UWI urged to do greater researchWednesday, February 01, 2017
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona is being encouraged to undertake greater research and innovation that will assist in spurring higher levels of economic growth for Jamaica.
Minister with Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, who made the call, underscored the importance of research to national development.
The Minister was speaking at the opening of the UWI’s 18th annual Research Days at the institution on February 1.
The Minister also called for greater collaboration among the UWI, the public and private sector stakeholders to facilitate work in this critical area.
Noting that significant resources are committed to tertiary institutions in developed countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to undertake research, Dr Chang said “it is not surprising that much of the innovation and answers to the challenges facing those countries come out of the universities.”
Conversely, he said small countries like Jamaica are impacted by resource constraints.
While citing the UWI’s outstanding record of work pioneered across the region in key areas, such as the medical, natural and social sciences, Dr Chang said the institution needed to “begin to move more aggressively” to undertake greater research and innovations that further support national development.
The Minister said that small nations such as Costa Rica, Israel and Singapore have “grown exponentially” as a result of significant research and development that have underpinned their successes.
“Small countries, like ours, have to begin to venture in these areas with aggressiveness to find answers and solutions that can lay the foundation for economic growth and development,” he added.
While acknowledging that the Government may not be able to provide all of the resources needed to facilitate research, Dr Chang said the entire country “has to begin to give recognition and support to this area.”
He invited the private sector in particular to begin to look at how they can partner with the university in this regard.
“The policy of the Government is (to facilitate) public/private partnership. As such, we have to find a way to drive more resources into research,” Dr Chang emphasised.
This Research Days are being held from February 1 to 3 under the theme: ‘UWI Mona – Driving Development through Research and Innovation’.
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