Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick (FP)??

"Boldly go where no one has gone before".

That was the advice given by Director of the National Council for Science and Technology, Lennox Chandler, who gave these words of encouragement to the five 2009-2010 Innovation Finalists, at last Saturday’s National Innovation Awards Ceremony, held at the Hilton Barbados.

He told the gathering that scientists must not be shy or self effacing when it came to the role that science and technology played with regard to innovation.

"We must not sit idly by and let others talk as though they created the innovation, we must be risk takers, and if Barbados is to continue to prosper, it must have individuals who are willing to go for it and stick with it until it works," he challenged.

Meanwhile, Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, called on small developing states such as Barbados to maximise its innovation capabilities, since, as he put it, competition in all sectors was fierce.??

Pointing out that in order to compete effectively worldwide, Barbados had to be very selective in its development priorities.?? The Minister emphasised that this country must select areas where consideration was given to the sustainability of these activities.

"In determining our selections, innovation and creativity must be encouraged, not only in the development of new products, processes and services, but also in their improvement."????????????

Dr. Estwick stated that "economic advancement, for all intents and purposes, now hinged more and more on a country’s ability to produce goods and services at competitive prices, as well as on its ability to formulate and develop new and or improved production technologies, processes and products".

Noting that the key to our prosperity was increasing productivity, the Economics Affairs Minister opined that productivity growth was the basis for raising real wages for workers, increasing returns to shareholders, and increasing per capita income for the country.

He further added that it was important that as we seek to build our human resource capacity for innovation, we should include the teaching of innovation throughout our educational system.

"We must start at the primary level and continue through to the tertiary.?? The school system must be seen as an environment which nourishes and encourages creativity and innovative thinking, which must become a way of life for our people," he stressed.

The top prize went to the husband and wife team of Evariste and Dorothy Nurse, who took home the coveted Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation and a cash prize of $75,000 for their inventive product called the "Secure Door Jamb".

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