE jointly with Simon Cañarte. The assimilation of information assures a common interest amongst associates (bananas, cacao, rice and other crops) giving CIBE the power to call the various associations together for mutual advantage. In brief, 2006 was a year of a lot challenges and I would like to thank every one of CIBE’s members for the accomplishments done. Due to the CEREPS calls 2006 and 2007, I fiercely push everyone to write their own project. It was a hard exercise but people were proud of their achievements. This feeling elevated the moral, self-confidence and personal self-esteem of CIBE staff. Annex 1 shows for itself the work that everyone did during 2006/2007 to help CIBE to improve its income. As corollary, there are opportunities for CIBE to grow and participate in the global context of the banana business. The next pages describes the goals, achievements and approaches taken by the CIBE Direction to put CIBE on the right track to be a successful Biotechnology Center by 2012. Internal Report 2006 2006 has certainly represented a key year for CIBE. Not only because of the change in the Center’s directorship, which was effective May 1st 2005 and will end April 30th 2007, but also because of a series of events that have characterized the activities of CIBE (VLIR/ESPOL Project 3) in the course of two years of new direction and aims to achieve. It is the hope that this style of directorship may have important and positive repercussions in the years to come. As Director of CIBE, I energetically was seeking money to give CIBE the sustainability needed to conduct research in plant biotechnology whilst simultaneously seeking economic resources I had in mind 3 main priorities to fulfill in order: 1) To continue and reinforce the VLIR activities already in place and to move CIBE into the track to be one of the Plant Biotechnology Centers recognized by its academic and research excellence firstly in Ecuador and secondly in Latin America. 2) To promote and lead the association with other VLIR Projects in pursuing joint projects that give ESPOL a multidisciplinary perspective and to open the possibilities for students and staff to put together resources and knowledge. 3) To enhance the relationships with other National and International Universities and Research Centers.
  19. 19. The development of these three objectives (priorities) will be covered in this Report 2006. Priority Number one In 2006, CIBE was challenged to become a highly competitive Project among all other VLIR-Projects and within ESPOL itself. Therefore, CIBE enrolled part of its staff into a series of training courses at CICYT (Component 1) to learn how to write successful proposals. This objective had the purpose to initiate a new round of activities towards the introduction of new topics and to increase the budget of Project 3 with fresh input of money. In 2006, CIBE submitted 16 proposals alone or in association with other VLIR-ESPOL Projects or Centers. It is expected that CIBE will keep this momentum for the years to come and continue writing successful proposals. A follow-up of CIBE’s local students (Bachelors and Masters) lives is summarized here: At the local level, stronger rules imposed to master’s students under the direction of the CIBE General Director gave people the option to choose their destiny in science or business. As it was mentioned in last year’s report it was expected that 5 master students reach the goal to be graduated. Moreover, local undergraduate students were able to finish their thesis. Three of them worked analyzing biological data gathered at the field at the Plant Pathology Laboratory. They got their degrees at the ICM Faculty in Statistics. CIBE has three other undergraduate students writing their thesis. However, it seems that this is a difficult phase for students: writing. CIBE will work in the near future with students to take seminars in scientific writing. Regarding, the implementation of ISO 9000:2001 CIBE has done a stunning and overwhelming job with its internal quality committee directed by a group of talented young ESPOL professionals from the “ESPOL Quality Dept”. The adoption of a Quality Management System is always a strategic decision of an organization. We are thankful to the Rector to include CIBE in this group of Centers. The design and implementation has been influenced and discussed in their objectives internally. As result of this exercise, CIBE was re-inserted in the (Operative Strategic Plan 2007) POA 2007. The products that CIBE will provide are the research results. In other words, CIBE will use this standard to demonstrate its ability to meet customers’, regulators’, and the organization’s own internal requirements. Priority Number two: Association with other VLIR Projects CIBE took different approaches to fulfill objective number two regarding interaction with other VLIR-ESPOL