Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Policy will play a critical role as the country recovers from the coronavirus (COVID -19).
“This policy seeks to foster a culture of innovation among our people, which is necessary to take us into the future,” she noted.
Minister Williams was speaking during the final day of the virtual public consultation on the ST&I green paper held on Tuesday (June 30).
The two-day session, hosted by the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), sought to facilitate private- and public-sector input on the draft policy.
These suggestions will be reviewed with a view for inclusion in the final document, which will be submitted to Cabinet for approval before it is tabled in the Houses of Parliament.
Minister Williams said the ST&I Policy is part of a larger mandate to strengthen the country’s policy framework and the popularisation of science among citizens.
“It seeks to facilitate the development of ST&I as part of our culture and our economy, promote increased production of value-added products, increase the number of local patents being registered and promote the development of a local innovation and science-driven sector that is expected to employ a significant number of persons,” she noted.
Minister Williams said that the objective is to integrate science and technology into all aspects of national development.
She commended the NCST, the Ministry’s policy planning and evaluation division and various stakeholders from the public and private sectors “who have collaborated and worked assiduously to get the ST&I Policy to this stage”.
The ST&I Policy seeks to advance Jamaica’s economic, social and environmental agenda by ensuring that ST&I are integrated into public policy procedures, and is in keeping with the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which, among other things, envisions a technology-enabled knowledge-based society.