Green Technopreneurship And Innovation For Island Challenges

Islands face some unique developmental challenges that are often exacerbated by their small size, remote locations and inability to take advantage of the benefits of economies of scale. These circumstances force islands to develop innovative and adaptable solutions which create means of revenue generation that preserve their delicate natural ecosystems. Islanders have historically been creative and resilient people who transform their problems into new opportunities for revenue generation that marry traditional knowledge and modern technologies. Fostering and promoting new models of economic development will require new perspectives of success that support equitable use of resources and lead to sustained growth and maintain environmental integrity. Emerging businesses built of this philosophy require commitment from both the public and private sectors. Youth have a key role in developing the potential for such interventions and capitalizing on the entrepreneurship opportunities which exists.

This panel explores some exciting case studies of green technopreneurship and innovation in the Eastern Caribbean that hold global lessons. It addresses opportunities in energy, water, marine ecosystems and agriculture. The panel identifies some of the enabling factors that can be addressed regionally to support ongoing green innovation for bolstering emerging markets and trade on islands.

Speakers

Judith Ephraim

Programme Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Unit at Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission

Judith Ephraim joined the Sustainable Energy Unit at the OECS Commission in July 2015. Prior to that she served as the Chief Energy, Science and Technology Officer of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in Saint Lucia. Over the past 14 years, Ms Ephraim has worked on a number of portfolios in the Government of Saint Lucia including, Sustainable Energy, Science and Technology, Climate Change and Hazard/ Disaster mitigation. Ms Ephraim holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Bristol UK, and a MSc in Resources Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe (now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) in Germany.
Judith Ephraim

Programme Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Unit at Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission

McHale Andrew

OECS Country Adviser for the Caribbean Business Angels Network (CBAN)

McHale ANDREW is a development economist with acquired work skills ranging from investment promotion to economic analysis and policy formulation; tourism market intelligence and research to strategic planning and business/institutional management. He is currently an independent consultant and part time OECS Country Adviser for the Caribbean Business Angels Network (CBAN), which is coordinated by the EU- funded Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA)
McHale has held positions as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Invest Saint Lucia, the national investment promotion agency; Executive Vice President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA); Research and Development Advisor at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO); Permanent Secretary in Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism; and Director of External Relations at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), where he served for some ten (10) years, prior to a five (5) year stint as an economist at the Ministry of Finance in his native Saint Lucia.
McHale Andrew

OECS Country Adviser for the Caribbean Business Angels Network (CBAN)

Karlis Noel

Self-Taught Inventor

Karlis Noel spends his days in his lab in the small, picturesque community of Laborie in St. Lucia. The former fisherman’s story might sound like an overnight success, but his present accolades in the field of engineering are the result of years of hard work and an unceasing drive to make life easier for communities in the throes of a water crisis.
Noel was not able to complete secondary school, but he never allowed that to interfere with his thirst for knowledge. The self-taught inventor, with a knack for engineering, is receiving acclaim for building the Eastern Caribbean’s first solar-powered, mobile desalination plant. With a grant from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) to the Laborie Fishers and Consumers Cooperative Project, Noel was able to build the facility, which can produce 1,000 gallons of water daily.

The facility is a marvel to behold. It is located near the ocean, opens up ‘transformers-style’ to get the desalination process going andif there is a storm, it can be folded up, taken away and stored in a safe place until the all-clear is given.

Karlis Noel

Self-Taught Inventor

Johanan Dujon

CEO of Algas Organics

Johanan Dujon is CEO of Algas Organics, the Caribbean’s first indigenous biotechnology manufacturing company. Recognizing the crippling effect of Sargassum on his home island of St. Lucia, Johanan founded the company in 2014, with the vision of valorizing the invasive plant species into world-class, organic, crop protection and crop nutrition products.

Under his stewardship, Algas Organics has processed over 1 million pounds of Sargassum seaweed into fertilizer for export regionally and internationally. Johanan has been recognized for his innovation locally and internationally:

Commonwealth Youth Award For Excellence in Development 2019, Forbes 2019, Young Leader of the Americas 2018, Prime Minister's Award for Innovation in Microbiology 2018, Huffington Post 2017, OECS Top 30 Entrepreneur under 30 2017, Caribbean Beat Top 25 Achiever Under 25 2017, and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2017.

Johanan Dujon

CEO of Algas Organics

Gary C. Jackson

Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Dr. Gary C. Jackson is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), whose mission is to increase awareness and development of the renewable energy and energy efficiency agenda within the Caribbean region. The Centre’s three main priorities are to create an expert knowledge base; optimise technological solutions through the development of tools; and embed and transform by utilising sustainable energy as a means to advance the well- being of at-risk and vulnerable groups. Its vision is to transform the energy landscape into a climate resilient, sustainable and affordable sector, focused on improving the lives of our people.
Dr. Jackson was appointed as Executive Director in October 2018. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Project Management, both from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Registered Engineer (PE) in Jamaica, a member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Gary C. Jackson

Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Partner

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and territories in the Eastern Caribbean. It also performs the role of spreading responsibility and liability in the event of natural disaster.OECS currently has eleven members which together form a continuous archipelago across the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands. The membership of OECS is comprised of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Monserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe and Martinique are also associate members of OECS.