Projects. For example, this year together with Component 1 (CICYT), CIBE discussed common ideas to produce a comprehensive map level number II for ESPOL’s Research and Policy (ESPOL ISO 9000:2001). In relation with Project 2, CIBE met several times with staff members of Project 2 including its Director Dr. Enrique Pelaez to implement and install a computer program that will help CIBE handle several running or finished projects (with the aim to handle the ISO 900:2001 research procedure). This request to Project 2 had two fold aims: First, to engage CIBE in the usage of modern tools already tested at CTI (Project 2), and to allow CIBE’s staff to play with this open source program which can be modified for research purposes. Work with Project 4, the Management techniques for a sustainable aquaculture, lead by Dr. Julie Nieto gained momentum. The Shrimp Breeding Program was resuscitated and today the program is running. Continuous meetings both at CENAIM and CIBE gave the opportunity to “re-start” the Shrimp Breeding Program at CENAIM. It has been one of the most fructiferous bonds between CENAIM and CIBE. Additionally, as a result of common interests, CENAIM and CIBE submitted two proposals to the CEREPS Funding calls. One for the 2006 titled “Molecular characterization of microorganisms in banana and shrimp soils: A Millennium Contribution to screen biodiversity”. For the 2007 CEREPS call, CENAIM and CIBE elaborated a proposal under the direction of Dr. Sam Stern, CENAIM Director, about the “Tilapia prolactin 1 (prl 1) promoter associated with differences in prl 1 gene expression and the growth response of salt-challenged fishes”. Work with Project 5, lead by Dr. Pilar Cornejo has brought important results for both Projects. Firstly, is the “Guayaquil Declaration” where a group of leaders some years ago made the decision to give ESPOL tax money to do research. However, this is not working and an action to revive this document has to be done. Secondly, a work related to clean water in agriculture and irrigation were addressed with implications for banana farmers and other stakeholders.
  20. 20. Work with Project 6, just began in the last month by the interest in Nano-biotechnology a novel field of research that integrates physics, biology and biotechnology to understand and unveil the biological structures at the atomic level. Prof. Fernando Montalvo, who would like to study the incredible structure of Musa textilis Nee, has approached CIBE for collaborative projects. The abaca-banana is a shrub whose leaves are held on a pseudo trunk with extremely long, fiber-reinforced and interwoven leaf stems. To finish the list of joint Programs, is the work with Project 8. CIBE represented by PhD student Maria Isabel Jimenez together with Dr. Carlos Monsalve and Dr. Boris Ventimilla of Project 8 joined efforts and wrote a proposal for CEREPS 2006, that was not accepted, but the proposal has been reviewed and resubmitted for the CEREPS 2007. The project deals with bio-images to detect early stages of the black Sigatoka disease. In this way, CIBE has interconnected knowledge, resources and human capacity with other VLIR Projects to maintain an active multidisciplinary research Program. A very positive aspect of the year 2006 has been the enhancement generosity of the Rector of ESPOL who will provide CIBE with new equipment. A complete table of the equipment requested by CIBE is in Annex 2 and it is expected that CIBE members will benefit from the training courses and hands-on use of these machines to pursue research and teaching. Priority Number three The generosity of the “Honorable Concejo Provincial del Guayas” provided CIBE with a brand new Perkin Elmer High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and two UPS. This new equipment will offer CIBE the possibility to detect and quantify vitamins, proteins, lipids, aminoacids, etc. The idea with the HPLC is to provide services to the farmers who want to label the nutritional value of their foods for the EU requirement certifications. CIBE is planning a full course on HPLC. Members of CENAIM, ICQ and PROTAL are invited. An additional contact was made last year with the University Particular of Loja (UTPL). Dr. Swennen and Dr. Rodriguez were invited to visit the biotech facilities and programs. Other important external contact of CIBE has been with the IFAR virtual library in topics related biotechnology. IFAR is a source of free information and CIBE is using this virtual library continuously. Here are the links provided to CIBE: Biblioteca Virtual del CGIAR: Publicaciones en español del IFPRI Links with the productive banana sector: Project PL-480 directed by the PhD student Maria Isabel Jimenez installed in 4 different farms bio-fermentors to produce liquid fertilizers that supply banana plants with a nutritional composition that allow banana shrubs to produce exportable fruits. In addition, it has been observed that these liquid fermented organic products help to reduce the black Sigatoka attack. More results about this topic are in the articles that were submitted and others in preparation. Comparison between the planned and actual implementation of the activity programme Planned activities in view Responsible Implementation Project output aimed at of the output aimed at party N = not yet implemented 1. Intermediate Result: Local gene bank developed and new M. Jimenez Some Plants were transferred to varieties tested Simon Canarte´s farm 1.1. Gene Bank 1.1.1. Maintenance of local M. Hidalgo Implemented (continuing gene bank (ESPOL) working)
