Draft STI Policy to Be Placed Before Cabinet

Photo: Adrian Walker Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (left) listens attentively to International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Chair and Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Professor Peter Gluckman, on the first day of a two-day INGSA Caribbean Capacity Building workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on February 20.

Story Highlights

  • Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the draft of the Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Policy will be brought to Cabinet in two weeks for its consideration.
  • He was speaking at the opening of the two-day International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Caribbean Capacity-building Workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on February 20.
  • “Jamaica has to support ST&I and develop capacity to have science and technology as a critical component in the decision-making process, so that the Government will make more informed decisions based on empirical data and unleash the innovating capacity of our people,” Dr. Wheatley said.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the draft of the Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Policy will be brought to Cabinet in two weeks for its consideration.

He said that following Cabinet’s review and approval, the policy will proceed to the Parliamentary process.

He was speaking at the opening of the two-day International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Caribbean Capacity-building Workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on February 20.

Dr. Wheatley noted that the policy seeks to advance Jamaica’s economic, social and environmental agenda by ensuring that ST&I are integrated into public policy procedures.

This is in keeping with the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which envisions a technology-enabled, knowledge-based society.

“Jamaica has to support ST&I and develop capacity to have science and technology as a critical component in the decision-making process, so that the Government will make more informed decisions based on empirical data and unleash the innovating capacity of our people,” Dr. Wheatley said.

He pointed out that countries that have excelled have “invested heavily in ST&I”, and tasked participants in the workshop to put forward a proposal outlining tangible recommendations for Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

He committed to sharing the proposal with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Science, Technology and Innovation Committee to raise support for those recommendations to be implemented around the region.

“As Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we have small economies, limited critical mass and conservative markets. Nonetheless, we have to ensure that, as a region, we develop policies based on reliable data,” he said.

INGSA Chair and Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Professor Peter Gluckman, said that the organisation is showcasing the ways that SIDS and large countries can integrate science, policy and evidence to advance development.

“This is an area where the issues are real and the opportunities are enormous… . The opportunities for evidence and policy to come closer together to help countries in this region are so much,” he said.

The two-day workshop is expected to enhance the capacities of Caribbean scientists and policy practitioners to embed scientific evidence in public policymaking and create a Caribbean network of science advice practitioners that will serve as a platform for sharing best practices and deliberating on challenges and solutions.

It will also develop and share science advice principles and guidelines contextualised to the Caribbean region.

INGSA was engaged to assist in strengthening the capacities and mechanisms for providing science advice to governments of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Launched in 2014, INGSA seeks to promote and build the capacity of countries for evidence-informed policymaking.

It promotes, develops, and engages networks of practitioners, policymakers, institutions, and researchers to develop communities of expertise and interest, and to promote science diplomacy.

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