How much is a good idea worth? For the first place winner of this year’s National Innovation Competition, it will be the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation and $75 000, to assist in making the awardee’s concept a commercial realty.

Now in its fifth year, the competition, which is facilitated by the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), has sought to encourage Barbadians to make the next step in taking a product or service model and exploring its viability in the market.?? Phase I, which officially began last Friday with the official competition launch, will see participants submit a two-page summary describing their ideas, demonstrating innovativeness and potential benefits for the relevant market, as well as the feasibility of implementation.?? Registration forms must be submitted by Friday, September 30.

In Phase II, which begins Saturday, October 29 and ends Thursday, January 5, 2012, 10 entrants will be chosen and given technical assistance to create business plans for their submissions.?? Again, illustrating innovativeness, marketability and feasibility will play a crucial role during this stage.

The third and final phase will take place in February 2012, when participants will present their ideas to the judges, with the winners to be announced the following month, March 2012.

For further information, contact Charles Cyrus at the NCST at 427-5270.

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