Have a great idea to develop a world class mobile app? How is it going to be built? What are the important factors to consider while creating an app? As of 2015, there are 4.43 billion mobile users around the world and the number is likely to reach to 5.07 billion by 2019. There are almost 1.6 million Android apps  in Google Play Store and  1.5 million iOS apps in the Apple App Store.

The statistics show that the demand of mobile apps are consistently rising. Developers need to ensure that the mobile apps they are developing are useful, easy to use and above all desired by the users. Here are some key areas developers can consider before developing mobile applications:

·     Market Research - Before starting the development of an app consider conducting a proper market research. Analyzing the market will give insights about competitors' strategy,  strengths and weakness. This information will assist to avoid repeating the mistakes competitors made.

  • Be Different - Why does a recently opened restaurant in the town create a buzz? People tend to visit new places because they are always looking for something different and fresh. Create something interesting that keep  users engaged.
  • Target Audience - Defining the target audience is very important as the audience plays a huge impact on the development of the mobile app. If user’s expectations are met, the app is likely to get more popularity.
  • Mastering Platforms - Become a master of one platform first and then launch the mobile app on multiple platforms.
  • Marketing Strategy - Creating that buzz before the launch is really important to get an overwhelming response at the time of launch. Ensure the marketing is began at the appropriate time. 
  • Loading Indicators - An app can lose users while it is loading as the users might think that the app is malfunctioning. Also, it adds to create a negative impression on the user, hence providing a bad user experience. Use loading indicators and animations to give assurance that the mobile app is still working (a progressive indicator is always better).
  • App Testing -  It is important to test the  mobile app before launch in the market. It provides an experience in prior of how the users will see the app. It should be creative, easy to understand and deliver high performance. Testing before the launch will allow for ironing out any nooks and crannies before it reaches the mass market.
  • Store Description - This description plays an important role. App Stores usually displays only 2-3 lines of the description. Users need to tap on "Read More" to read the full description, hence it is important to make the first 2-3 lines attractive enough to convert users into customers.

The Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) is a flagship development of CARIRI which is aimed at facilitating Research, Development and Innovation. The mCentre arm of CED is the only mobile applications laboratory and accelerator in the region which incubates high potential mobile app developers. The lab provides world class business and technical training to high potential individuals on mobile application development and entrepreneurship on all platforms.

The mCentre operates a mobile applications testing facility referred to as the Living Lab, which provides testing services on all mobile application platforms:  Android, iOS, and Windows. Using appropriate tests and tools which provide an indication as to where improvements to functionally, usability or user experience can be made to the mobile application.

Call us at 299-0209 ext 2677 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.  

Before you spend a lot of time creating a product or service, it is important to know whether anyone will want to buy it and if there is a need for it. The first step therefore to getting your product to market is conducting market research. Do products that are similar to your idea exist? If so, where are they sold? Who is buying them? Answering these questions will give an idea of the target market, as well as, what needs to be done differently to stand out from competitors. Even well known companies engage in conducting market research. Take for example Lego which has been a toy geared toward boys for many years. In a study done by the company, it was reported that only 9% of the primary users of the toy were female. Upon seeing this, the company decided to come out with a new product to entice more girls to play with Legos. Market research was undertaken and upon conclusion, Lego came out with a new line of toys on January 1st, 2012 called 'Friends'. The colours used were more vibrant and figurines were made slightly bigger to accommodate accessories such as hairbrushes and purses.

Another important step in taking the idea forward is assessing the novelty of the idea. It is crucial to ensure that your idea is not infringing upon someone else's intellectual property. Intellectual property refers to the expressed creation of the human mind and includes patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial designs.  A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention which is a product or a process that either provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. The television for example was invented by John Baird in 1925. (US Patent No. 1699270). Another example is the computer mouse invented by Douglas Engelbert in 1970 (US Patent No. 3,541,541). An industrial design is the ornamental aspect of a useful article. The shapes of many ergonomically designed pieces of furniture, tools, tool handles, boat hulls and sunglasses for example are some of the shapes protected by an industrial design. Another form of intellectual property protection is trademark which is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders. Copyright is a property right, which subsists in literary and artistic works that are original intellectual creations. Works covered by copyright include novels, poems, plays, computer programmes, paintings, drawings, photographs and musical compositions.

The third step in taking your idea to market is the development of a demonstration model or pretotype. Many times persons spend significant time and money in developing a fully fledged prototype, only to realize that there is little or no demand for their product. What can be done instead is a simple cost effective mockup which shows the idea in operation and can be made with easily accessible items, for example, paper clips, scotch tape, cardboard. 3D printing can also be done.

Once the market demand has been confirmed and the legal path is clear, there are two pathways to commercialization. The first pathway is business start-up, this means the individual creates and sell the product himself/herself. This may include paying a third party to manufacture the product. The second pathway is via licensing. Many persons do not have the resources to get a business off the ground and may therefore decide to exploit the expertise of an existing company, in terms of market experience, distribution channels and manufacturing to commercialize the idea. The risk of starting a company is traded for a royalty payment or a percentage that the company generates from the sale of the product.

