The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO) jointly held ‘Building Globally Competitive Businesses: An International Conference’ on Friday 17th March, 2023 at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre.
The Conference was well attended and saw participants from various sectors across the country attending and networking with speakers from Turkey, Denmark, Spain, China, Jordan, Indonesia, Ghana, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago.
Building Globally Competitive Businesses: An International Conference created discussion and is intended to motivate action. In a global marketplace propelled by innovation, and with the rapid pace of technological change, it is imperative that Trinidad and Tobago and, by extension, the region be proactive to ensure that we are not left behind. The effects of this globalization are obvious to us all and presently we are immersed in transformational change that is essentially altering the way we live, work and relate to one another. The pandemic has actually amplified this change by speeding up the adoption of digital technologies by several years. A sizeable number of companies have leveraged innovation and digital transformation to remain competitive and increase global impact; however, to be able to do this requires an appreciation of how these companies have been able to make what can be deemed a fundamental shift and take their businesses to the next level.
It is with these considerations in mind that CARIRI, a leading regional, technology-based institution, has opted to bring this important conversation to the forefront.
Mr Hans-Erich Schulz, Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI stated that “CARIRI’s mandate is to be a national and regional focal point for technology and innovation, playing a leadership role in providing value added technological solutions. And we take that directive very seriously, therefore, we see this Conference as contributing to national knowledge with the hope that it will spark creativity, innovation, discussion, out of the box thinking but most importantly, action. We clearly stated in our development of this conference that it will be a solution-oriented event and it is our expectation that attendees will leave with actionable strategies and practices which can be implemented in their own organizations.”
Also delivering opening remarks at the event was Senator the Honorable Allyson West, Minister of Public Administration who weighed in on the overarching theme of the Conference by stating “through Vision 2030, we hold dearly the fact that when our economy grows and prospers, all our people have opportunities to prosper. Competitive businesses are, therefore, important to our developed-nation thrust. For any sustained increase in the quality of life there must be an increase in productivity and real growth originating from innovation and competition that you, and any other entrepreneurs and businesses like yours create.
As we move towards 2030, we are ensuring that our firms have advanced strategic and operations systems and a capable, knowledge-based workforce, with access to high quality resources fuelled by a sophisticated consumer base. Additionally, Government is working to create an environment that encourages competition as well as a favourable culture and climate for entrepreneurship and innovation towards creating the economy of tomorrow. CARIRI is a champion of this vision and I again extend congratulations to the Staff, CEO and Board of the Institute for the excellent work being undertaken.”
The day was filled with presentations, discussions and networking which even included a panel discussion that was able to bring a perspective from the public sector, private sector, academia and an international outlook on developing the local innovation ecosystem.
CARIRI is a founding member of WAITRO and has leveraged this relationship over the years to ensure that it stays on the cutting edge of research and innovation.
WAITRO is an independent, non-governmental and not-for-profit association founded in 1970 under the auspices of the United Nations. WAITRO brings together science, technology and innovation stakeholders, including research and technology organizations and research universities on an international scale and provides a mechanism for its members and partners to connect, partner, share, inspire, and multiply their contributions to solve global challenges and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There are over 150 members in over 50 countries across the globe with more than 100 projects being worked on by over 100,000 researchers at present.