Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said that the Minister’s Award for Innovation, which will be reinstated this year, will be “far more meaningful”, with award recipients to reap significant benefits.
He said that “significant” prizes will be awarded to the category winners and the person copping the major award. He also announced benefits, which will flow from the initiative.
“What we are determined to do, this time around, is, once we have unearthed these projects, we are not going to leave them on their own. We are going to make sure that the intellectual property rights for them are safeguarded, so they have to be patented or copyrighted, as the case may be. And, also, there will be funds provided to, if it’s a new business, to establish (it), or…expand that activity,” he stated.
Mr. Paulwell, who was addressing the opening of University of Technology’s (UTech) 2nd international scientific conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston, on Tuesday (June 5), said the award, which he launched several years ago, but was discontinued, forms part of a slate of incentives which the Ministry is putting in place to encourage innovation, particularly in science and technology.
Areas of focus, he informed, include: information and communication technologies (ICT); energy; and natural products and nutraceuticals. The presentations are slated to be made during an awards ceremony set for November. He advised that UTech President, Professor Errol Morrison, will chair the steering committee, organising the event.
The three-day scientific conference is being held from June 5 to 7 under the theme: ‘Linking Science, Technology and Innovation to Economic Development’, and facilitates discussion among scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs on discoveries and innovations, and how these can positively impact social and economic development in Jamaica, and internationally.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter