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Call for Greater Research Funding

For Release Upon Receipt - Monday, November 26, 2018

There is a need for robust investment in Research and Development (R&D) to be made in and beyond the university.

Director of Graduate Studies and Research, Professor Winston Moore, called for the development of a National Systems of Innovation (NSIs), which he believed could be a key element in building the capacity of small states to produce knowledge-intensive and high-tech goods and services.

Moore made the call during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 70th anniversary Student Research Symposium, held last Friday in Lecture Theatre Two of the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex.

“NSIs are simply private and public sector institutions whose activities result in the modification, diffusion and/or initiation of new technologies,” he said. “Private organisations are key elements since they are the ones innovating. However, in order to benefit from economies of scale in research and development, it is important that there is a link and interaction to benefit from group knowledge and abilities. In this framework, innovation is seen as a national public good.”

W MOOORE CROPPED-11-26-2018.jpgThe noted economist said that NSIs in the Caribbean tend to be “quite weak, with little or no coordination of innovation systems,” and research and development expenditure accounting for less than one per cent of Gross Domestic Product. He touted the importance of research to the growth and development of Barbados and the wider Caribbean at all levels, adding: “University research, if it leads to the development of intellectual property, can provide income streams for the researcher, the university and community. At a macro-level, these new areas of activity can result in the formation of new businesses, export diversification and new employment opportunities.”

Moore emphasized the role that The University of the West Indies has played as an important partner in knowledge development for 70 years, and added that the time had come to “build on the legacy” and increase regional investments in research and development. The director of graduate studies and research also underscored The UWI’s commitment to supporting student-led research, some of which is made possible through the Postgraduate Research Fund.

“At [this] Campus, there is a Postgraduate Research Fund which makes awards to students to support their research, travel to conferences and any other activities approved by the Committee. This is one of the facilities that I would like you to take advantage of as students - and the facility is quite generous,” he said.

Eighty-eight student researchers are currently pursuing Doctoral degrees and a further 85 are enrolled in Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programmes. Over 90 percent of the research-oriented cohort are registered in the faculties of Humanities and Education, Science and Technology and Social Sciences.


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