  21. 21. H. Rodriguez 1.1.2. Maintenance of M. Hidalgo Implemented (continuing Calcutta 4 plants to obtain working) flowers for plant tissue culture 1.2. Multisite clonal 1.2.1. Agronomic evaluation M. Jiménez Implemented evaluation of resistant of 1st ratoon genotype FHIA 23 (Under M. Jama agronomic parameters) (Valencia, Palenque, Taura) E. Márquez R. Meza 1.2.2. Agronomic evaluation M. Jiménez Implemented of mother plant (Baba, Naranjito, Pasaje) M. Jama E. Márquez R. Meza 2. Intermediate Result: evaluation and management of black M. Jimenez Sigatoka disease 2.1. Multisite clonal evaluation 2.1.1. Black Sigatoka M. Jiménez Implemented of resistant genotype FHIA 23 evaluation of 1st ratoon (Under Phytophatological M. Jama aspects) (Valencia, Palenque, Taura) E. Márquez R. Meza 2.1.2. Black Sigatoka M. Jiménez Implemented evaluation of mother plant M. Jama (Baba, Naranjito, Pasaje) E. Márquez R. Meza 2.2. Plant nutritional status vs. 2.2.1.Study of presence of M. Jiménez Implemented Paper number 1 of M. fijiensis infection aggressiveness of organic Maria Isabel Jimenez and inorganic M. fijiensis M. Jama populations E. Márquez R. Meza M. Quishpe 2.2.2. Evaluation in vivo and M. Jiménez Implemented. Paper Number two in vitro of biofertilizer on M.
  22. 22. fijiensis development M. Jama of Maria Isabel Jimenez E. Márquez R. Meza 2.2.3. Study of the effects in M. Jiménez Implemented. Paper Number vivo and in vitro of three of Maria Isabel Jimenez micronutrients on black Sigatoka severity 2.2.4. Molecular P. Chong Finished. The new CEREPS fund characterization of M. fijiensis should allow to continue this populations from organic and H. Rodríguez activity. inorganic farms Y. Vivanco (CENAIM) 3. Intermediate Result : Tissue culture technologies for S. Korneva molecular tools 3.1. Embryogenic cell 3.1.1. Production of S. Korneva Implemented suspensions embryogenic cell suspensions from Calcutta 4 J. Mendoza (continuing work) and Williams. F. Piña 3.1.2. Cryopreservation of Cell Suspensions M. Quishpe 4. Intermediate Result: Proteomic tools for the study of plant - H. Rodriguez M. fijiensis interaction 4.1. Installation of 2D 4.1.1. Evaluation of nutritional H. Rodriguez In progress together with electrophoresis equipment status on banana leaves CENAIM ESPOL. CIBE dropped the idea to buy a new 2D machine. 4.2. Evaluation of plant 4.2.1. Development of 2D M. Villamar In progress extracts isolated from leaves electrophoresis for proteins against M. fijiensis extracted from leaves and fungal isolates 4.3. Regulatory mechanisms O. Navarrete In progress in foliate biosynthesis 5. Intermediate Result: Molecular tools developed for the H. Rodriguez identification and manipulation of genes involved in plant defense mechanisms (Local activities) 5.1. Molecular 5.1.1. Characterization of one M. Mancero Finished AA genomes. characterization of mutants mutant and phylogenetic
  23. 23. (Incomplete activity) analysis of genomes AA and H. Rodriguez BB genomes were not completed BB 5.2. Genetic transformation E. Santos Implemented 5.3. Establishment of cDNA 5.3.1. Screening for E. Santos Implemented technology luciferase activity 5.3.2. Isolation and molecular E. Santos Implemented characterization of putative promoters 5.3.3. Functional testing of E. Santos Implemented promoter activity in transgenic plants 5.4. Genetic transformation E. Santos In stand-by. No Biosafety with cell suspensions regulations in Ecuador approved. produced at CIBE S. Korneva 5.5. Import of transgenic E. Santos In progress not depending of plants for evaluation of ESPOL. The Ministry of gene/promoter identification H. Rodriguez Environment is the competent authority to allow imports of GMO. Actual implementation of the activity programme Activity 1. Local Musa bank to study black Sigatoka resistance Subactivity 1.1. Gene bank The Musa collection for the black Sigatoka research has been maintained with some problems as technical staff. However, the agronomic activities are being carry up by the ESPOL administration. Two groups of plants belonging to Calcutta 4 are being maintained. One group is growing in a banana farm located at Taura, Guayas province. The farmer