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Inventors and innovators are being asked to submit their creative work to the first biennial National Innovations Awards for Science and Technology.
Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell officially launched the competition today (July 25) at the Ministry’s Trafalgar Road offices in Kingston. The awards are targeted at the private sector companies, community groups, academic institutions and persons, who have created an original or improved on an existing concept, process, equipment or programme with long term social or economic benefit.
Entries will be judged in 10 categories: agriculture and food; education; energy; engineering; entertainment products; environmental sustainability; health and safety; information communication technology and electronics; and manufacturing; and popularization of science and technology.
Minister Paulwell noted that the innovation or invention submitted, must be in use for at least 12 months prior to submission; it must solve or significantly reduce a problem of national, regional or international importance; must result in quantifiable increased productivity, efficiency and financial benefits; must have been successfully commercialised; perform a practical function that makes life easier; display creativity and demonstrate the economic use of material locally or indigenous to Jamaica; be economically feasible, safe and environmentally friendly.
The competition is in support of government’s efforts to promote the systemic application of scientific and technical knowledge to meet the diverse and changing needs in different areas of the economy and to ultimately increase production, productivity and diversity of products.
The awards are geared mainly towards sensitizing, stimulating and encouraging stakeholders to use science and technology in their endeavours, and operations. The concept of the competition arose from the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) programme on innovation and creativity, which was launched in 1988.
The SRC will coordinate the activities surrounding the awards in collaboration with the Bureau of Standards. Application forms are available at all parish libraries, the Social Development Commission Parish Offices, the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) and the SRC headquarters in Hope Gardens, Kingston. The deadline for all entries is October 14, 2005 and the competition will culminate with an awards ceremony in November 2005.