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  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says greater focus must be placed on innovation and science, as those areas have great potential to deliver economic growth for Jamaicans.
  • He noted that while innovations enable economic growth, they are also crucial underpinnings of all developed countries, and especially so for countries like Jamaica that are in the developing mode.
  • “They have the potential to build capacity, increase employment opportunities, and boost the earning power of our citizens. They are also important in creating the necessary linkages and synergies that will significantly aid in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” the Minister said.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says greater focus must be placed on innovation and science, as those areas have great potential to deliver economic growth for Jamaicans.

The Minister, who was addressing the 2016 National Medal for Science, Technology and Innovation Awards ceremony, held on November 16, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston, noted that when innovation and science are harnessed, there is growth without harm to the environment.

Several persons were recognised for their creativity in engineering, agriculture, education, food and agro-processing, energy, health and safety as well as other areas.

Dr. Wheatley described the awards as the “pride of a nation”, given as recognition of the value placed on scientific research.

“It is very important that we celebrate the achievements of our people, as innovation holds tremendous possibilities for the sustainable development of this country,” the Minister said.

He noted that while innovations enable economic growth, they are also crucial underpinnings of all developed countries, and especially so for countries like Jamaica that are in the developing mode.

“They have the potential to build capacity, increase employment opportunities, and boost the earning power of our citizens. They are also important in creating the necessary linkages and synergies that will significantly aid in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology in the Republic of South Africa, Her Excellency Naledi Mandisa Pandor, said her country has invested in fully funded South African Research Chairs, which attract scientists from all over the world, and Jamaicans could benefit from them.

“We have established 198 of these research chairs, and when we issue calls, I hope that scientists from Jamaica will also apply,” she said, adding that the facilities are geared at training scores of young people.

Researcher Dr. Denise Daley won the Young Scientist of the Year award, while Professor Errol Morrison received the 2016 National Medal for Science and Technology.