Lopez for her presentation at the conference on policies and measures to support spin-off companies in the experience of the University of Alicante (UA) in Spain, where she is a senior project manager. UA is the lead partner on the two EU-financed projects that collaborated with the SRC in staging the S&T Conference.
The IPICA and CAP4INNO projects are concerned with building up national capacities in systems for managing intellectual property rights and knowledge transfer from research to market in several Caribbean states: Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, and, by extension, the countries served by the UWI. The institutional partners include universities, intellectual property offices in the participating countries, CARICOM, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), our own Ministry for Science & Technology. Our EU-based partners are in Spain, Sweden, and Austria. A great mix.
Perhaps the most important thing that our project colleague Noelia told us is that a proper university environment is needed. An “entrepreneurial university” must be created. UA has a comprehensive support structure, with staffing and financing, for R&D, IP protection, and knowledge transfer through its companies within a clear policy framework at both the national and institutional level.
Meanwhile, we continue to ‘dream’ of the Government’s University of Technology becoming the MIT of the Caribbean by magic without the necessary support. And we want results from public research organisations without research financing. We continue to fiddle with policy. And to wait for a research development fund. National ST&I leaders kept making the plaintive point at conference that one Jamaican neutraceutical product on the world market could set the Jamaican economy.