The country’s science, technology and innovation (STI) agenda continues to advance through the application of scientific knowledge and technological innovation across various sectors.
As contained in the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) 2020 Economic and Social Survey, Jamaica launched the Hazardous Substances Regulatory Authority (HSRA), becoming the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish a full regulatory body for radiation protection and safety, and enhancing the country’s reputation regionally and globally.
“The entity is well-resourced and positioned to assist with the management and use of ionising radiation and nuclear technology… to provide tremendous benefits for many aspects of our lives and the environment,” said Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, at the launch in October 2020.
Meanwhile, two statutes and one set of regulations were passed in the Houses of Parliament in furtherance of the STI agenda. These are the Data Protection Act, 2020; the Patents and Design Act; and Electricity Regulations under the Electricity Act, 2015.
In addition, regulation of the medical cannabis industry was strengthened with a two-year authorisation granted to the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to receive, test, handle, transport and dispose of cannabis for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes, on behalf of the Cannabis Licensing Authority.
“Seven standards related to medical cannabis were also among the 40 product standards launched and promulgated during the period,” the Economic and Social Survey stated.
Meanwhile, certificates of accreditation were awarded to eight national conformity assessment bodies, including three medical entities that met the requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories (ISO 15189:2012), and five testing entities that met the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025:2017).