Public- and private-sector entities are being urged to increased partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to facilitate research and innovation for economic and national development.
Minister of Culture Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the call as she addressed the opening of the UWI’s Research Days 2018 at the institution on February 7.
“Universities are an important driver of economic development. University partnerships, the world over, produce a variety of positive spillover such as impacting the relevance of research carried out in public institutions, fostering the commercialisation of public research and development outcomes,” she noted.
“The foundation of the UWI Mona’s research and development legacy is very strong and needs to be kept strong. It is the development of partnerships between the University and the Government, the private sector, public entities and other stakeholders that will prove to be a key ingredient of the emergence of efficient innovation,” she said further.
Miss Grange commended the UWI Mona leadership for staging the annual Research Days, which seeks to raise awareness of the research produced by the institution and possibly forge partnerships with businesses, government decision makers, and educators to undertake further explorations.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, said in recent years, the University has engaged with local and international leaders, scientific and research organisations, academics and policymakers, as well as regional and international governments to find solutions to pressing problems facing the society.
He said that more research is needed to generate sustainable change and development opportunities.
“Here at the UWI, we believe that robust and beneficial research does not occur in a vacuum, but is the collaboration of forward-thinking minds, geared towards solving common problems. The purpose of research is to solve problems… to improve the quality of life of our people,” he pointed out.
This year’s UWI Research Days, the 19th mounting of the annual event, is being held from February 7 to 9 under the theme ‘Powering Development through Partnerships in Research and Innovation’.
More than 80 exhibitions have been mounted, showcasing groundbreaking research spearheaded by academics and students across all five faculties at the Mona campus.
These include discoveries in the fields of economics, emergency and basic medicine, climate change, alternative energy, 3D technology, education, robotics and biotechnology.
The event is open to the public on February 8 and 9.