On Thursday 21st April 2016, CARIRI’s mCentre hosted 15 competitors who were all vying for the chance to be the local representative in a regional app competition to be held in Jamaica later this year, called the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project. Held at the Centre for Enterprise Development in Freeport, this one-day competition, CODESprint 2016, allowed competitors to showcase and highlight their apps.
CodeSPRINT 2016 was hosted by PitchIT Caribbean and CARIRI’s mCentre and is a mobile application development competition geared towards bringing together developers, subject matter experts, and idea generators all in one venue for the purpose of developing and promoting mobile applications.
From as early as 10am, competitors started their presentations and each was just as impressive as the last. The judges consisted of a Microsoft representative, an Appreneur and two CARIRI staff members, and they were able to question each competitor on their app and were able to provide valuable feedback going forward.
The competition was intense and highlighted how many undiscovered apps are out there waiting to get their chance in the spotlight.
Winners of the competition were as follows:
- First place - Stephan James – Wanderscape (a new and exciting travel marketplace and mobile app where you can discover, share & book activities by local insiders.)
- Second place - Keenen Charles - Tap Tag
- Third Place - Raees Rahim - Trini Questions : Trivia
- Most innovative app - Devin Escallier - Numgical
- Best Designed App- Raees Rahim - Trini Questions: Trivia
- The Microsoft Imagine Award: Corporates- Jeremiah Cruickshank
PitchIT Caribbean, under the remit of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP), is a two-tiered partnership approach to support growth-oriented mobile app businesses in the Caribbean.
Administered by a University of the West Indies (UWI) Consortium led by UWI Consulting Inc. and also comprising the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) and the Mona Business Support Services (MBSS), PitchIT Caribbean is a part of the Entrepreneurship programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), funded by the Government of Canada and executed by InfoDev/World Bank, spanning 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.
PItchIT Caribbean is designed to strengthen the Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem and enable sustainable and competitive mobile enterprises to grow through activities that will target early stage innovators and guide them to market readiness.
The aim is for the creation of a regional pool of high-growth potential mobile start-ups with the capacity to release their apps to the market and raise additional capital to grow.
The mHub partners of PitchIT Caribbean are all focused on building mobile innovation communities in the various CARICOM countries by convening a variety of local stakeholder groups.
The mHub partners of PitchIT Caribbean are:
- Barbados - BCSI Barbados Coalition of Service Industries.
- Trinidad – The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute.
- Dominica - National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.
- St. Kitts and Nevis
Cross section of audience
First place - Stephan James - Wanderscape
The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute’s (CARIRI’s) Industrial Materials – Civil Unit held their first session for the year on Tuesday 12th April, 2016 and was aptly named “Quality in Construction”. The session was held at the Centre for Enterprise Development in Freeport and was attended by a wide cross section of persons who actively work in the Construction sector.
The Minister of Works and Transport, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds delivered the feature address at the session. The Honourable Minister stated his enthusiasm for accepting CARIRI’s invitation to the seminar since he thought that this discussion was very important to the nation and he commended CARIRI for taking the initiative to commence it. He stated that in adversity, we become strong and can find the opportunities for growth.
He continued by saying that the government has plans in place to improve the infrastructure of the country by building more interchanges, bridges and overpasses among other things but they also recognized that there needed to be a system in place to ensure that quality is present from the start. He stressed that institutions like CARIRI needed to play a role in ensuring that quality is adhered to. He reiterated that quality needs to be given more attention and that his Ministry will be keeping an eye on the issue of quality in projects moving forward.
Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah also spoke about the need to move the quality discussion forward collectively. He spoke about making quality a priority and ensuring that innovative solutions become a necessary component in the current market. He noted that when creativity is implemented, then companies can become more cost effective and efficient.
Guest speaker, Mr Geoffrey Abdulah, Director of Acuitas spoke about the need to improve the Engineering Profession Act and that insurance also needed to play a part in quality.
CARIRI’s staff members then went into valuable presentations and demonstrations that clearly spoke about the need to have quality present at all times from the start. The presentations were well received with many of the attendees indicating their appreciation of the efforts of the CARIRI team.
Achieving quality standards is one of the most important issues in the
construction industry and the management of quality is an important factor in determining the competitive edge of any business, but more so, for construction companies. Always a point of consternation, it is vital that companies in this sector recognize and understand the importance of a proper quality system since it begins with selection, sampling and storage of materials.
After being in this sector for a number of years and working with an assortment of companies, the Civil Engineering Unit of CARIRI has seen the need to further educate companies on the importance of quality in construction from the beginning of the project to the completion of the final structure. This remains one of the most important ways in which CARIRI is seeking to enhance industrial capability and competitiveness in the construction sector.
As a certified and accredited testing facility, it is vital that CARIRI take the lead in bringing these key quality issues to the forefront. With over 30 years of experience, the Civil Engineering Unit is the most advanced ISO-certified civil/construction engineering testing laboratory in the Caribbean. CARIRI’s team of experienced professionals has provided testing and consultancy services to government ministries locally and within the region and to the construction, energy and light manufacturing sectors, among others.
L-R: Mikey Joseph, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors Association, Liaquat Ali Shah, Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI, Minister of Works and Transport, the Honorable Fitzgerald Hinds, Geoffrey Abdulah, Director of Acuitas Caribbean
The Honorable Minister receiving a token of appreciation from CARIRI
The Honourable Minister taking a look at one of CARIRI’s inventions