GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Participants in the first bi-regional dialogue (Caribbean–European Union) workshop under the EUCARINET project have called for increased investment in science, technology and innovation (STI) in the region.
The workshop participants, who included senior officials involved with STI in member states and the Dominican Republic, representatives of the relevant regional institutions and Caribbean partners in the EUCARINET project, also called for the establishment of a focal point for STI at the CARICOM Secretariat.
The one-day workshop presented an opportunity to examine the evidence with regard to the status of STI in the Caribbean, the barriers and challenges to effective STI and the priorities distilled from the various thematic and other consultations and processes engaged in during the project.
The dialogue was hosted recently at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, in conjunction with the consortium of project partners from Europe and Caribbean. It focused on addressing long-term strategies to strengthen existing cooperation in STI between Europe and the Caribbean, starting with the EU-CARINET project.
Participants also considered the recommendations of a strategy paper on STI in the Caribbean, developed under the project and specifically sought to identify how best to integrate outputs of the EUCARINET project into policy and strategic frameworks for STI in order to establish sustainability of the benefits for the development of STI in the Caribbean.
The EUCARINET project, which is a four year project now entering the final 12 months, covers cooperation on STI between the wider Caribbean and the European Union within the thematic areas of bio-economy and food security, information and communication technology (ICT), energy and health.
In addressing the opening session, Ambassador Robert Kopecky, head of the EU delegation to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and for the Dutch overseas countries and territories, noted that the dialogue could only further facilitate the exchange of information, research and related areas between Caribbean countries and Europe and urged that greater and closer links be forged with the STI stakeholders.
Diassina Di Maggio, director of the Agency for the Promotion of European Research (APRE) and coordinator of the EUCARINET project emphasised that this workshop better prepared the Caribbean to capitalise on the support to be provided by Horizon 2020, which will tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market.