The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), along with its Compete Caribbean partners, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and the Caribbean Development Bank, hosted a Regional Policy Dialogue on August 23 on the topic: Technology Extension Policies in the Caribbean and a discussion in collaboration with JAMPRO on August 24, 2017 focused on A Digital Agenda for Enterprises in the Caribbean, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Technology extension policies help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) adopt existing technologies, which drive innovation in terms of process improvements and product or market development in the long term.
With the low level of innovation in the Caribbean still a constraint to the region’s economic growth, the Compete Caribbean Program conducted preliminary research to assess the supply and demand of technology extension services in the region. This study, along with the presentations during the event are available online. The dialogue explored, through a case study, the design and development of a technological extension program contextualized to the Caribbean reality and how the Compete Caribbean Program could support these instruments.
The presentations on the digital agenda were focused on how the blockchain technology can be used to monetize talent in the creative industries, alternative finance, and other aspects of the role innovation can play in Caribbean economic growth.
The policy dialogue featured technical level representatives from the IDB, CDB, the OAS, and other agencies, along with specialists in developing these types of initiatives. Representatives from 12 Caribbean governments and private sector organisations including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Vincent, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname and Grenada participated in the event.
Compete Caribbean provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, cluster initiatives and innovation in the Caribbean region.