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UWI Mona Research Days to showcase development through partnerships in research and innovation

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Campus Registrar Dr Camille Bell-Hutchinson (right); Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips (second right); and Acting Director of UWI Western Jamaica Campus Patrick W. Prendergast, (third right) observe a demonstration of emergency services by UWI Medical Sciences students during a tour of the Research Village at the UWI Mona Research Days on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

(PRESS RELEASE) – The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona Research Days being staged between Wednesday, February 7 and Friday, February 9 at the institution’s Mona Campus continues to explore a variety of issues in health, economics, climate change, alternative energy, and the deadly crime wave gripping Jamaica.

Professor Archibald McDonald, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI, in his remarks at the official opening ceremony of 19th staging of UWI Research Days (URD) on February 7, held at the Undercroft of the Senate Building at the Mona Campus, spoke to the 2018 theme and mandate of URD.

“The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘UWI Mona: Powering Development through Partnerships in Research and Innovation’. This aptly describes what we have been doing at UWI Mona in recent years. A theme which seeks to highlight the UWI’s institutional mandate of generating sustainable change and development opportunities for our future by engaging in partnerships with a wide variety of public and private actors,” Prof McDonald said to the gathering.

Speaking further, the Principal explained “We believe that our research must drive change and must be focused on problem solving to improve the quality of life for our people.”

Representing Prime Minister the Honourable Andrew Holness, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, in her keynote address, commended The UWI on its past research and underscored the importance of partnerships.

“It is the development of partnerships between the university and the Government, the private sector, public entities, and other stakeholders that will prove to be a key ingredient of the emergence of efficient innovation. Universities act as important drive of economic development. University partnerships, the world over, produce a variety of positive spill-overs,” shared Minister Grange.

Expounding on her point, the Minister identified a number of ways in which the university’s partnerships have already impacted society.

“Impacting the relevance of research carried out in public institutions; fostering the commercialisation of public research and development outcomes; streamlining processes and boosting profitability; increasing the utilisation of evidence from research to build and grow markets; increasing the mobility of labour between public and private sectors; improving teaching and expanding course offerings to meet industry demands; increasing access to funding and increasing access to empirical data,” she said.

Grange also spoke to the Government’s $30M commitment over the next three years toward research in the areas of indigenous knowledge and water research as part of a Scientific and Technological Cooperation agreement between Jamaica and South Africa.

The official opening ceremony was followed by a Principal’s Tour of the 80-plus exhibitions in the Research Village before it opening to the public. The showcase will continue on Thursday, February 8 and Friday February 9 from 10:00 am through 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 8 and Friday, February 9.

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