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  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Hilary Alexander, has underscored the importance of public/private partnerships in the development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the island and the wider Caribbean.
  • Such collaboration, she argued, will allow for the combining of resources in leveraging STI for the region’s progress.
  • The Permanent Secretary was speaking at the opening of an STI workshop held this morning (April 8), at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Kingston.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Hilary Alexander, has underscored the importance of public/private partnerships in the development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the island and the wider Caribbean.

Such collaboration, she argued, will allow for the combining of resources in leveraging STI for the region’s progress.

“If we can pool the resources, to some extent, to be able to share some of the research imperatives and the funding thereof, then I think we will get somewhere,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary was speaking at the opening of an STI workshop held this morning (April 8), at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Kingston.

She noted that in developing STI, policymakers in the Caribbean need to look critically at existing research and tailor these to meet the needs of the respective implementing country or region as a whole.

“We have to focus on what makes sense for this country and perhaps for the region; it is not a cut and paste situation. We are very fond…of taking something that works in another environment and picking it up and saying ‘well, it worked there, it is going to work here’. Well no, our situation is ours, our environment is particular,” she said.

Mrs. Alexander said that Jamaica recognises that STI can drive economic growth and has implemented programmes to provide support for researchers and developers.

“One of the things that we are doing is that we are not starting from scratch. We do have an innovation awards, we also have an NCST (National Commission on Science and Technology) that have been revitalised,” she informed.

The NCST’s mandate is to enable the people of Jamaica to understand the role of science and technology in their daily lives and how the disciplines can be used to provide growth, jobs, wealth and generally, a better quality of life for all.

The NCST is expected to advance research, popularise science and technology as well as make recommendations to the Government for policy action in the area.

The Commission consists of 28 members drawn from a cross section of society.

The two-day STI workshop will seek to, among other things, link the science and technology thrust to innovation and entrepreneurship.

It involves a wide cross section of representatives from the private sector; Planning Institute of Jamaica; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining; Northern Caribbean University; University of Technology; and the University of the West Indies.