JIS News

The public is being invited to the 5th Biennial National Science and Technology Conference and Exposition at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel from November 19 to 20.

The two-day event, organised by the Scientific Research Council (SRC) under the theme ‘Science, Technology and Innovation in Business: Facilitating trade and global competitiveness,’ will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

Manager for the Information Services Division at the SRC, Kerry-Ann Curtis, told JIS News that the theme was selected to emphasise the need for the region “to ensure that we are not just importers of innovation, but that we innovate as well, treating science as a business”.

“We want to see how we can translate science from just being a laboratory-based activity in the minds of people to it being relevant and effective for trade and our lives in general,” she added.

The conference will include discussion sessions focused on nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals; investment in research and development across the region; science in solving global challenges; science education in meeting 21st century demands; and emerging technologies in health.

Miss Curtis said that one of the highlights of the conference will be the staging of the ‘Young Scientists Driving Innovation’ competition.

Winners will be recognised at the National Science and Innovations Awards to be held later in the week.

The conference will feature a keynote address by Director of Indigenous-based knowledge, technology and innovation at the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa, Dr. Aunkh H. Chabalala, who will speak about the role of traditional knowledge in supporting socio-economic development.

“We are quite aware of the importance of indigenous knowledge, even in our own Jamaican society… and how we can translate that to practical use,” Miss Curtis explained.

Dr. Charah Watson from the SRC will also present on how applied and basic research can support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Miss Curtis implored university students, lecturers and the average Jamaican to come out and be a part of the conference and exhibition.

Partners in the staging of the event are the Ministry of Science and Technology (MS&T) and the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST).