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Date: 21 Aug, 2009
Source: Invest Barbados

The 2009/2010 National Innovation Competition is currently underway.

The fourth edition of the competition began in May 2009 and will be concluded in March 2010 with the presentation of the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation. Funds to the tune of $75,000 will also be awarded to assist in the development of the winning idea. Registration ends on August 31, 2009 while the submission of project summaries to the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) must be completed by September 30, 2009. Ten entries are to be selected for the second phase, where a business plan must be created and a presentation made to the judges. Technical assistance is to be provided.

What then is innovation? Innovation has been defined as “the process of envisioning and successfully implementing new ways of doing anything that creates value for an enterprise and its customers”. It has also been defined as “the new use or application of existing technology for a completely different purpose from which it was originally used or intended”.

Invest Barbados (IB) is offering a special Best Service Innovation Prize to entrants making submissions in the category of services. The prize, aimed at stimulating innovation in the services sector, will consist of $2500 in cash and an additional $15,000 in technical assistance. This technical assistance will be given in the areas of business development, market plan development and access to consultancy services.

Services can be described in many ways with perhaps the simplest definition being that of an intangible product. Services are provided through the actions of people as opposed to the consumption of a good in hand. Services are wide ranging, covering areas from hotel and restaurant services to telecommunications; from distance education to e-banking and from fashion design to music.

Registration forms and further information on the National Innovation Competition may be obtained from the NCST website http://ncst.gov.bb/. Information on services and their export may be obtained from the Indigenous Services Export Division of IB at 626-2000.