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The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining has launched two web-based information systems geared at providing energy stakeholders with real time data.

The systems, dubbed the National Energy Information Clearing House (NEICH) and the Energy Database and Management Information System (EDMIS), were officially unveiled during a press briefing at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston on Thursday, March 21.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hillary Alexander, said both programmes were developed as part of plans to implement the Ministry’s National Energy Policy.

She said the NEICH is designed to provide up-to-date information on energy related matters to industry stakeholders. In this vein, the system will enable professionals, students and other interest groups to access real time information, prepared by numerous organisations in the energy sector via the internet.

“It will facilitate dialogue, which is something we all value,” she stated.

Additionally, the Ministry has collaborated with the University of Technology’s (UTech) Faculty of Engineering and Computing, to develop EDMIS.

This database solution and information management system is designed to strengthen the data management, analytical and planning capacity of the Ministry’s Energy Division.

“Our Ministry is (about) policy and we must be data driven in defining those policies; and we must take very good care to provide well collected, reliable data to inform decision-making and policies,” Mrs. Alexander stated.

She further remarked that these tools will together provide the Ministry with improved capabilities to be able to forward plan and make better decisions.

“(The programmes will also) enable us to take corrective action where it is necessary, to encourage dialogue, to encourage research, and to provide a framework for investment in the energy sector and renewed interest in an area that is so formative to our future development,” she said.

For his part, State Minister, Hon. Julian Robinson, noted that partnership is critical to development, while lauding the partnership involving the Ministry, UTech and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in creating the systems.

Mr. Robinson said it is even more satisfying that the systems were developed locally.

“I know we have the capacity to build world class solutions and systems right here in Jamaica and it is through the development of these types of solutions that we can solve local problems. But more importantly create opportunities that will allow us to earn (well-needed) foreign exchange for our country,” he stated.

Head of the School of Computing and Information Technology at UTech, Arnett Campbell, said the institution’s vision is to further collaborate with the Ministry to commercialise EDMIS, making it an energy data management system for the CARICOM region and beyond.

He further noted that UTech is willing and ready to forge new partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders to solve Jamaica’s energy problems.

“It is our belief and conviction that a university cannot realise its full potential until it is able to find innovative solutions to the problems of society,” he stated.

He said EDMIS is just the beginning of ventures geared at finding solutions to Jamaica’s energy problems by combining skills in computing and engineering.

The NEICH and EDMIS websites are accessible at www.neich.gov.jm, and www.edmis.gov.jm, respectively.

By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter