The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce has been on a relentless drive to improve the country’s intellectual property (IP) framework as a crucial part of the growth agenda.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the thrust has included developing and passing new legislation; modernising the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) to make it more efficient and effective; identifying, protecting and promoting IP assets; continuing education; and generally using these IP assets and systems more strategically.
He was addressing the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Book and Copyright Day Awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 24, at JAMPRO’s offices in New Kingston.
Minister Hylton said within the context of a global marketplace it is important to properly protect the creators, innovators and inventors in order for them to bring new products to market and derive the full range of benefits from their creations.
He noted that innovation, paired with entrepreneurship, will play a critical role in transforming the economy into one that is significantly more dynamic and robust.
The creative industries, he said, form an integral part of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) sector, which represents a critical pillar of the country’s growth plan.
“It is incumbent on us, as a nation, to ensure that the intellectual property of all innovations is protected. The development of an effective framework for intellectual property protection forms an important part of the effort to increase the platform to drive innovation. IP protection is about managing risk in new ventures where creativity plays a pivotal role,” he stated.
The awards ceremony was held to recognise winners of the National Integrity Action (NIA)/Ministry of Education Essay Competition. A panel discussion also took place on the issue of payola.
Sashoy Simpson of Moneague College in St. Ann emerged the national winner of the competition staged under the theme: ‘Fighting Corruption, Building Integrity in Jamaica’.
Andwayne Davis of St. Mary High school took second place, while Rajiv Bunglin of Knox College walked away with the third place prize.
The competition, which targeted sixth form students in secondary schools, was staged in support of the research and advocacy component of the teaching of Garveyism in the Ministry’s new civics programme.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter