Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says increased and innovative use of science and technology will be the vehicle to propel Jamaica’s growth and development, and lift the country out of its current economic challenge.
Speaking at the opening of the University of Technology’s (UTech) 2nd international scientific conference, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on June 5, Mr. Paulwell contended that the nation’s development will not advance adequately, unless there is “total pre-occupation” with the incorporation of science and technology in innovations.
“Recently, I had to lament that in many of our large businesses, we are not seeing enough focus on science, research and development. That ought to be a pre-requisite for businesses to survive in this day and age,” the Minister said.
Mr. Paulwell cited mining as one area in which science and technology needs to be incorporated in order to add greater value to it. Noting that Jamaica’s topography is 90 per cent limestone, he argued that this raw material has not been adequately harnessed in order to enhance its value, and extract optimum outputs.
He underscored that this can be achieved by incorporating science and technology, and urged stakeholders to consider this option.
Mr. Paulwell also emphasised that science and technology will be pivotal in addressing the country’s energy problem, and that in the medium term, the country should be able to access lower priced energy.
The Minister said given its portfolio areas, his Ministry is ideally equipped to play a significant role in enabling national growth and development, and facilitate job creation
“We do take this responsibility very seriously. And, we are quite focused on those elements in the Ministry that must deliver in science and technology. If we are able to achieve that and get the entire population fixed on adding value to everything that we do, then that is where the growth will come, to see us through these difficult times,” Mr. Paulwell said.
The three-day conference, being held from June 5 to 7 under the theme: ‘Linking Science, Technology and Innovation to Economic Development’, will facilitate a forum for discussions 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