Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones. (FP)????

A Government Minister is encouraging Barbadians to take their ideas and business plans to the next level.

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones made this suggestion, while delivering the feature address this morning at the launch of the 6th National Innovation Competition, at the Savannah Hotel.

The Education Minister stated that such competitions could help Barbadians to move their businesses forward, and that it was important that Government and other institutions nourish and support the potential of all citizens.??

Minister Jones also said that many Barbadians were of the belief that locally produced products were not of the same quality as those produced overseas.

"There is a view among Barbadians that what we produce is inferior, but I want to reject that. ??I am not going to say that everything we create is superior … but we have some good products that can be sold here and in other markets," he remarked.

The Minister added that it was time that Barbadians supported each other and stopped "crying down" other Barbadian businessmen because they were jealous of their success.??

Project Coordinator, Paulita Benjamin said that the competition is open to Barbadians of all ages and from every profession or educational background and is

"intended to be a channel for creativity and innovation in Barbados, by encouraging members of the public to be creative and promote creative thinking, giving them the opportunity to commercialise their product or service idea".

The National Innovation Competition will be conducted in three phases.?? During the first phase, participants will be encouraged to register their ideas which should be original and a new concept to the market or industry.

In the second phase, entrants will be required to produce a two-paged summary describing the product, and highlighting its innovativeness. The third phase will see the finalists making a presentation on their projects.

The Competition will conclude in March next year, with the winner being awarded the prize of $75,000, while $20,000 and $10,000 will be awarded to the second and third place winners, respectively.??


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