|Particiapants attending the opening of??Event Caribbean, visit one of the many booths displaying new technological advances. (C.Pitt/BGIS)|
Barbados’ true potential in the arena of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will soon be explored.
This was disclosed by the Information Society of Barbados (ISB) yesterday, as it announced a range of projects at the opening of Event Caribbean 2011.
ISB President, James Corbin, emphasised that "ICTs can be a catalyst for economic development" and revealed that the association had offered its assistance to government, specifically the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, which has responsibility for ICT matters, in an effort to make Barbados an ICT leader in the Caribbean.
Mr. Corbin asserted that "Information and Communication Technologies are now widely accepted by developing countries as a critical tool in the efforts to achieve economic development, eradicate poverty, enhance human development and achieve millennium development goals…"
He said some of the Society’s plans included an essay competition, partly sponsored by the Ministry’s National Council for Science and Technology, which will see children in two age categories – 11 to 14 years, and 15 to 18 years, sharing their thoughts on The impact of ICT in Barbados in the year 2020.??
The ISB President also highlighted a mentoring programme to be launched in January [for] final year students in tertiary institutions as well as graduates who may need coaching on how to succeed in the world of work.?? There will also be a week of activities which will feature an international speaker who has made a global contribution to the sector. A Barbadian contributor to ICT will also be honoured.
Creating a space for innovators will also play a role in the ISB’s plans, according to Mr. Corbin: "The ISB has partnered with the private sector in the launch of the Barbados Imagination Centre. This Centre will provide an environment for entrepreneurs to create prototypes of ICT-based products in a creative environment. The objectives of the Barbados Imagination Centre are to be a testing ground for new ideas and new services; provide an opportunity for inventors to bring their ideas to market in a supportive environment; identify and support projects which have high potential to earn foreign exchange; as well as establishing linkages with regional and international ICT companies and tertiary education institutions."
He said that, in addition to annual technology fairs, establishing programmes within tertiary institutions and launching an ICT think tank to draw on ideas both locally and from the diaspora, the goal of the Centre would be to "deliver a minimum of four revenue generating projects on an annual basis".
The ISB is a non-profit organisation launched in 1992, which is focused on the promotion of and educating persons about ICT.