Science, technology and innovation takes centre stage at CARICOM

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The sustainable development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can be brought about only through the incorporation of research and development in all sectors of the economy and the appropriate development of human resources.

This was put forward by Myrna Bernard, officer in charge of the Human and Social Development Directorate at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, at the opening of the European Union (EU)–CARINET first bi-regional dialogue workshop at the Secretariat Headquarters, Turkeyen, Guyana.

The EU-CARINET project brings together a consortium of five European and six Caribbean partners and seeks to promote and support a long lasting, sustainable, multi-stakeholder bi-regional policy dialogue on science and technology and innovation.

Bernard identified a key element of the required knowledge production and management as the achievement of closer linkages among science, technology, and innovation (STI) at all levels.

She pointed out that Article 64 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas recognised the importance of research and development and in particular, the adoption of measures ‘to encourage, inter alia, inventions and innovation, and acquisition, transfer, assimilation, adaptation and diffusion of technologies in the Community’ and the promotion of ‘co-operation in research and technological development among the member states and with third states and competent international organizations.’

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.

This four-year project, which is now entering the final twelve months, has delivered, Bernard said, some important results, “which can form the basis for re-igniting the discussion around STI at the regional level and also to trigger a renewed approach to the manner in which CARICOM and the Caribbean in general, organizes to advance STI by taking advantage of opportunities and strengthen cooperation with international partners especially the European Union.”

She added, “We are hopeful that the occasion of this bi-regional dialogue workshop will form the initial step for a renewed regional level approach to science, technology and innovation.”

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