Business Incubators Urged To Assist Local Scientists

Story Highlights

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is calling for more business and innovation incubators to assist local scientists to convert research into commercially viable ventures.
  • He said that making these resources readily available is essential for national development.
  • Mr. Robinson was delivering the opening remarks at the first annual symposium of the Society for Scientific Advancement (SoSA) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on November 19.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is calling for more business and innovation incubators to assist local scientists to convert research into commercially viable ventures.

He said that making these resources readily available is essential for national development.

“I think there is an absolute link between science, innovation and national development…When I look at the challenges that we face as a country and how we can actually overcome those challenges (by) developing products and solutions that can earn foreign exchange, all of these are linked inextricably to science and innovation. The problems that we have generally, the solution can be found in some scientific solution,” he pointed out.

Mr. Robinson was delivering the opening remarks at the first annual symposium of the Society for Scientific Advancement (SoSA) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on November 19.

The event, a precursor to the 4th Annual SoSA Conference to be held on Friday (November 20), was attended by local and international students, scientists and stakeholders, to discuss the challenges to scientific research and development locally and internationally.

The State Minister commended the event organisers for the initiative, noting that the focus on sourcing funding for research projects is relevant.

“We have to find a way to provide the resources for scientists to be in a position to dedicate their time to coming up with those innovations and also to provide the facilities to link these scientists with what I call, the innovation,” he said.

Mr. Robinson said the incubators must play “a more active role” in working with the scientists to assist in developing research to an advanced stage so that the innovation can be marketable.

“It must get to a point where it solves a problem, to a point where it is marketable and to a point where it can make money…We as a Government are committed to providing support for moving innovation and research to the point where they become marketable and generate income from it which contributes to our overall economic growth and development,” he emphasised.

Chair for the Board of Directors, SoSA, Dr. Keriayn Smith, told JIS News that the event is important in promoting local research development initiatives locally.

“The symposium aims to examine steps that we can take to improve research progress overall to help to move research from just the laboratory out into the general public and take it further by moving the research discoveries into start-up companies for example.

“It is about how we can use what we have in Jamaica and make more of it based on collaborations (with regional and international entities),” she explained.

The annual conference, under the theme: ‘Frontiers in Therapeutic Development,’ will facilitate discussions on untapped areas and technologies for research and development.

SoSA is a United States-based organisation with the aim of promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based initiatives. It has 150 members in Jamaica and the Diaspora.

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