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New STI policy by year end

Friday, October 06, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy is expected to be promulgated before the end of the year.

Senior advisor in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Trevor Forrest, said the policy aims to foster a dynamic culture of innovation and unleash more of the nation's creative potential.

“It intends to… catalyse economic development and sustainable prosperity, contributing to social transformation, empowering Jamaicans to excel in an evolving world and contribute to the global frontiers of science,” he added.

He noted that Jamaica operates in an ever-changing world “and if we are to survive, there must be a paradigm shift among Jamaicans in terms of how we position STI, which the new policy will address.”

Forrest was speaking on behalf of portfolio Minister, Andrew Wheatley, at St Joseph's Teachers' College's Research Day held at the institution's campus in St Andrew on October 5.

He said the policy is in keeping with the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which envisions a technology-enabled, knowledge-based society.
“It is meant to benefit all aspects of national development. This outcome is operationalised through what is called a Science, Technology and Innovation Sector Plan (also known as the ST&I Sector Plan and Medium-Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework) that outlines how we are going to take our society… and move ourselves to where we feel we need to be competitive globally,” Forrest noted.

He said the Ministry has already started to roll out aspects of the policy, such as the provision of free Wi-Fi service in towns across the island.

 “We've rolled out, thus far, for the year, in Half-Way Tree, Mandela Park, Devon House, and St William Grant Park in Kingston and St Andrew; Junction, St Elizabeth and Mandeville Square, Mandeville. When you are in these spaces, you are able to go online at no cost. That allows you to connect to the Internet, perhaps to do some research and to do some homework,” he pointed out.

 “What this is in aid of is providing the space and the ability to access the technology outside of school,” he added.