CARIRI has recognized that there are many persons with innovative ideas but do not know how to move their ideas forward. The Idea Advisory Service (IAS) is a platform through which persons can submit their ideas confidentially for screening. The IAS:-

1. Assesses novelty of the idea and advises on which intellectual property tool would be the most relevant in securing the idea;

2. Evaluates market demand and identifies and strengthens the benefits of the idea to the target market;

3. Assists in the development of a pretotype where necessary;

4. Identify and networks with potential licensees;

5. Negotiates licensing agreements.

CARIRI provides an extensive range of services and facilities to serve a wide range of industries and has existing networks within our reach, including the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO) of which CARIRI is a founding member.

For more information about the IAS, visit www.cariri.com and click on IAS - Idea Submission Form or contact us at 299-0209 ext 2210. 

Failure Analysis is the process of using analytical laboratory techniques, expert scientific interpretations, and failure mode analysis to identify the root cause of a failure in a part, assembly, material, or system.  A failure could arise not only as a broken component, but also includes rejected parts from a manufacturing line, lack of performance of an equipment or system. The root cause of a failure could even include management related issues.

The initial step to perform a failure analysis investigation begins with visually studying the failed part and asking detailed questions regarding associated parts, plant environment and operational procedure. A summary of the investigation steps is shown hereunder:

  • Collection of background data and selection of samples (service history and conditions)
  • Preliminary examination of the failed part
  • Complete metallurgical analysis of failed material (mechanical properties, chemical composition).
  • A through examination of the failed part including Macroscopic and Microscopic examination and analysis (electron microscopy). This includes fractographic analysis.
  • Analysis of fracture mechanics (shear, brittle or ductile).
  • Evidence Interpretation, formulation of conclusions and writing of final report (Including recommendations).

Some tests may include Hardness Testing, Weld Examination, Case Depth, Decarburization Measurement, Coating/Plating Evaluation, Surface Evaluation and/ or Grain Size Determination, inclusions density, morphology and type, compound analysis, microprobe analysis, etc. Typically these tests are conducted by strictly following test methods from internationally recognised organizations such as ASTM, BS, ISO, etc.

Investigation of failures in polymeric type materials (plastics) requires tests specific to this type of material. This includes Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and thermo-mechanical analysis (TMA).

The main factors that relate to failure of components are Material, Design, Manufacturing Process and Service Condition, the last being the most common cause. The Service Condition factor also includes how the component was used, if it was abused or if it was just inadequate for the given task.

The most frequent failure mechanisms observed are:

  • Corrosion in its different forms (pitting, crevice, aerated cell, filiform, Galvanic Cell, etc).
  • Fatigue
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Stress corrosion cracking (SCC)

CARIRI’s Metallurgy Unit

Metallurgy is the science and technology of metals. It involves analyzing the physical and mechanical properties of metals and examining how they are affected by composition, mechanical working and heat treatment.

At CARIRI’s Metallurgy Unit, our customers are our foremost concern. Our highly experienced and qualified personnel, as evidenced by our 40 years in the industry, have allowed us to treat with our clients’ most basic test requirements, as well as their more technologically advanced needs, with the same dedication and accuracy. We do this through our superior knowledge, equipment, expertise, quality certification and international accreditation.

We deliver first-class service based on excellence and expertise. We are leaders in finding solutions due to our well-established international connections and relationships, the innovations we have implemented, and our decades of experience.  Our goal is to find “the best way” for our clients - not merely the easiest or quickest solution.

We work closely with our customers to provide service solutions that manage risk and reduce cost, while ensuring health and safety compliance at an internationally accredited level and quality.

We offer a wide range of tests and services that is comparable with established laboratories anywhere else in the world.

These include:

  • Failure Analysis of Mechanical Components
  • Corrosion Assessment & Prevention of Coatings and Components
  • Mechanical Testing of Material

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Image 1: Nickel-sulphide inclusion found embedded in a high rise building glass pane that caused its complete shattering.

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Image 2: Failed offshore natural gas compressor piston due to improper plating of surface

Contact Information:

Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI)
Trincity West Industrial Estate,
Macoya.
Telephone: 285-5050 ext. 3110
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Risk Management is not a new subject and it is not one that should be ignored, especially by companies in the Food and Beverage Industry.  Risk management’s overall objective is to assure the organization that uncertainty does not deflect from the effort of achieving the business goals.  Nothing should be more important to the food industry than protecting their customers and employees. To this end, there are a number of requirements for facilities and processes that are highly specific and targeted at food safety. However, food and beverage facilities are often wet places in which to work, which introduces a crucial consideration for people safety – Slip Resistance. In general a slip occurs when there is a loss in traction between the walking surface and the shoe; or contact with another object. If the slip extends for more than a few inches it may lead to a fall.

