PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – The Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office held a signing ceremony to launch the new project “Digital Innovations for Sustainable Environmental and Economic Recovery” in Trinidad and Tobago.
The project aims to strengthen Trinidad and Tobago’s Intellectual Property (IP) and innovation ecosystem to support small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) in leveraging digital technologies that drive innovation, competitiveness and growth and that contribute to sustainable environmental and economic recovery.
This initiative is framed within the IDB’s Vision 2025 pathway for an economic recovery, which includes digital transformation as a way to maximize the contribution of the private sector to the country’s recovery. In addition, this is aligned with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IDB, IDB Invest and the UWI signed in December 2021 which established digital transformation and inclusion as a priority area for expanded collaboration by the institutions. Under the MOU, the commitment was made to pursue joint research, initiatives, and exchange to help drive economic and social recovery and growth in region.
Professor Brian Copeland, Principal of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus emphasized that,
“The UWI is focused on developing and nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship via its Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) Ecosystem within the University and beyond, by connecting academia to industry, policymakers and decision-makers. The elements of the Ecosystem are the Faculties where ideation and initial concept development take place, an Entrepreneurship Unit that provides business development, training and mentorship, the St Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (StACIE) R&D that provides support through sourcing project funding and facilitating IP Development & Management. Critically, StACIE is responsible for connecting the various arms of academia with industry, policymakers, and decision-makers. It serves as the portal to UWI Ventures Limited (UVL), a UWI subsidiary that, inter alia, serves as a holding company for UWI Spinoff companies.”
According to Country Representative for Trinidad & Tobago, Carina Cockburn,
“Digital innovations hold great potential for transforming the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. The IDB Group is proud to partner with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) and the UWI to take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy to increase resiliency and to support post-covid economic recovery.”
This new project through a technical cooperation grant is in line with IDB’s Vision 2025 – Reinvesting in the Americas: A Decade of Opportunities, to achieve recovery and inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the areas of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the digital economy. Public and private institutions that support innovation and intellectual property ecosystem will benefit.
The technical cooperation grant will be implemented by the University of the West Indies with support from the Trinidad and Tobago IPO. The IDB congratulates our partners in the effort. For further information contact IDBtrinidad@iadb.org.