The government is injecting well over $1 billion into the economy to encourage entrepreneurs to utilise the product of local research, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke said Wednesday.
Dr Clarke, who was speaking at the Mona School of Business and Management's (MSBM) 4th Business and Management Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus, New Kingston, said that the government has been working with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to build the capacity to commercialise the results of research done at local educational institutions, including the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“In all countries that thrive on entrepreneurship, there is a great degree of innovation that comes from research institutions,” Clarke stated, noting that of 25 patents owned by the UWI, about 20 are from the Mona Campus in Kingston.
“The question is how many of these have been commercialised and have they made money? That is the question,” Clarke noted.
“It is one thing to have the brain power and the tenacity, but not being able to commercialise that research. And that is an element that we need to work on, if we are going to realise our full potential,” he added.
He stated that as a result of the need for funding to put the research into the development of the local economy, the government has been working with the IDB, in terms of assistance with the technical resources that are needed, as well as funding to build the capacity for commercialisation.
“We are in the process of negotiating that now. I hope that before too long it is something that we can launch and, as I have said, a key component will be to enhance our ability to commercialise the research,” he said.