JIS News

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Scientific Research Council (SRC) today signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), which will facilitate the exchange of information and training between both organizations. The signing took place at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.
The MOU will foster improved working relations between scientific personnel and the identification and pursuit of research projects that are of mutual, national and regional interest and benefit. In addition, the agreement will support the utilization of existing equipment, capability and infrastructure by the organizations which both fall under the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology. Under the MOU, the BSJ and the SRC will also exchange meterologists and scientists and jointly sponsor events that are of mutual interest.
In his remarks at the signing, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, described the agreement as a “powerhouse partnership” and a good example of ‘joined up’ government.
“Together the Bureau of Standards and the SRC are leading the way to showing Jamaica how groups and organisations of similar interest can pool resources and personnel to assist in the development of trade,” he said, adding, “not only will they help to develop and showcase our scientific capabilities in Jamaica, but it will also create greater awareness, better understanding and much more appreciation of standards and how all these factors can positively impact on our economy”.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the BSJ, Omer Thomas said the BSJ had also signed several MOUs locally, regionally and internationally. Some of these international partnerships have been forged in Kenya, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Columbia and North America. “We intend to expose the SRC to some of these technology based institutions internationally, so that together we can move Jamaica forward,” Mr. Thomas stated.
Also expressing her approval of the partnership, Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Audia Barnett said the SRC had through its innovations, particularly in the area of food, generated millions of dollars in the public domain. “In extending our priorities beyond the national and regional borders, the Council pledges to continue to fulfill its credo, making science and technology work for you,” she said, adding that through the MOU, the SRC looked forward to providing certifiable competent personnel to service the industry.
The agreement will positively impact on the projects and activities of both agencies. These projects include the Chemical Metrology in Natural Product Actives (Supporting the Development of a Nutraceutical Industry in Jamaica).
The project aims to improve the technical and analytical competence of research scientists in the use of specialized characterization methodologies and equipment towards the establishment of standardized natural product actives. Under the project, the SRC will benefit from the training of its research scientists in the use of equipment; the development of the standardization protocols and profiles of actives from selected plants; and cross-training and networking among scientists.
Meanwhile, the BSJ will benefit through increased knowledge of chemical meterology of natural products; the use of SRC results to guide decision making that are relevant to the BSJ’s regulatory mandate; increased BSJ awareness as it relates to developing the nutraceutical industry in Jamaica; and cross-training and networking among scientists.
The second project to benefit under the agreement is the Establishment of Outposts in Rural towns and Communities. This project aims to develop programmes to take science and technology to rural towns and communities with a view to increasing accessibility, thereby creating awareness and stimulating application, particularly with respect to the use of indigenous materials. The SRC and the BSJ will benefit from enhanced capability to use science and technology to greatly transform the country’s S&T status.
The third project is the Cooperation between the SRC and the BSJ on the Quality Jamaica Project, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. This project is aimed at building the capacity of the SRC in the areas of quality management, food safety and environmental management, and to establish a pool of local consultants in these three focus areas to support the industry.

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