The Caribbean Science Foundation will host the next annual ALCUENET LAC NCP (Latin America and the Caribbean National Contact Points) meeting in Barbados on May 25-27, 2015. CARICOM representatives, Ministers of government, Country representatives, researchers, Small and Medium Enterprises and other stakeholders will gather to discuss ALCUENET's five priority areas: Energy, ICT, Biodiversity and Climate Change, Bioeconomy and Health.
The main objectives of this workshop are:
a) to inform and update all participants about the opportunities for third countries in European Union's New Innovation and Research Framework Programme - Horizon 2020
b) to develop and strengthen the capacities of existing LAC NCP and also expand the LAC NCP network.
The achievement of both objectives, will allow generating necessary synergies to enhance the science and technology cooperation between both regions (EU- LAC).
More details will be available here.
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The CADSTI-CSF model is designed to tap the diverse and dispersed resources and talent in science, engineering, and business resident in the Diaspora for the economic and social development of the Caribbean. CADSTI is a collection of science, engineering and business experts and professionals who are dedicated to giving back to the Region. CADSTI has its headquarters in the Boston area, but it is organized as branches in key geographic Diaspora locations. Branches exist in the UK, New England, the US Southeast and the US Mid-Atlantic Region. Branches in Canada, Silicon Valley and New-York-New-Jersey are scheduled to open in 2014. CADSTI formed the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) in 2010 to implement its mission on the ground in the Caribbean Region. The CADSTI-CSF model is illustrated below.
A summary of the World Bank study can be found in this Caribbean 360 article, whereas the original study can be found at
At just about the same time, another World Bank study warns of the "Chronic shortage of innovation" in the Caribbean (see a summary at http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/business/1089333.html?print#axzz2nQr1UxKm)
Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF)
The CSF is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is Diaspora driven, and has its headquarters on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies. Its overall long-term mission is to help the Region create more high-paying technology-based jobs, and earn more foreign exchange by developing and exporting more technology-based products and services. The CSF achieves its goals by:
(a) Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education reform in the Region
(b) Stimulating technology-based entrepreneurship with the injection of seed funding (on a competitive basis) into science and technology projects within new and existing small enterprises
(c) Tapping into CADSTI's extensive database of scientists, engineers and technology leaders in the Diaspora (in virtually every technology area) for advice and expertise, and to help establish collaborations between entities in the Region and the Diaspora.
Regarding the promotion of STEM education reform, the CSF runs two STEM educational initiatives: (1) the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE), and (2) The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge.
SPISE is an intensive four-week enrichment residential summer program for gifted Caribbean high-school students who are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. The goal is to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering, and to groom the next generation of technology leaders in the Region. SPISE provides a learning environment in which understanding the concepts and fundamental principles is reinforced over and above rote learning. Further, critical thinking and analytical and logical problem-solving approaches are emphasized in order to find solutions to complex problems that may not have been encountered before. Teamwork is yet another essential component of the SPISE experience, as are applying efficient study habits and time-management skills. SPISE students study calculus, physics, biochemistry, Mandarin, one Caribbean concept and entrepreneurship. In addition, they undertake hands-on, experimental innovative projects in robotics, computer programming and electronics (see http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/spise.php)
In the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, Caribbean high school students work in teams with teachers to develop innovative solutions to problems in their schools or communities using STEM. Sagicor provides all the funding for the competition at both the national and regional levels, while CSF provides the academic content, the mentors and the judges (see http://sagicorvisionaries.org/site/).
More information about the CSF can be found at http://caribbeanscience.org.
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Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) has partnered with Sagicor and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to launch the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. This challenge targets secondary school students who are encouraged to identify a challenge facing their respective school, school of choice, or community and, using Science Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified. We strongly believe that innovation in STEM must play a critical role in overcoming the challenges to building successful sustainable communities. We developed this Challenge to:
- Boost institutional capacity in STEM in the secondary schools in the Caribbean;
- Ignite interest among youth for innovation in STEM to help build sustainable communities throughout the Caribbean; and
- Integrate knowledge gained from formal and informal education to enable tomorrow's leaders to build a more sustainable Caribbean.
