Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says he will be re-introducing the Youth in Innovation Awards this year.
"This year, the Innovation Awards will be restored to a place of prominence befitting the celebration of our national Jubilee,” he said, while making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on July 24.
Mr. Paulwell said the awards, which will be incorporated as a special feature of the Regional Biennial Science and Technology Conference to be held in Kingston, will be introduced "to both recognise the efforts of our young people in this area and to encourage them to think of themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs from an early age."
“The awardees will receive well-deserved media and public attention, but as a new element, we will provide access to business services and to well-needed venture capital to translate innovations into commercially feasible applications,” Mr. Paulwell pointed out.
The Minister noted that he had introduced the Innovation Awards in 2005 with the intention to raise the profile of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Jamaica, to encourage innovation and scientific investigation and to integrate science and business.
"We must simultaneously create a culture and an environment that recognises and encourages creativity, curiosity, a sense of adventure and a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom,” he said.
The Minister added that it is also his intention to make these awards an annual event.