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“WE NEED TO STIMULATE ENTREPRENEURIAL INITIATIVE. OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON THIS.”

provides technical support for awardees to develop their ideas to ‘proof of concept’ with a view of achieving business start-up.” He added: “My thanks to CARIRI and NEDCO for doing a fantastic job in administering the programme.” Over 470 entries were received by the July 12, 2013 deadline for the competition. From these, 53 were chosen after a rigorous process by the Independent Evaluation Panel, explained Hayden Ferreira, Chairman of the evaluation panel. They will receive grants ranging from $75,000 to $200,000, together amounting to

These were the words of Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, in his feature address before a packed audience at the 2013 idea 2 innovation (i2i) awards ceremony. In the audience before him was an amalgam of individuals and groups, 53 in total, winners of the second annual i2i competition. These new innovators will receive grants, some as much as $200,000, and other support necessary to develop the commercial potential of their ideas. And as their concepts come to fruition, Trinidad and Tobago may very well receive fresh opportunities for business, growth and employment, powered by creative entrepreneurship. The atmosphere was celebratory on Tuesday October 1 at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad as the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation held their second i2i award event. The first competition, held in 2012, saw 50 winners receive grants, totalling $4.7 million dollars for their innovative projects. Many were in the audience, while others took part in a special panel discussion detailing their experiences after receiving the funding. Panelists included Karisa Phillip (founder of a local animation production house), Kevin Steeple (producer of craft dolls), Wesley Gervais (creator of a web-based outsourcing marketplace) and David Ablack (creator of a hydroponic farm). Kiran Akal, creator of a beverage product that merges rum with tea gave his input via teleconferencing. The 2012 winners, all of whom have made huge strides since receiving their awards, shared their experiences with this year’s winners and other invited guests. Richard Lewis, Chairman of CCI, said the winners of i2i illustrated the enormous potential that can be achieved by unlocking the nation’s innovativeness: “If we continue with the i2i competition, by 2015 we would have stimulated over 1,600 participants and over 200 winners who will be moving towards developing new creations and innovations in the country. Further, we would be accelerating growth in the innovative sector. Think of the infinite possibilities of this sector in another 10 years and the benefits to Trinidad and Tobago.”

$5.7 million. This is a 21% increase over the 2012 competition. In closing, Minister Tewarie called on the unsuccessful entrants to not give up on their ideas: “Do not be discouraged,” he said. “Continue to build on your dreams and believe in your projects.” To the winning innovators, Minister Tewarie said that their quest had only just started. “This is the beginning. We have a long road ahead but there is an end point. And that end point will be what you make it.” Mr. Richard Lewis, Chairman of the CCI, with winners of the ICT category

Panel members: Dr. Indrani Bachan-Persad (center), Director of Communications, CCI, and Dr. Rikhi Permanand (far right), Executive Director CCI (moderators); (L-R) Karisa Philip, Wesley Gervais, David Ablack, Kevin Steeple and Kiran Akal (via Skype)

Winners of the Alternative Energy/ Primary Agriculture/Agro-Industrial Processing/Environment category and Mr. Francis Lewis Deputy Chairman of the CCI

Minister Tewarie and the winners of the Manufacturing category

Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie gives the keynote address

The CCI is a division within the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development tasked with developing the nation’s competitiveness through innovation. i2i is one of several initiatives developed by the CCI to boost T&T’s economic performance through these non-traditional means. Dr. Rikhi Permanand, Executive Director of the CCI, also highlighted the roles of the National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited (NEDCO) and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in making i2i a success: “I must state that while CCI has overall management of the competition, funds are disbursed by NEDCO, while CARIRI

Creative Industries/Food and Beverage/Tourism category winners with Mr. Hayden Ferreira

The i2i Evaluation Panel: (L-R) Sharaz Ahamad, Armand Jackson, Jeanelle Frontin, Hayden Ferriera – (Chairman of Evaluation Panel), Rachel Renie, Robert Tang Yuk (Vice Chairman) Missing: Dr Graham King, Prof Pathmanathan Umaharan, Dr. Puran Bridgemohan

Permanant Secretary Arlene Mc Comie with winners in the Services category

For the full list of winners and their projects, more information about i2i, and information and encouragement for your own innovative projects, visit the i2i website at i2itt.com.

Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development


i2i Advertorial from Awards Ceremony