In October and November of 2012, we held sensitization workshops with teachers and students in several of the Challenge countries, including major publicity campaigns to encourage applications from school teams. The solutions to be proposed by the students will form the basis of the school's entry to the Competition. Here are the key dates:
- Project concepts uploaded to the Challenge Website: February 16, 2013.
- Entries evaluated and judged online: February 17 to February 22, 2013
- National level judging in each participating Country: February 23 to March 23, 2013.
The winning school in each country will then move on to the regional competition in Barbados on April 12 & 13, 2013. Student representatives and teachers of the winning teams from each national competition will also participate in an all-expenses-paid STEM Ambassador Program in Florida during Summer 2013.
Please visit the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Website for more information and to access resources such as Challenge description, rules and application forms. A description of the challenge can also be found in thisSagicor Visionaries Challenge Description Video. An example of a sample project is given in this Challenge Sample Project Video. Also visit our Sagicor Visionaries Facebook page) and, if you have any questions, send us an e-mail (email@example.com).
An important part of the challenge involves mentoring for each team by one or more professionals assigned by the Caribbean Science Foundation. Mentoring will be done in person or remotely, and may include any or all of the following activities: providing feedback on ideas, answering questions related to ideas, reviewing competition materials, and sharing expertise & experiences.
Our experience in the workshops made it very clear that most Caribbean secondary school students do not personally know a scientist or an engineer, or the wide variety of job opportunities available to scientists and engineers. Hence, your interaction with at least one student will help to change the face of science and engineering in the region. Persons interested in serving as mentors should fill out the Sagicor Visionaries Mentor Application Form. Our CSF team will match students with mentors based on areas of expertise. We really need your help with this challenge, so please spread the word about the Challenge to your friends, and encourage student teams at your high school to participate.
A PDF of this summary describing the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge can accessed at Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
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The ten students in the inaugural 2012 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) have successfully completed a busy 4-week schedule comprising classes in calculus, physics, biochemistry, humanities (one Caribbean concept) and Mandarin, as well as laboratory project work in electronics and robotics. On the final afternoon of the program, in front of a packed and captivated audience, the students gave presentations on their projects in humanities, electronics and robotics that included demonstrations with metronomes clicking, numbers flashing, amplifiers playing music, and underwater robots navigating obstacles in a water tank. Dr. Basil Springer, in his Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) column, referred to that afternoon as a 'magnificent, indeed awesome experience'.
The inaugural SPISE represents the first milestone in the Caribbean Science Foundation's mission to help diversify the economies of the Region by encouraging more students to pursue careers in science and engineering, and to consider becoming entrepreneurs. The Caribbean Science Foundation thanks the sponsors, whose support was absolutely critical for the 2012 SPISE, and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Barbados Campus, whose generous donation of the use of their facilities made the program possible. The goal for SPISE 2013 is to double the number of students (with new as well as returning sponsors) and to increase the number of subject offerings so students have more choices.
For a sampling of press releases on the 2012 SPISE, including photos of the students and their project demonstrations, please click on the following links:
Hailed for creativity -SPISE 2012-Barbados Today 31Aug12.pdf
Graduates Can Help Economy-SPISE a Hit - Barbados Advocate 2Sep12.pdf
The 2012 SPISE Student Project-Barbados Advocate 7Sep12.pdf
Ten students ranging in age from 15 to 17 and from 6 different countries (Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago) have arrived at the CSF, located on the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies, to participate in the inaugural Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE). The SPISE is an intensive summer program for Caribbean high-school students who are interested in pursuing careers in science or engineering. The first annual SPISE runs from August 6 to September 1, 2012. The SPISE is one of the STEM education reform initiatives of the Caribbean Science Foundation with the long-term goal of helping to diversify the economies of the Region by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship within the Region. Both UWI and CXC are partners in the program.
The full text of the press release can be found PRESS RELEASE-2012 SPISE Students Arrive.pdf
At the February 2012 Vancouver meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Prof. Cardinal Warde presented a history and status of CADSTI and CSF in a session titled "Coordinating, Learning and Sharing Best Practices Among Scientific Diaspora Networks". Other Scientific Diasporas represented included The Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World, and The Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists.
