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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • JIPO and the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, is hosting an ‘Authentic Jamaica Design Competition’.
  • The competition is aimed at increasing the diversity, quality, and standard of products available in craft markets.
  • The creations should portray craft and design products which appeal to local and overseas buyers.

In its continued bid to promote and develop the creative industries, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), in association with the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, is hosting an ‘Authentic Jamaica Design Competition’, targeting artisans, designers, and producers within the craft sector.

The competition is aimed at increasing the diversity, quality, and standard of products available in craft markets and designated craft areas across the island, and also to promote the importance of intellectual property protection of designs.

Speaking with JIS News, Chairman of JIPO, Eugene Ffolkes, informed that the competition will not only foster creativity, but will focus on the linkage between intellectual property protection and the craft industry’s business structure and practices.

Mr. Ffolkes explained that the creations should portray craft and design products which appeal to local and overseas buyers and tourists to the island and must be identifiable with Jamaica, through the use of indigenous raw materials and encompass connections to Jamaica’s culture and history.

“The Ministry (Tourism and Entertainment) has created an authentic Jamaica Certification Mark…so persons coming to Jamaica will know that the products are actually from Jamaica,” the Chairman informed, adding that the whole idea is for visitors to get a wider mix of authentic Jamaican products and souvenirs.

Mr. Ffolkes noted that the Ministry is spearheading an initiative to establish craft markets that sell only authentic Jamaican products that bear the mark or seal, with the first such market to be set up in Falmouth.

Highlighting some of the rules of the competition, the Chairman informed that all entries must first be registered with JIPO before qualifying for competition entry and participants must be Jamaican residents.

He noted, too, that submitted designs must be original work not yet in production for commercial gain or the public domain.

Entrants’ designs can be from any of four categories – Souvenir (for example, key rings, paintings, and beach towels); Textile (use of fabrics such as cotton, denim, leather, or lace); Industrial (entries made of  materials, such as cement, metal, porcelain, and recycled materials); and Natural (use of materials, including wood, straw, coconut shells, or semi-precious stones).

In terms of judging and evaluation, the organisers will appoint a three-member judging panel per category, which will include a majority of practising craft designers and retail experts. Entries will be judged on originality and creativity; commercialization and business appeal, and economic benefits and impact.

Prizes will include cash, loan facilities from EXIM Bank, consultation and support sessions with JIPO, and the Minister’s Trophy from the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

“Everybody who enters the competition is a winner as they would have registered their designs, become exposed to the industry and gain the opportunity to benefit from a lucrative industry,” Mr. Ffolkes said.

The submission deadline is October 31 and persons may make submissions to JIPO or the offices of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).

For further information on the competition, persons may visit JIPO’s website at www.jipo.gov.jm or call 946-1300/946-0789.