Nineteen (19) Firms Awarded Grants and Recognised for their Innovative Projects
Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago, 12 June, 2023 – Nineteen firms have been selected for the award of grant funding from the European Union and IDB Lab the innovation lab of the Inter-American Development Bank Group under the Shaping the Future of Innovation, Innovation Challenge Facility’s (ICF) Second Call for Proposals to implement their innovative projects. The nineteen firms were chosen out of sixty-seven eligible SMEs that applied under the Second Call for grant funding.
To mark the achievement, the partners including the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Planning and Development, the European Union (EU), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Lab and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) hosted an Awards Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port of Spain Ballroom to publicly announce the grant recipients. These grant recipients will benefit from a share of the 7.5 M USD that was made available under the ICF.
The nineteen firms that were awarded grant funding are as follows:
- Adanna Joseph Baking and Agricultural Business
- Adult Literacy Tutors Association
- Agyei Archer Limited trading as Unqueue Studio
- Coco Payol Hospitality Services
- HADCO Holdings Limited
- Half Moon Vegan Ice Cream Limited
- Innovent Block
- K Rampat Cricket Academy
- Kairos General Services and Consultancy Limited
- PRODEX TT
- OperAid Limited
- Roam Reality
- Consortium of Resin Converters Limited/ SMCL Investments Trinidad Limited
- Term Finance (SME TT) Limited
- Tropical Hives Limited
- Ubergreen Foods Limited
- Vetiver TT EES Ltd
- XHUMA Healthcare Limited
Their projects cover a variety of sectors such as Agri-Processing, ICT Business Services Internet of Things (IOT), Fintech, Creative Industry, Education, Health, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, Sports and Waste and Environmental – all intended to contribute to diversifying the local economy and making the country more globally competitive.
The ICF funds are being made available via Calls for Proposals targeting established TT businesses. A third Call for Proposals is expected to be officially launched this month (June 2023). This call will target SMEs, Business Innovation and Inclusive Innovation Business Projects. The Management Consulting Consortium of Beta Technology Ltd. and EUROCHAM TT are assisting CARIRI in project administration. The primary initiative of the Shaping the Future of Innovation project is to aid in the development of a national innovation ecosystem as well as the development an innovation mind-set through three components: The Innovation Challenge Facility (ICF); Building Industry and Academic Linkages; and Building an Innovation Network. These components will address the following identified shortcomings in fostering innovation in Trinidad and Tobago: funding, industry-academia collaboration, and stakeholder networking. The project is also intended to facilitate innovation reporting and benchmarking for international indices such as the Global Innovation Index. To learn more about the Shaping the Future of Innovation project visit https://future.cariri.com/
Mr. Hans Erich-Schulz, Chief Executive Officer, CARIRI, commented, “Throughout this Second Call for Proposals, we have witnessed groundbreaking ideas emerge from diverse facets of society. The innovations highlighted here today have the power to shape industries, contribute to economic diversification, and change lives for the better.”
The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Planning and Development in her feature address stated, “The citizens of Trinidad and Tobago display an impressive level of creativity and innovativeness. If we can prompt investments in innovations that add value, then there is potential to generate greater levels of revenue for the firms and thus, benefits for Trinidad and Tobago.”
Mr. Sanjin Soldatić, Chargé d’ Affaires, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, congratulated the awardees, stating: “TT’s innovators are indeed ideally placed to bring products, or new services to a vast market. Trinbagonians are naturally creative, there is a very high level of education and the prospects are very good across all of the business spectrum from creative arts to tourism, to renewables, to recycling. We have all been very impressed by the quality of the innovators that were identified under these Calls for Proposal, and I must say that I am already very much looking forward to the third Call and the objective of building the Innovation Network to have a sustainable innovation eco-system.”
IDB Lab congratulated the finalists in this second call targeting private businesses that are innovating for growth and sustainability and expressed their deep appreciation for the technical and financial partnerships with the European Union CARIRI and the Ministry of Planning and Development that has enabled the delivery of this unique opportunity to accelerate innovation of businesses in Trinidad and Tobago.
Ms. Marie Louise Norton-Murray, Project Manager, Shaping the Future of Innovation, Innovation Challenge Facility, Consortium Beta Technology Limited/EUROCHAMTT affirmed “We are confident and very excited about the significant results expected from this project for the business sector and the Government, the EU and IDB Lab, especially given the results we have seen so far. These results include Stronger, more developed innovation business models. Through the training, technical assistance and structured tools which now form part of this project, over 165 applicants (98 in Call 1 and 67 in Call 2) have received support to strengthen their business models and proposals for funding; So even if a company has not won an award, they would have gained simply by participating in the process.”