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Dialogue

Technology Extension Policies in the Caribbean

Date: 23 Aug 2017 to 24 Aug 2017

Time: 8:30 AM

Location: Kingston, Jamaica

Context:

The low level of innovation in the Caribbean is a constraint to the region’s economic growth, and technological change represents a key factor in increasing productivity. One alternative available to address this key constraint is technological extension policies. Technological extension policies can help increase productivity and competitiveness by facilitating the adoption of technology by enterprises, particularly SMEs. Technology extension policies help companies not to develop new technologies but rather to diffuse and encourage the adoption of already existing technology, thus contributing to increase the capacity of targeted firms to develop new products or improve their processes. Technology extension services usually include an assessment of the firm’s operation, followed by an improvement plan and assistance in its implementation. These services can include benchmarking companies in their industries at national and international levels, providing information on opportunities for improvement by incorporating existing technologies, best practices, technical assistance and consulting human resource development, strategic management, etc. Implementing these types of policies requires supporting institutions with leadership and coordination skills, and with the ability to design instruments designed according to business needs, human capital for the execution of projects and capabilities to deliver technology services.

Objectives:

To share with the region’s main public and private stakeholders in the Caribbean a preliminary assessment of the demand and supply for technology extension services in the region, as well as to discuss how these programs could be implemented in the Caribbean. The event will include presentations on concepts and models of technology extension programs, some of which are already being implemented in the region, and the presentation of a study that contains a preliminary evaluation on the state of the different components necessary to implement this programs in Caribbean countries. We will then explore, through a case study, the design and development of a technological extension program contextualized to the Caribbean reality. Finally, we will discuss how the Compete Caribbean Program could support these instruments.

Target Audience:

Technical level representatives from Ministries of Economic Development, Planning, Industry and Trade, and/or Science and Technology, relevant universities, private sector.

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