- Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is calling on all state agencies to facilitate the development of innovators as the Government increases its focus on science and technology for economic development.
- She was speaking at the National Medal for Science, Technology and Innovation Awards Ceremony held on November 12, at Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
- In order to support this thrust, Mrs. Simpson Miller said her administration is pursuing greater promotion and protection of brand Jamaica.
Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is calling on all state agencies to facilitate the development of innovators as the Government increases its focus on science and technology for economic development.
“Some agencies have become too focused on their role as regulators to the detriment of their responsibility as facilitators,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She was speaking at the National Medal for Science, Technology and Innovation Awards Ceremony held on November 12, at Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
In order to support this thrust, Mrs. Simpson Miller said her administration is pursuing greater promotion and protection of brand Jamaica.
“We must make fuller use of the Jamaican brand and fully exploit our advantages. We must be more aggressive in protecting our intellectual property,” she said.
In addition, the Prime Minister noted that the Government is reviewing regulations and laws with the aim of developing a blueprint for the development of the island’s nutraceutical industry.
She informed that the process includes the registration of all stakeholders, monitoring of their practices and certifying them to international standards and quality.
“The extract of our medicinal and other plants will be harnessed and brought to market under controlled best practices. We can do it, other countries have been doing it, we can do it do,” she insisted.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister presented the 2014 National Medal in Science and Technology to noted scientist, Dr. Henry Lowe, who also received a cash prize of $1.5 million.
Dr. Lowe, who specializes in medicinal chemistry, was honoured for contribution to the fields of science and technology, energy, the environment, wellness and health sciences nationally, regionally and internationally, spanning some 50 years.
The 2014 Innovator of the Year award and $500,000 prize went to Harlo Mayne for his H2-Flex Hydrogen Hybrid Kit. The invention topped a field of 93 submissions in the awards competition developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.
Mr. Mayne was also a winner in the category of Education and Popularization of Science and Technology, along with Ricardo Allen for his invention called ‘My Locker e-Learning Platform Courses’.
Dr. Lowe also won in the Health and Safety category for his invention ‘Alpha Prostate Formula 1’ along with Dr. Curtis Green for his ‘Method of Producing Ortanique Peel Extract for Treating Hypercholesterolemia.’
Wayne Marsh won for his innovation called ‘Branditise’ in the Information and Communication Technology category; Fonseca Jack Stuart for his ‘Micro Oceanwave Generator’ in the Energy category; and Mark Bennett for his innovation called ‘Active Regulator Generator’ in the category of Engineering and Manufacturing.
In the area of Environmental Sustainability, the Construction and Resource Development Centre received the top award for an invention entitled ‘Earthquake Resistance Construction using Bamboo’.
For the Youth Innovator category, Dave Oakley received the award for his invention called ‘Crimebot’; Allison Turner won the Agriculture, Food and Agro Processing Category for her invention called ‘The Sorrel Harvesting Machine’; and Jovan Evans won for his invention entitled ‘Pump-n-Spray’.
Dr. Lowe, in the meantime, pledged to match the $1.5 million cash award received and make a donation towards a fund for the development of the island’s nutraceutical sector. He encouraged others to contribute to the fund.
The other nominees for the 2014 National Medal for Science and Technology included Clinical Scientist, Dr. Terrence Forrester; and Engineer, Dr. Gossette Oliver.
The Innovation Award was being staged for the fifth time since its introduction in 2005. It is aimed at nurturing a culture of creativity and stimulating or catalyzing innovation through the application of science and technology to drive economic growth and wealth creation.