JIS News

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  • A Committee has been established to update the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI).
  • This was announced by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 30.
  • The Minister also pointed out that the update will reflect a joined up government approach.

A Committee has been established to update the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI).

This was announced by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 30.

The Minister also pointed out that the update will reflect a joined up government approach.

“There will be greater synergy and coordination and we will see Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) throughout all of government, with a focus on improving what we do,” Mr. Paulwell said.

“We do not expect that this effort is going to be time consuming, because we (are) just upgrading the policy,” he added.

The Minister said the aim is to popularize STI in Jamaica. “We need to get our students to refrain from thinking that science is hard and instead think that the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mining (STEM) subjects will be our ‘bread and butter’ going forward,” Mr. Paulwell said,  adding that some occupations may have to be de-emphasized and the focus shifted to those that can provide jobs for people.

In support of the Minister’s new thrust with the STI Policy, Director General of the National Commission on Science and Technology, Professor Errol Morrison, said this action  is timely,  as a logistics centred economy is on the horizon and the persons who will participate in the development of the industry will need the STEM subjects.

“We want to see a basic level of competence in these areas, which will enable them to contribute to the industry. Too often we see developmental projects needing to bring on external workforce, whilst those who are here have failed to meet the minimum requirement,” Professor Morrison said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the policy will address the rationalizing of laboratory space.

“There are many agencies of the State that have laboratories, some are underutilized or in need of upgrade. Something as basic as this we have to address,” he said.

The Committee to update the policy will be chaired by University Professor, Ishenkumba Albert Kahwa.