Participants at the First Bi-Regional Dialogue (Caribbean–European Union (EU)) Workshop under the EUCARINET Project have called for increased investment in Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in the Region and for the establishment of a focal point for the project at the Caricom Secretariat.
A Caricom Secretariat press statement said the workshop participants included senior officials involved with STI in member states and the Dominican Republic. Participants at the workshop examined evidence with regard to the status of STI in the Caribbean, the barriers and challenges to effective STI and the priorities distilled from the various thematic and other consultations and processes engaged in during the Project.
The Dialogue was hosted recently at the Caricom Secretariat Headquarters in conjunction with the consortium of Project Partners from Europe and the Caribbean. It focused on addressing long-term strategies to strengthen existing cooperation in STI between Europe and the Caribbean starting with the EU-CARINET Project.
Participants also considered the recommendations of a Strategy Paper on STI in the Caribbean, developed under the Project and specifically sought to identify ways to integrate outputs of the EUCARINET Project into policy and strategic frameworks for STI in order to establish sustainability of the benefits for the development of STI in the Caribbean.
The four-year EUCARINET Project which is now entering its final 12 months, covers cooperation on STI between the wider Caribbean and European Union within the thematic areas of Bio-economy and food security, Information and Communication Techno-logy (ICT), Energy and Health.
In addressing the opening session, Ambassador Robert Kopecky, Head of the EU Delegation to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and for the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories, noted that the Dialogue could only further facilitate the exchange of information, research and related areas between Caribbean countries and Europe and urged that greater and closer links be forged with the STI stakeholders.
Diassina Di Maggio, Director of the Agency for the Promotion of European Research (APRE) and Coordinator of the EUCARINET Project underscored that this workshop better prepared the Caribbean to capitalise on the support to be provided by Horizon 2020 which will address societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market.