does all agronomic practices and CIBE members collect the flowers for research activities. The second group of plants is located at ESPOL and they are maintained as the germoplasm bank. Subactivity 1.2. Multisite clonal evaluation of resistant genotype (FHIA 23) The agronomic and harvesting activities were concluded. Mother plant and first generation of FHIA 23 were evaluated to know the agronomic and sanitary expression of this Musa material at different environmental conditions of Ecuador. The objective of this sub-activity was to study the behavior of the vegetative material without fungicides applications because the material is tolerant to the black Sigatoka disease. The results showed that this Musa genotype responded with stability overall environmental sites. The grouping of the environments where the FHIA 23 grew is divided in two sectors. This answer means that the environments that have similar conditions had the same discriminatory capacity with this genotype for both plant generations. Activity 2. Evaluation and management of black Sigatoka disease
  24. 24. Subactivity 2.1. Multisite clonal evaluation of resistant genotype (FHIA 23) Following the same methodology to measure black Sigatoka severity index was evaluated and the analysis showed that the environments had the same discriminatory capacity to select the plants with tolerance or susceptibility to the disease expression. The conclusion of this activity is that the same hybrid FHIA 23 (the genetic make-up) in interaction with different environments produce different phenotype responses. Subactivity 2.2. Plant nutritional status vs M. fijiensis infection During this year three work-packages were development to study the effects of nutritional status on bananas plant and black Sigatoka disease. The study was based in the application of micronutrients and organic products transformed by anaerobic fermentation. These products are the key in the organic banana production system. They provide nutrients to enhance the plants growth and also help to control (slow down) the life cycle of M. fijiensis the causal agent of black Sigatoka. The results of this activity are contained mainly in the first publication accepted at RenewableAgriculture and Food System. Organic banana production in Ecuador: its implications on black Sigatoka development and plant - soil nutritional María Isabel Jimenez et al., Renewable Agriculture and Food status. 2007 System 2.2.1. Study of presence and aggressiveness of organic and inorganic M. fijiensis population This work package was concluded. Results of this activity are also contained in the publication mentioned before. 2.2.2. Evaluation in vivo and in vitro of biofertilizer on M. fijiensis development The results showed that the organic products had a 100% of inhibition over M. fijiensis colonies and mycelium in vitro conditions. The results of these experiments will be included in paper number 3 and 4 of Maria Isabel Jimenez. These papers are in preparation. 2.2.3. Study of the effects in vivo and in vitro of micronutrients on black Sigatoka severity. Concentrations of micronutrients directly affected the fungus mycelium development. The mycelium fungus inhibition increased as the product concentration increased. The fungi recovered from the highest concentration had irreversibly affected (Fig. 5). At greenhouse conditions, the foliar area was directly affected by the spraying of potassium silicate. The foliar area was increased when the product was applied through the roots. Again, the highest concentrations were negative for the development of this studied parameter. 2.2.4. Molecular characterization of M.fijiensis populations from organic and conventional farms. This activity is finished with the master thesis of Pablo Chong. Next is the summary of his thesis. It is of world interest to find effective forms to control the black Sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, one of the most devastating diseases which attacks the Genus Musa spp. The present study is focused on the population genetics analysis of different populations of M. fijiensis extracted from organic and conventional banana plantations. Present analysis found that there was a small number of alleles per loci an average of 3.6 alleles were found. Organic populations were closer to the wild population. Instead, populations obtained from conventional plantations were more distant and were grouped in different clusters with the organic populations. Combined results suggest that there is an enormous gene flow among populations. The implication of this result means that over time alleles that carry the trait of fungicide resistant may increase in frequency over wild populations replacing the wild alleles with the mutant allele. This fact will have a large impact on all banana plantations that may acquire with time the resistant allele.
