An innovation lab, focused on the nurturing and development of revenue-generating clean technology companies within the region, was officially opened on Wednesday (April 11) at the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) Hope Gardens Complex, St. Andrew.
The Science Resource Centre & Innovation Laboratory is managed by the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) – an initiative funded by the Government of Canada through the World Bank – and the SRC.
The first facility of its kind within the Caribbean, it will cater to climate-saving start-ups from across the region in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable agribusiness, water/waste management and resource use efficiency.
Companies will be provided with incubator services such as office rental, business development training, mentorship, access to a unique community of innovators, among other benefits.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, who cut the ribbon to open the facility, said he is elated about the support being provided to local and regional inventors to “help them to take their innovative ideas from the brain into actuality”.
He noted that the Government fully supports initiatives that facilitate innovation in the Caribbean.
“We know that Jamaicans are quite innovative… . We are very conscious of that and we are in support of creating more facilities of this nature that will allow or act as a catalyst for our people’s innovative spirit to come to fruition,” he said.
“It’s very critical because we want to see our people move from being just mere consumers of technology to becoming innovators of technology, and this lab provides that opportunity to create that ecosystem that will facilitate our citizens to express themselves, and not only that, [but] move an idea from the point of an idea to an actual reality.
“Also, to give them some insight as to what it takes to actually run a business, how to bring it from point A to point B and ensure that they capitalise on the opportunity,” he said.
Four innovations by Jamaicans were on display at the opening of the lab.
These are the Maynex H2-Flex machine, which converts water into gas; Solid Power Jamaica’s conversion of aluminium waste to energy to power LED street lamps; 360° Recycle Manufacturing’s tiles and other items from waste material; and Pree Labs’ smart solution that allows persons to control their home appliances from their smartphones.
Inventor of the Maynex H2-Flex machine, Harlo Mayne, told JIS News that he is elated about the Lab.
“I like this initiative. It is good because it will help us to develop our ideas better, offer more support to persons who are passionate about innovation, and help with producing more groundbreaking products from Jamaica,” he noted.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, 360° Recycle Manufacturing, Scheed Cole, also expressed pleasure at the opening of the lab.
“I like the fact that it will help us to get exposure for our products and help with developing our ideas,” he said.