Curaçao: the Smart Island

The Smart Nation Curaçao Platform is assigned with the phased implementation of a long term vision and integral strategic plan towards the development of Willemstad as a Smart City and Curacao as a Smart Nation. The Smart Nation movement is increasingly becoming an integral part of our nation’s strategy to achieve sustainable development across fundamental areas and opportunities to improve overall efficiency and quality of life.

Through the integration of ICT solutions across fundamental sectors a balanced socio-economic development is pursued, while ensuring that the needs of present and future generations are still met regarding economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects aiming for economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental protection, which constitute the foundation for sustainable development.

Bureau Telecommunicatie en Post initiated this movement in Curaçao in 2016 with the conference, “Smart Nation: Curaçao objectives beyond 2020”, and is taking it further by building on the success of the event with the introduction of the Curaçao Smart Nation initiative; an open platform supported by the Government through which collective efforts of smart nation stakeholders are united to achieve innovative people-centric solutions to address current and upcoming challenges that Curaçao is facing. The smart nation stakeholders are generally considered to be: government, knowledge & research institutes, academia, NGOs, businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups and citizens.

The Platform provides an effective governance system for the realization of the Smart Nation concept, which structure involves all the relevant stakeholders either by means of direct participation in the work of the Platform or through organized consultation. The process is therefore very inclusive, as innovation requires co-creation and extensive collaboration between various disciplines to realize the best possible outcome for all involved.

Speakers

Vanessa Toré

Director Foreign Economic Cooperation at Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao

Vanessa Toré

Director Foreign Economic Cooperation at Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao

Giselle Mc William

Minister of Economic Development, Curaçao

As of the 27th of August 2019, Curaçao has a new Minister of Economic Development. Former Parliament member of the political party MAN, Mrs. Giselle Mc William bravely accepted the important challenge to lead the island during these difficult times. In her acceptance speech, the Minister explained her vision and intentions. Minister Mc William explains that she accepted the request of her party to assume this responsibility because she believes in the potential of Curaçao and its people. She is very clear about her plans. “My leadership will be based on good governance, transparency, and inclusion”. The Minister explains that she is open for suggestions from everyone, both experts in the economic field and people who want to give their sincere contribution to reach sustainable economic development for the whole nation and future generations. Job creation is at the heart of her economic vision.

The Minister will dedicate special attention to the promotion of exports of products and services in order to generate more income for the island. Other priority areas are the financial service sector and the promotion of the Smart Nation concept.

Giselle Mc William

Minister of Economic Development, Curaçao

Sabine Berendse

Green Phenix

Founder of Green Phenix. Sabine is also a global goodwill ambassador, founder of the Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao organization.
“I'm a passionate social entrepreneur with most of my working experience in the Caribbean. My most important goal is to create a circular economy in the Caribbean, starting from Curaçao. The reason for this is that I want to do my part to keep our oceans usable for future generations”.
Sabine Berendse

Green Phenix

Ricardo Lochan

Curaçao Innovation and Technology Institute

Project Coordinator at the Curaçao Innovation & Technology Institute (CITI). CITI is a unification of the former organisations: Stimul-IT and InnovatieCentrum Curaçao. By means of this merger CITI became the national agency for innovation and technology in Curaçao. We aspire to transform brilliant ideas into sustainable development while focussing on Entrepreneurship, Research & Development and Education. By translating global developments in the ICT area we work together with local and international collaborators towards a Knowledge Economy and an Information Society. We do what we do because we want to see the island of Curaçao as an internationally competitive, respected, creative and intelligent society, playing a leading role in the region.
Ricardo Lochan

Curaçao Innovation and Technology Institute

Sean de Boer

Director of the National Statistical Office of Curacao

Sean de Boer studied General Social Geography at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands between 1992 and 1995 and started his career almost immediately afterwards as a junior statistician at the National Statistical Office in Curacao in 1996.
Between 1996 and 2014 he developed into a senior statistician with numerous publications added to his name and led the execution of 2 censuses. Sean also contributed to a variety of activities that can be related to neighborhood development, teaching at universities and conducting qualitative studies

In 2008 Sean was seconded to a project for the island territory of Curacao, which involved the development of a system of administrative registries. His contribution as the program manager lasted until 2014, after the island territory of Curacao became constitutionally an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom.

Sean has been working as the Director of the National Statistical Office of Curacao since 2011.

Sean de Boer

Director of the National Statistical Office of Curacao

Zulaika Mook

Head of the division within the Ministry of Economic Development

Zulaika Mook is the Head of the division within the Ministry of Economic Development that is responsible for economic development and innovation.
Zulaika Mook

Head of the division within the Ministry of Economic Development

Partner

Ministry of Economic Development Curaçao

The Ministry of Economic Development of Curacao gives direction to sustainable economic development in order to realize a higher level of prosperity for the society of Curaçao and stimulates a strong competitive position and high quality production. This is achieved by providing optimal service, strengthening the economic structure and effectively responding to social and international developments.
The Ministry is responsible for policy, implementation and control on the following areas:
• Business, consisting of (micro) SME policy, economic development, capital market, competition policy, infrastructure, knowledge, economic and Agricultural fisheries production and business establishment policy.
• Economic Development and Innovation, consisting of market forces, innovation, energy, industry development, employment and macro-economic stability.
• Foreign Economic Cooperation, consisting of trade policy, international business and foreign investment.