Cabinet to Receive Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Shortly
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the proposed National Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Policy will go to Cabinet shortly.
He made the disclosure during his 2018/19 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 15).
The policy seeks to advance Jamaica’s economic, social and environmental agenda by ensuring that ST&I are integrated into public policy procedures. This is in keeping with the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which envisions, among other things, a technology-enabled, knowledge-based society.
Dr. Wheatley told the House that the Ministry is seeking public feedback on its vision of using science and its applications to pursue inclusive and sustainable development, global competitiveness and long-term resilience.
He said that among actions by the Ministry in achieving this objective is connecting major players in science, technology and innovation.
“In essence, what we will be doing is to systematically transform the ideas and research results within the scientific community into products and processes that can be readily absorbed by productive and legislative firms. This national system of innovation will generate, store and transfer knowledge and technologies that promote growth, competitiveness and efficient delivery of public goods,” he explained.
Another action is fostering a culture of innovation. “We will promote new behaviours and attitudes towards inquiry, discovery, risk and new knowledge to foster a culture of creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and increased interest in science and technology careers,” he noted.
Also imperative is increased investment in human talent to ensure that there is a critical mass of competent scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians and educators in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Dr. Wheatley said that “as Jamaica’s first long-term ST&I Policy, a national implementation plan will govern its action by aligning the strategic operations of all ministries, departments and agencies and relevant academic and private bodies”.