On Wednesday 3rd August, 2016, CARIRI and the Engineering Institute of The University of the West Indies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see greater collaboration between the two institutions. The general intent of both parties is to cooperate in the areas of Research, Development and Innovation (RDI), Entrepreneurship Development and Commercialisation.
The primary focus of the MOU will be on collaboration in the areas of design, manufacture, calibration and marketing of electronic/precision engineered products/instruments and the establishment of joint training and entrepreneurship development initiatives.
Signing the MOU on behalf of the Engineering Institute was the Manager, Professor Clement Imbert. Representing CARIRI was Mr Liaquat Ali Shah, Chief Executive Officer. While acknowledging the new challenges that lay before their respective organizations, both men were looking forward to the collaborative efforts that will see real benefit accruing to the institutions and, by extension, Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.
Both CARIRI and the Engineering Institute have highly trained staff and modern, well equipped facilities which will see more ground breaking ideas and inventions coming to the forefront as the partnership takes effect.
CARIRI has established an Idea Advisory Service (IAS) over the last year, which is a free service offered to the general public. It provides an avenue for persons with innovative ideas to submit these ideas for screening, via a portal on the Institute's website, with a view to determining novelty and market validation, as well as proof of business. The IAS has been gaining traction over the last few months and the signing of this MOU with the Engineering Institute aligns with CARIRI’s ongoing, strategic thrust of facilitating Innovation, ie. Creativity Being Implemented, as a means of increasing substantively its contribution to economic diversification.
For over 40 years, CARIRI’s modern laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, together with its highly trained specialist professionals, technologists, technicians, consultants and researchers, have been helping local and Caribbean enterprises, encompassing large and MSMEs, to grow and develop while ensuring that the environment is adequately safeguarded.
CARIRI’s focus, as far as R&D is concerned, is primarily on applied research and, with the signing of this MOU, a new world of possibilities opens up to translate developmental work into commercial opportunities.
Signing of the MOU
l-r: Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah and Manager of the Engineering Institute of the University of the West Indies, Professor Clement Imbert
On July 16th 2016, a diverse group of entrepreneurs and business start-ups completed the CARIRI Business Hatchery Programme. The graduates all agreed that the knowledge gained from the programme will enhance the viability of their respective businesses. They also expressed that they had a clear vision of their next steps and how to move their businesses forward.
One graduate, Ms. Colleen Cameron who is the owner of Caribbean Concoctions described her journey from where she was, before she enrolled into the programme to where she is now: “I ran a hectic, but not very profitable business. I wanted to take my business to the next level. Is this business really viable? I signed up for the three (3) month programme and through its intensive market research fundamentals, mentorship and coaching I now have a clear vision to where and how to take my business forward.” She also mentioned that her next step will be exploring exporting possibilities, new packaging and product development.
A number of graduates showed similar interest in the areas of: packaging, product development and getting into export markets. CARIRI through its innovation have already designed a complementary programme: “The CARIRI Business Hatchery Food and Beverage Programme” to address these specific areas and it is currently scheduled to start as early as October 2016.
Present at the graduation was CARIRI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Liaquat Ali Shah. In his address he encouraged the graduates: “I would like to see each and every graduate continue their journey towards building better businesses. Aim for the stars and even if you did not achieve your goal on the first attempt, the true test is to pick up and try until you succeed. Execution of business ideas and initiatives is a function of time and it is important as entrepreneurs to differentiate their products and services and through this innovation is how they will be able to impact the business world. Service Quality is a key element in the formula for sustainability”. Mr. Shah reminded graduates that the overall objective of the Centre of Enterprise Development (CED) is to create opportunities for Entrepreneurs.
First row – Ms Melissa Birbal, Business Development Officer, CARIRI; Ms. Regina King, King’s Specialty; Ms. Maria Seecharan, Maria's Taste Delights; Mrs. Nigel Jordan, Twigs Naturals; Ms. Lisa Benjamin, Intervention Strategies. Second row- Ms. Colleen Cameron, Caribbean Concoctions; Mr. Arnold Babwah, BH Programme Consultant; Mr. Ashley Mitchell Programme Consultant; Ms.Celise Patrick Alfred – TBA; Mr Liaquat Ali- Shah, Chief Executive Officer, CARIRI.
Congratulation to the graduates of Cycle 6 CARIRI’s Business Hatchery Programme!
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