JIS News

Executive Director of the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), Merline Bardowell, has lauded the Organization of American States (OAS)-funded Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship project, in terms of its ability to foster and enhance innovation in technology in the region.
She was speaking at the opening of an entrepreneurs’ workshop at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston recently, to sensitize entrepreneurs about the many opportunities that exist through science, technology and innovation.
According to Mrs. Bardowell, Caribbean countries “have made few strides in documenting their success stories in business and innovation. This limits the benefits that could be derived from the sharing of experiences, the transfer of know-how and the provision of role models for younger generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
The OAS-funded project, she said, will address this deficiency and introduce entrepreneurs to the fundamentals of innovation in business and industry. The idea, Mrs. Bardowell pointed out, is to “inspire many more local and Caribbean nationals to have confidence in their own vision, creative instincts and specialized capabilities.”
The Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship project is being implemented in 10 English-speaking countries – Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, and Jamaica.
According to the NCST Executive Director, the overall aim of the project is to “facilitate the generation and dissemination of new knowledge, technology transfer and experience exchange in innovation in business”.
She pointed to plans to initiate a Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship Network to “help connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and innovative entrepreneurs, and encourage a more cooperative approach towards increasing the focus and practical implementation of innovation and foresight to advance the Caribbean.”
The entrepreneurs’ workshop, Mrs. Bardowell said, is very timely and takes on added importance given the present global financial crisis, in terms of the loss of jobs, and the closing or downsizing of businesses.
“It is critical for persons to identify and grasp opportunities to employ themselves and create additional jobs,” she stated, noting that, “we should embrace science and technology more and reduce bureaucratic procedures and regulations to make starting of businesses easier.”
The workshop was organised by the NCST, the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology (CCST) and the OAS, as a component of the Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship project.

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