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UWI ready to 'make noise' about its research

BY FALON FOLKES
Observer staff reporter
folkesf@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 08, 2018

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THE University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona is determined to make its research impact the world.

Speaking at the institution's Research Days opening ceremony yesterday, Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles stated that The UWI has done well in research, but now has a new objective. “The challenge for us has always been how to migrate this research out of the university into the private sector, into the public sector, to generate wealth, social growth and development.”

He added: “We have always done our best. The time has come for us now to do even more to move this magnificent tradition of research out into the society, where it can impact the burning issues of the day; economic growth and transformation, and social change and social justice.”

The vice-chancellor said, too, that The UWI must apply its research to “transformation and nation-building”, as having already done 50 years of nation-building, Jamaica is in the second stage of this process.

“We now have to regroup for the second 50 years of nation-building, and the university's research will be central to this second phase. It's for this reason we have developed a new strategic plan in which the concept of alignment of academia, and its research with wealth generation, with the private sector and, of course, the public sector, is now at the centre of the strategic plan,” said Sir Hilary.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, in addressing the opening ceremony, said she was impressed with the progress, The UWI has made in its 70-year existence, particularly its research and its impact.

“I anticipate and I'm confident that, for the next 70 years and beyond, The University of the West Indies will play a bigger role in the development of the region, particularly with its keen embrace of research and innovation,” she said.

“One of the measures of the university's success is the ability to integrate theory with practical applications for the social and economic benefit of our communities, countries and region. The primary modality for achieving this is through partnerships and bringing research to life,” she continued.

The minister said the institution's research is recognised internationally, which is why the Government allocated $30 billion for research projects in the areas of indigenous knowledge and water research.

Now in its 19th year, Research Days will focus on a variety of issues including health, economics, climate change, agriculture and alternative energy. Over 100 booths will be displayed over the three-day period.

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