The NCST has had continued collaboration with the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and other partners in executing key activities with the Month of November which is celebrated each year as S&T month. The month long activities is aimed at promoting the applications of science, technology and innovation (ST&I) as a tool for our development and our country’s growth towards achieving its vision. The NCST major collaborative focus included but not limited to:
I. National Medal for Science and Technology & Innovation Awards
This special award was granted to Dr. the Hon Henry I.C. Lowe, OJ by the Prime Minister for his outstanding contribution to scientific research, its development and application in Jamaica. The next recipient will be granted in 2016.
II. National Innovation Awards
With the support of major sponsors (Petrojam, PCJ, Lime, PetroCaribe, NFDST, Sagicor and JPSCo) eleven awards were presented in the categories of Energy, Engineering & Manufacturing, Health & Safety, ICT, Education & Popularization of ST&I, Environmental Sustainability, Agriculture, Food & Agro-processing, Youth Innovator and Other. Mr. Harlo Mayne of Maynex Technology Ltd. was the 2014 winner of this important award.
III. Venture Support
As a spin-off to the National Innovation Awards, the NCST brought together the top innovators with potential capital support. This provided meaningful exposure and a push towards commercialization of their ideas and application. Work is set to continue to garner support to provide funds.
IV. Science in the Park
A collaborative effort with the Scientific Research Council that brought together members of the general public, scientific community, private and public sector entities, government ministries, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, students and educators. There were over 40 exhibits that provided information for businesses, for students and for the general public. The exhibits showcased the latest technologies being used in the various sectors such as health, education, security, agriculture, communication and transportation. The work of local inventors and innovators coming out of the National Medal for Science and Technology and Innovation Awards, 2014 were also on display.
Whilst, the populace has to be sensitized on the relevance of ST&I, particular emphasis has to be placed on encouraging the youth to innovate and see the relevance of ST&I to their future career development. NCST anticipates that this and similar initiatives will serve to stimulate an enabling environment for innovation, entrepreneurship and wealth creation.