Facilitating the implementation of the Plan of Action from the 2015 CARICOM Science, Technology and Innovation Committee (CSTIC) High Level Meeting, titled “Strengthening and Utilizing S&T in the Caribbean”, in Grenada, which was hosted the Rt. Honorable Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada with responsibility under CARICOM for Science and Technology, requires a basic Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) infrastructure in place. Only four out of fifteen CARICOM countries have STI Policies and very few have the expertise to develop metrics and scientometric analysis techniques. Without this basic and fundamental infrastructure, effective developmental STI is indeed a great challenge.
To address this challenge, CSTIC, jointly with UNESCO affiliate, CARISCIENCE, mounted a Regional Workshop on “Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) Policy and Indicators for the Caribbean” which was held from 20-23 February, 2017 in Trinidad. This Workshop was facilitated by experts from UNESCO, Paris; the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Montreal; and carried out with the financial and technical support of the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean.
At the Opening Ceremony of this Regional Workshop, The Honourable Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Lovell Francis, delivered the Keynote Address. Mr. Ernesto Fernandez-Polcuch, Chief of the Science Policy and Partnerships Section at UNESCO, Paris, brought remarks, and later led the Workshop. As part of UNESCO’s work to strengthen national and regional science, technology and innovation (STI) systems, Mr. Fernandez Polcuch presented UNESCO’s activities to enhance STI policy instruments for evidence-based policy making, and improve gender equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Also present and part of the UNESCO team were Mr Martin Schaaper, Head of Section, Science, Culture and Communication, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Montreal, Mr Guy Broucke, Natural Sciences Specialist, UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, Kingston and the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Ms. Susan Shurland, Secretary General and her team.
This High Level Regional Workshop was attended by representatives from Barbados, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, of Education, Science and Technology ministries in the Caribbean.
We acknowledge with thanks, the support by:
- UNESCO – Paris, Montreal, Trinidad and Tobago and Kingston Offices
- The Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus (UWI)
- The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)
- University of Southern Caribbean (USC)
for the success of this Workshop.