Trinidad and Tobago has long recognised the power of science and technology in helping to shape this country's future and its resilience to emerging global challenges. In support of developing this country's capability in science and technology, NIHERST has worked with the Ministry of Science and Technology in preparing a new National Science and Technology Policy, based on extensive public and specialist consultations over the past two years.
The policy features four specific objectives which when achieved would result in the following:
- improved collaboration and coordination among stakeholders in the fields of science and technology (S&T) thus eliminating the unnecessary duplication of work and wastage of resources and encouraging a more sustainable framework for governing S&T;
- increased national benefits from S&T that are relevant in addressing some of society's most pressing needs;
- sustained increases in public and private expenditure on research and development accompanied by an enabling infrastructure that efficiently shifts research and knowledge transfer to those most in need - our SMEs, farmers, entrepreneurs and civil society; and
- the creation of a critical mass of active researchers, scientists, engineers, technologists and other professionals that can and are adequately skilled to take this country forward using S&T.
Trinidad and Tobago currently performs and contributes only a very tiny fraction to global research and in this regard, it is envisioned that full implementation of this policy would reposition T&T to conduct basic and applied research that:
- creates new and improved value to existing products, processes and services;
- contributes in value added to domestic exports; and
- finds practical solutions to our environmental and social problems and challenges.
The draft policy is completed and now has to be reviewed and approved by higher authorities before it is adopted.