PIOJ Report on science, tech and innovation

Sunday, July 07, 2019

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THE Government of Jamaica invested more than $5 billion or 0.7 per cent of the total national budget in science, technology and innovation (STI) for the 2018/2019 financial year.

According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica's (PIOJ) Economic and Social Survey 2018, these investment initiatives facilitated business and product development and the enhancing of the policy framework in support of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

“Science, technology and innovation continued to play a role in driving development toward a technology-enabled, innovation-driven society, and increasing Jamaica's global competitiveness,” the report stated.

Other initiatives include expansion in the use of biotechnology, particularly in agriculture and health; boost in production and use of renewable energy and increased implementation of information and communications technology (ICT) in the public sector.

In animal husbandry — the branch of agriculture concerned with animals — the focus was on improving livestock nutrition.

“The results from experimentation with formulations from local fodder sources, using total mixed ration (TMR) technology, indicated potential for commercial production of a TMR product that could increase livestock productivity and herd size in the context of changing climatic conditions,” the report informed.

The report also indicated that STI initiatives and programmes continued to strengthen human capital for development.

“Enrolment in STI-related undergraduate degrees at the UWI, UTech, Jamaica and Northern Caribbean University increased by 1.4 per cent relative to 2017 and the number of graduates was 2, 337, with 75.3 per cent being female,” the report revealed.

STI education across higher education institutions was enhanced through the offering of 20 new and/or improved STI-related courses, which influenced Jamaica's recorded improved performance in STI indicators.

— Abbion Robinson

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