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Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Science and Technology, Dr. Arnoldo Ventura, has said that the only way government could cope with risks and uncertainties was by deploying scientific approaches.He pointed out that this would bolster confidence to pursue innovations prompted by evidence-based information.
“This can go a far way to create new enterprises, ensure higher productivity, allow better environment care and favour the creation of much needed jobs and the social harmony they will bring,” he added.
Dr. Ventura was speaking at the opening of a Ministerial Round Table at a CARICOM Science and Technology Conference, being held in Trinidad and Tobago from May 10 to 13.
He said constant and often fundamental changes were the order of the day in this knowledge-led world, and to cope with these changes, expertise in the use of science and the technologies, were crucial. “Abandon this fact and we have the problems that many Caribbean territories face today,” he asserted.
“In truth and in fact today, success in all areas of life, in one way or another, depends on Science and Technology (S&T) information and insights, coming from the interpretation, analysis and application of global information flows and research results provided by local practitioners,” Dr. Ventura pointed out.
He said science must find direct expression in the resolution of social and economic needs and challenges, and universities must forge closer linkages with the productive and social sectors. However, he noted, these would not happen by themselves.
“I submit that political leadership is where all this must begin, because government is the prime supporter of tertiary education and scientific research and is responsible for the risky, but often highly rewarding innovative projects of national importance,” he said.
Moreover, he added, the private sector, in general, was not yet mature enough to confidently support medium to long term investments, such as science and technology and take the risks in using the results.
Problems with the economy, unemployment, production and productivity, trade and education, Dr. Ventura said, pointed to the need for better knowledge generation, diffusion and application systems. “There is no doubt that domestic S&T and research development are the best ways to generate the data, information and knowledge that our societies need,” he told the participants.
Dr. Ventura further stated that a successful Caribbean depended on collectively solving the chronic problem of weak S&T infrastructure and technological initiatives for development and business purposes.
He said the region must determine ways to strengthen its S&T communities and place S&T at the centre of development efforts, serving the interests of the people.

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