CMU opens centre for digital innovation

Friday, November 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) has officially opened a new Centre for Digital Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing and named it in honour of Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley.

The unit, which is located at CMU's Palisadoes Park in Kingston, is called the Dr Andrew Wheatley Centre for Digital Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing. The official opening took place on Wednesday, November 15.

The centre is the home of the most sophisticated fleet of Fused Deposition Modelling (FRM) 3D Printers in Jamaica and will also house research and development on designing (R&D) and building drone technology and 3D laser scanning.

It is the first and only innovation centre in the English-speaking Caribbean that will facilitate R&D aimed at digital transformation.

Dr Wheatley in his address said he is pleased that the institution in Jamaica, which was most recently accredited as a university, has decided to formally recognise him by naming their newest department in his honour.

“I am really and truly humbled to be accorded the exceptional privilege of this Centre being named in my honour. I have also taken a keen interest in the Caribbean Maritime University, because I see this institution playing a key role in the current and future development and growth of our region, not just Jamaica,” he said.

“For the first time in the Caribbean, we have a Centre that will not only facilitate digital innovations, but will also position us on the cutting edge of industrial development,” Dr Wheatley added.

He thanked the organisations that have partnered with CMU for the operations of the Centre, including the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, German Ship Repair Jamaica, J Wray and Nephew Limited, and Jamaica Energy Partners.

The centre will be headed by Executive Director, Erica Simmons, who has spent two decades in the enterprise software industry, focusing on innovative software technologies at Siemens AG Digital Factory Software Division in the United States, where she led business development and marketing. Simmons said the Centre will seek to attract talented student designers, creators and engineers and will be available to students, faculty and industry practitioners who want to utilise additive manufacturing for co-innovation in a research-based environment.

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