The Innovation Challenge is being hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Centre for Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE). The CCREEE aims to transform the energy landscape in the Caribbean into a climate resilient, sustainable and affordable sector; focused on improving the lives of our people with the strategic objectives:
i. To create a market intelligence repository;
ii. To optimize and accelerate innovative applications of technology, policy and finance and;
iii. To embed and transform, utilizing sustainable energy solutions as a means to advance the well-being of at-risk and vulnerable groups
The Innovation Challenge is closely linked to an initiative of the CCREEE which involves the design and regional roll-out of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Centres, which are intended to be operated and maintained by students of educational institutions in currently underserved and remote areas of the CARICOM region. The Innovation Competition will be held to determine the first pilot site within the CARICOM region.
The broad objectives of the competition are to:
i.Improve awareness and the existing knowledge base on sustainable energy and climate technologies in the CARICOM region and beyond
ii. Promote gender equality and equal chances on the labor market
iii. Promote the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the region
iv. Improve access to sustainable and reliable energy services in underserved areas
Specific objectives include:
i. Make STEAM more accessible to the youth and in particular, girls through hands-on experience with technology
ii. Encourage girls to enter a STEAM career and balance current gender disparities in the region
iii. Let young people learn to take responsibility in a playful way
iv. Showcase sustainable and innovative technologies
v. Enable cross-learning and exchanges through a regional student network
vi. Motivate the younger generation to stay enrolled in secondary level and enter tertiary education
Following the implementation of the first Pilot Centre, five (5) pilots are foreseen in currently underserved areas in Haiti and hinterland regions of main land territories of CARICOM, namely, Belize, Guyana and Suriname. Building on the lessons learned and adaptations from the 5 pilot sites, a regional rollout of STEAM Centres is envisaged.
The new deadline for the Challenge is March 31, 2020.