  25. 25. Activity 3.1.1. Production of embryogenic cell suspensions from Calcutta 4 and Williams This activity is implemented; however, an additional activity was added to cryopreserve these embryogenic cultures to be used in future experiments for E. Santos. These activities have required more tests to standardize the technique of cryopreservation of cell suspensions. Presently, we are working on the protocol following the INIBAP technical guides 5 and 8 (“Crioconservación de germoplasma de Musa” and “Suspensiones de celulas embriogenicas de banano y platano,” correspondingly). In addition, it is relevant to mention that it has been very difficult to obtain good quality of embryogenic cell suspensions from Calcutta 4, but we are working to improve our few results. Williams’s cell suspensions are less fragile materials and tolerate better the handling. Embryogenic callus of Williams were obtained from male flowers and scalps. Between 5-8 months after the first planting of male flowers in a medium with 1-2 mg of 2,4D callus were obtained. Calluses were put in liquid medium with ZZ (1mg/l 2,4 D) 80 rpm and natural light. Medium was changed each 3-5 days during the first month and then, it was changed bi-weekly. To confirm that we have embryogenic cell suspensions, part of the suspensions were sub- cultured in solid medium RDI without any growth regulator. Cryo-preservation of Williams embryogenic cell suspensions: Cell suspensions produced embryos that develop into plants. This confirmation allowed continuing to cryo-preserve part of the cell suspension. Therefore, cell suspension of 3-4 months of age was pre-treated during one hour with different cryo-preservants (saccharose, DMSO, and ethylenglycol) to prevent cell damage. Later, 1 ml of the cell suspension was put into the cryo-tubes and lowered the temperature to minus 40. This procedure was done slowly and temperature was lowered degree by degree. Finally, tubes were submerged in liquid nitrogen. After one hour in liquid nitrogen, cell suspensions were thaw and sub-cultured in a MS semi-solid medium and no growth regulators. Activity 4.1. Project 3 dropped totally the idea to install a 2D- machine. Project 5 lead by Dr. Julie Nieto has acquired the equipment and we will be able to use it when standardizations of protocols for isolation of banana proteins are ready. Finally, sub activity 5.1. Molecular characterization of mutants was slightly modified in sub activity 5.1.1. by Characterization of one mutant and phylogenetic analysis of genomes AA and BB. During the screening of germplas only one mutant was found and has been differentiated. The mitochondrea DNA analysis showed that this mutant could have a different sequence in their DNA and therefore, the DNA fragment was amplified and sent for sequencing. One single replacement in the sequence was found but it is necessary to screen all other accessions to check for the exact site of mutation. In this sub-activity one of the master’s students that was working in this activity dropped the Program. Therefore, this activity is incomplete. We have not screened the BB genomes. Sub activity 5.5 is being delayed because there is no legislation in Ecuador concerning transgenic plants. Stand-by activity. Institutional impact and sustainability Within the scope of VLIR´s overall programme, one of the most important impacts that CIBE got this year was the training of all its staff in scientific writing to prepare successful proposals. This exercise will provide CIBE in the future to get the sustainability because each person that belong to CIBE staff has its own resources and Projects to conduct research towards the same objective to produce in Ecuador friendly bananas. Regarding results, the most important results were obtained at the Plant Pathology lab where the bio/fertilizers are investigated. The demonstration in vitro, in greenhouse and in the field that the liquid bio-fertilizers with other complements fully supplement the nutritional demands of banana plants to produce fruits of export quality; and also helps to control black Sigatoka were the most relevant ones. Other important results were obtained at the Biostatistics Laboratory where two innovative projects were conducted: the Data Mining Project that allow CIBE to maintain a large database of all data obtained is an important tool of work. In addition, the WAP technology that will allow taking data in real time and then sending it by mobile devices and making decisions in the field simultaneously.