You can read the full AAAS meeting report at: Scientific Diasporas
On Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at the Savannah Beach Hotel, Hastings Christ Church, Barbados, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Caribbean Energy Innovation Contest IDEAS 2012. According to the IDB website, individuals, enterprises and organizations based in the Caribbean are invited to submit proposals focusing on adoption, innovation, assimilation, development and transfer of technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and fossil fuel substitution by April 30, 2012. Awards of up to US$200,000 are offered for projects and enterprises which promote energy efficiency and access to renewable energy in the Caribbean region. Applications should be submitted electronically - details and guidance are available at www.iadb.org/ideas. Grant winners will be announced July 15, 2012.
Since the closing of Prof. Cardinal Warde's 36th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture on "Science Technology and Business Reform in the Caribbean" the government and society of Barbados have been responding to Prof. Cardinal Warde's views on the need for education reform within the island.
- In BGISMedia News in an article titled "Changes In Education System Already On Stream," Minister of Education Ronald Jones welcomed the sentiments of Prof. Warde on the need for change in the island's education system.
- The Barbados Advocate has produced three articles related to Prof. Cardinal Warde's Lecture:
• On December 1, 2011 an article titled "International Partnerships Important" dealt with the issue of business development in Barbados, in particular with respect to science and technology. This was in response to Prof. Warde's statements that international partners are necessary in the development of pharmaceuticals drugs in the Caribbean.
• In the 4th of December 2011 article "Straight to the Point: 11-plus removes class/colour bias" there was some expected push back where the author, Mr. John Blackman, said that "... A significant number of people calling for the abolition of the examination have failed to appreciate how it has leveled the playing field over the past 30 to 40 years."
• On the 5th of December 2011 in the article "Multifocal learning is key", Minister of Education Ronald Jones responds to the question posed by Prof. Cardinal Warde on the need for reform in the island's secondary entrance examination by stating "...the Ministry responsible for education will look towards pushing for a more holistic approach to learning for its students."
- The Nation News also carried articles on the lecture on November 23rd, 2011 titled "11-Plus reform a must" and a November 27th, 2011 titled "Curriculum shift 'a must': Prof sees this as best for Caribbean." According to to first article, Professor Warde stated, "What we need in this region is the will to change it [the 11-Plus]" and in the second article "...the 11-plus places limitations on slow learners, thwarting their desire to realize their true potential,"
Dr. Cardinal Warde, MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering, visits his Alma Mater, St. Christopher Primary, Barbados on November 24, 2011. To view pictures click on the link below.
See more photos in slide show here
After an exciting weekend of the first annual conference and workshop of CADSTI-CSF (November 18-19, 2011), on Monday November 21, 2011 at 8.00 pm, Prof. Cardinal Warde delivered the 36th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture (courtesy of the Central Bank of Barbados) on "Science Technology and Business Education Reform for the Caribbean" at the Frank Collymore Hall, Barbados. Prof. Warde's slide presentation can be accessed by clicking the link below.
CADSTI and CSF held their first annual Workshop on November 18-20, 2011 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The theme of the Workshop was "Mobilizing the Diaspora for Caribbean Development Through Science, Technology and Innovation". See the press release of the Workshop below:
Press Release of the 2011 CADSTI-CSF Workshop
The 2011 Workshop was a critical event in that it propelled the Caribbean Science Foundation into operation as the leading body for stimulating science and technology activities in the Region. The Workshop programme is reproduced at the link below:
Summaries of the scientific posters presented at the Workshop can be found in the link below:
Poster Abstracts 2011-CADSTI-CSF Workshop.pdf
Also, at the same time, the CSF headquarters in the CARICOM Research Building on the UWI Cave Hill Campus came alive with Ms. Samantha Sobers (Administrative Assistant) joining the management team and now running the day-to-day show. Lots of great ideas were developed at the workshop, and some are already being put into action (see CSF Press Release above). The energy and the passion for the cause was intense, and these are captured in some of the pictures below:
2011 CADSTI-CSF Workshop Photos-web.pdf
Research: News, Analysis, Funding & Data produced an article about the CSF Workshop titled "Science Foundation seeks funds to translate science and technology research" on the 14th of December 2011.
CSF Sets Sail - Physics Today June 2011.pdf
(Copyright Physics Today 6/2011)