The considerations to risk management for areas where wet operations occur are different from dry operations and are more critical when focusing on slip resistance. For the food and beverage industry, proper sanitation is needed to control bacteria growth, remove contamination and prevent slippery floors. More often than not people associate rough floors with slip resistance, and shiny or polished floors with slippery floors. While this may hold true for some surfaces,a roughly textured surface can increase the traction on a floor/walkway, but that can however impede the effectiveness of a cleaning regime. A compromise is therefore needed to achieve adequacy for both slip resistance as well as ease of cleaning.

The Cycle of Walkway Management emphasizes 5 aspects: Design, Plan, Build, Maintain, Insure. A slip can result in minor damage to a person or property; or on the other extreme a slip can result in serious injury or death. The risk of injury or death to a person whether employee or customer is unacceptable and should be given priority from as early as the design stage for a facility.A food and beverage facility, whether engaged in processing, packaging or retail sales will at some point require people or equipment traffic within the operations area for actual operations, maintenance or cleaning purposes.

It is the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare atwork of all hisemployees. The OSH Act stipulates that employers are to ensure that as far as reasonably practical, persons not in his employment are not exposed to risks for their safety and health.

Food and beverage facilitiesshould therefore be so designed to allow operations and maintenance processes to occur without incident and in an optimal way. The design should take into consideration the type of activities, materials/products and the environment. For instance materials such as powders, flours, oils and liquids are easily capable of creating slippery surfaces. The floors in areas with these and similar products must therefore be designed and maintained to accommodate safe work in the area. The floors themselves are to be even and have clear access;proper stairway and ramp design and inclusion of guard and hand rails are among the items that encompass a comprehensive walkway design.

The selection of flooring surfaces as mentionedmust address both food safety and people (customer and employee) safety. Apart from safety, the flooring finish can have an effect on productivity. This can be evaluated by determining how often maintenance has to be done on the floors, the duration of the maintenance and the downtime of operations to facilitate this. With usage and harsh cleaning processes the surface of your floor can become worn thereby reducing traction and creating floors with a higher potential for slippage. In the cleaning processes, the types of chemicals used can leave residues that are not visible but can be slippery. Coatings and polishes that are placed on the floors all have some effect on the slip resistance of the floors. Whether they are intended to add some layer of protection to the underlying surface, increase traction or purely for aesthetics, you should know how the application affects the floor to ensure a reduced risk of slips. 

Are you a food or beverage producer, processor, packager or retailer? Are your products frozen, greasy, powdery or liquid?

Do you own or operate a bakery, restaurant or food establishment?

At CARIRI we are now trained and ready to assess the slip resistance of floor tiles before and after installation to verify the coefficient of friction. These values will allow you to assess whether the tile is appropriate for use to avoid slips. We can also conduct walkway audits for instances where you have had slips, or even areas of concern.  We want to help you reduce your risks of accidents and incidents related to floor safety. Don’t set yourself up to being sued for a slip and fall accident. Reduce your risk by managing it proactively!

Our Caribbean Food Safety Centre is outfitted to address your food safety concerns and can guide you through the HACCP Process.

Our goal is to help you make your operations and facility safer!

For more information, please contact out Industrial Materials Unit – Civil at 285-5050 ext 3190 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 


 

Launched in July 2014, CARIRI’s Business Hatchery continues to transform start-ups through its signature Business Hatchery Programme. Targeted to start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs seeking to test the market viability of their product, service or technology solution, our Business Hatchery team has worked with over 70 start-ups and 100 founders.

For the busy entrepreneur, our 3-month Business Hatchery Programme is readily divided into two Programmes, each 6 weeks in duration. All entrepreneurs are supported by group workshops, peer review sessions and weekly one-on-one business coaching. We also host an integrated workshop segment with experts in trademark, copyright and patents from the Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

Business Hatchery Smart Start Programme

In our Smart Start Programme, we work with early stage entrepreneurs in helping them navigate through Customer Validation and Market Research and Strategies, to validate customers’ ‘pain points’ and define their target market.

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Business Hatchery Connect Programme

In our Connect Programme, we facilitate entrepreneurs’ practical application of Accounting and Finance, the Business Model discovery process and Business Pitch Development.

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 Over the course of three months, our Programme stretches entrepreneurs to reach outside their comfort zones, engage with prospective customers, and rigorously test their market assumptions and projections.

Our upcoming Business Hatchery events to support entrepreneurs’ development include:

Recruitment continues at our Launch It event on 4th and 9th February and interested entrepreneurs are invited to submit an online application at http://www.cedcariri.com/hatchery

With a network of mentors and entrepreneurs, as well as a combination of facilitative workshops and evaluative business coaching, CARIRI’s Business Hatchery team welcomes all start-ups, irrespective of business sector.

Our Vision is to be Trinidad and Tobago’s premier platform for business start-ups, in building a community of entrepreneurs who go on to discover and innovate sustainable solutions that improve lives, connect people and stimulate change.

  • Launch It (4 February: 1:30-3:30pm and 9 February: 4-6pm)
  • Our Signature Business Hatchery Programme (April 2017)

 

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