  26. 26. Certainly, the educational and training program that CIBE has in conjunction with farmers gives CIBE a top place in training people. Topics regarding organic amendments, biofertilization and biopesticides are strengths of CIBE. The idea of growing bananas free of agrochemicals was a dream several years ago. Today, at least 3 different large certified organic banana growers are working with CIBE in their certifications and during all year around. CIBE also has taught farmers how to read the damage of the black Sigatoka disease in the field, good management practices and the early warning system is implemented. CIBE has created a human capacity building and locally recognized by other Universities. For instance, students from “Escuela Superior Politecnica del Ejercito” (ESPE) Biotechnology Department, comes every year for a visit. Also, several students from Mechanic Engineering at ESPOL come every year to pursue their undergraduate thesis. Recently, University of Babahoyo has requested CIBEs help for training teachers at the plant tissue culture lab where we are supporting the biotechnology at Ecuador level. Visitors of many nationalities and backgrounds come to CIBE monthly to visit the installations and seeking for banana and Sigatoka information. Research was mainly focused on: (i) The Sigatoka disease control using different approaches biofertilizers / biofungistatic (ii) Basic phytophatological and genetics studies on the causal agent of the disease, (iii) Applicable results over epidemiological diagnosis and fungicide sensitivity, (iv) Basic molecular analysis to study the defense mechanisms of the plants against fungi, functional genomics and transformation as results for long term uses, (v) Incursion in new technologies to strength the capacity on biodiversity conservation. Training stressed on: (i) The continuation of 3 PhD students involved in the VLIR programme, (ii) Local M.Sc. programme. (iii), undergraduate thesis of Agronomy and Aquaculture 5 students (iv), Permanent agro-biotechnology forum and organic agriculture linked to growers 2 Workshops (v) Workshops for university students as well as for technical staff 1 Workshop (vi) Participation in the formation of the university students (3 full courses were offered by CIBE members: Omar Ruiz, Maria Isabel Jimenez and Helga Rodriguez (vii) regular seminars in the Laboratory to update knowledge (viii) Regular participation of CIBE in Congress, Seminars, Workshops and International Courses. Extension capacity: (i) Functional network for banana farmers to cover different edapho-climatic conditions of the coastal region, BANARED (ii) Development of participative research group linked to small banana farmers for the control of Black Sigatoka and balanced nutrition with emphasis on organic agriculture. The topic of biofertilization and biopesticides is also a priority of CIBE´s agenda (PL-480). This will be of paramount importance in extension capacity. General comments regarding the implementation of the activity programme The financial support of the activities comes directly from Rectorate in ESPOL. Rector Moises Tacle is increasing the salaries of all CIBE’s members by a 20% in recognition of work. Some other funds are obtained with competitive VLIR projects, tax donations, etc. Finally, CIBE should help the Bio-Diversity to develop the Millennium Development Goals concerning the study of several aspects of agricultural biodiversity that sustains humans. Under this view the development of the concept of “friendly bananas” and using microorganisms to improve the health and quality of banana soils, definitively will contribute to position CIBE as one of the contributors in Ecuador. Summary Over the last year CIBE has focused its efforts in fulfilling the activities and goals determined by the VLIR-ESPOL Project 3. Some of the activities were not fully finished, but positioning CIBE on the track to being a plant biotech Center leader in Ecuador was one of the most important goals completed. CIBEs staff has gained in spanish writing skills, organization and planning. It is expected that the concept of ISO quality gives CIBE the opportunity to gain more Projects and to provide public services to help CIBE attain economic sustainability in the near future. Educational Quality Other teaching activities of CIBE members: MSc. Maria Isabel Jimenez taught “Usage of bio-products for disease management” to undergraduates of FIMCP at ESPOL.
