The Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) of the Ministry of Planning and Development collaborators UWI, EU and IDB hosted an Innovation Conference on June 27-28 at UWI’s Teaching and Learning Complex, St Augustine. The event brought together leaders in academia, private and public sector who articulated ideals for moving our nation towards active innovation.
The deliberations’ common thread was in accord with the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Beverly Khan’s sentiments, “Creativity and Innovation is Limitless.” However, it was agreed for us as a nation to attain this paradigm we must strengthen three main capacities, Academia, our National Innovation Systems (NIS) and increased Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) in Trinidad and Tobago. Duly noted by the EU and IDB representatives is the highly supportive move of the Government in ensuring policy is laid via the National Innovation Policy(NIP) that was presently within Cabinet and being driven by the Hon. Minister Camille Robinson Regis.
In response to academia’s deficit, Professor Brian Copeland, UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal stated in his speech that UWI needs to create a ‘legacy of self-sustainability’ and indicated that UWI is prepared to move academia forward in this direction. He stated in his delivery “to build this legacy, we are actively expanding the current ‘education-for-jobs’ paradigm to one that nurtures creativity and innovation.”
Government partners IDB and EU have given financial and technical support to the Government through the EU – the 11th Economic Development Funds (EDF) which is further supported through a proposed implementation action plan. IDB with the assistance of the Cambridge University has facilitated extensive Foresighting Exercises that have produced a Diversification Roadmap, hence enabling the nation to make that switch. (All documents and presentations are available via the EDAB website http://edab.org.tt).
Through the National Development Policy: Vision 2030 all links have been synchronized towards making Trinidad and Tobago a globally competitive business entity. Vision 2030 acts as a call to action for all stakeholders: Business/Private sector, Government and NGOs to work together to nurture and bring this reality to fruition. Creativity and innovation is in within our reach!