  27. 27. Ing. Omar Ruiz taught “Basic statistics for Engineering” to undergraduates of ICM at ESPOL. Ing. Jose Manuel Ruiz taught “Water Quality” to undergraduates of FIMCE at ESPOL. Additionaly, Dr. Helga Rodriguez von Platen, attended as Invited Professor to Universidad de Guayaquil to teach a complete module regarding “GMOs and its impact on the environment” for the Law Master Program. Law Faculty, Environmental Law and Sustainability Development Dept. Statistics regarding Publications and thesis. CIBE produced during the fiscal VLIR-ESPOL year 2006, four publications in Peer Review Journals (See Table of Publications in Annex 2. CIBE contributed with: • 4 undergraduate approved thesis at ESPOL. • Three undergraduate proposals approved at FIM-ESPOL. One master student from the Biotechnology Program is close to graduate. Justification of the differences between the approved budget and the actual expenditure Local expenses no differences. Annexes 1. Activities 1.1. Trainning 1.2. Conferences 1.3. Proposals Submitted 1.4. Publications 2. Equipment & Furniture 2.1. Equipment Detail 2.2. Inventory 3. Books 3.1. Books List 4. Staff 4.1. Staff 4.2. Organigrama Staff 5. Workshops 5.1. Assistances 5.2. Participation 6. VLIR Evaluation
  28. 28. PROJECT 4: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN AGRICULTURE AND AQUACULTURE (EMSAA) FLEMISH PROJECT LEADER: Prof. PhD. Leo Van Biesen LOCAL PROJECT LEADER: Dr. Pilar Cornejo R. PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: • Patricia Urdiales; Administrative Technical Assistant. • Bonny Bayot; Associate Researcher • Alba Calles; Doctoral scholar. • Jorge Duque; Associate Researcher. • Sonia Guartatanga; Chief of Benthos Research. • Paul Herrera; Associate Researcher. • David Matamoros; Associate Researcher. • Luis Domínguez; Doctoral scholar. • Indira Nolivos; Doctoral scholar. • Verónica Ruiz; Doctoral scholar. • Justo Huayamave; Associate Researcher. Lawrence Massaut; Associate Researcher. • Ramón Espinel; Associate Researcher. • Fernando Arcos; Associate Researcher. • Stanislaus Sonnenzholzner; Associate Researcher. • Christian Larreategui; Assistant. • Héctor Antonio Pincay; Assistant. • Jonathan Cedeño; Assistant. • Yadira Chaguay; Research Assistant during February and March 2006. During 2004-2005 we started applying knowledge from the Chaguana river basin to the Guayas river basin, specifically the Daule river area. During the 2005-2006 period we have gone beyond our expectations. We have a signed agreement between ESPOL and the three other universities involved in the extension work: U. of Guayaquil (UG), State University (UPSE) of the Sta. Elena Peninsula, (all within the Guayas province) and the Technical University of Babahoyo (UTB). We also have a signed agreement between the Interamerican Institute for Agriculture Cooperation (IICA), and we have been working closely with the National Council of Water Resources (CNRH), especially with its Secretary, Mr. Victor Mendoza. In the international arena, the strong tides to the HELP-UNESCO program have lead to the execution of the Second International Training Course on Biomonitoring, which was held in Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil. It was funded by UNESCO-IHP through the HELP program, CAZALAC, Itaipu Binacional (the largest hydroelectric plant in the Americas) along with Project 4. And, also Jorge Duque (ESPOL) is leading now the group on Conflict Potentials to Potential Cooperation (Water) of UNESCO for Latin American and the Caribbean. M.Pilar Cornejo also belongs to the newly created UNESCO working group working on disasters, and her proposal is to work from the perspective of a “good” preservation (e.g. water) with stake-holders and decision-makers, and not coming from the general notion of disaster prevention. Implementation Planned activities in view Project output aimed at Responsible party N = not yet implemented of the output aimed at If implemented, time of implementation 1. An Environmental Tool 1.1. Development of a Set for river basin Decision Support M. Pilar Cornejo management is Systems for Leo Van Biesen developed, promoted environmental and and pilot tested (25%) sustainability