Director of Technology in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr. Quincy Prentice attended CANTO's Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and was impressed by what he saw. Attending for the first time he said that he would be keen to attend next year if possible.
Prentice was attending the conference as part of the delegation from ECTEL, the St. Lucian based Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulator. We spoke to Mr Prentice after the event for his thoughts on the week long conference and activities.
I asked what were the key points he took away from the conference?
"Firstly I would say collaboration, collaboration, collaboration, the need for regional governments to work more closely together in the development In the development and deployment of ICT platforms and knowledge sharing as a means of Accelerating the rate of which technology can be successfully deployed by the region as a whole. This view was promulgated by The Honourable Darcy Boyce from Barbados and others and indeed there is also a proposal on the table from the CARICOM on level for the creation of a single ICT space so I would certainly say collaboration and the need for greater need for collaboration on a regional level is one of the key take aways."
Prentice also mentioned the issue of convergence and OTTs.
"Another key takeaway is the issue of convergence we heard quite a bit About the over-the-top services from the service providers and they call for the regional regulators to regulate these entities as well. we have also seen some opposing views such as professor Gilbert Morris Dr Paul Golding in terms of the need for the regional telcos to adapt their business models to the existing market conditions. So, certainly convergence is an issue that is here to stay."
NIHERST Launches Its Caribbean Youth Science Forum 2017
Trinidad & Tobago's National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) is launching its Caribbean Youth Science Forum (CYSF) 2017 for regional Lower Sixth Form science students.
In a release, NIHERST said CYSF is intended to develop the next generation of science and technology professionals from the Caribbean region whose knowledge and skills contribute to the improvement of society.
This 16th instalment of CYSF runs from August 6th-13th, providing its participants with an invaluable opportunity to increase their knowledge, broaden their horizons, and develop a strong sense of regional identity as they engage with top professionals in diverse STI fields and their peers from other countries.
All forum activities are ultimately geared towards providing opportunities for students to develop 21st century skills which are absolutely critical to their personal and professional development in the future.
The programme promises to cover topics including artificial intelligence and computer vision, surgical sciences, art psychotherapy, forensic pathology, chemical engineering, deep sea exploration, food and agricultural technology and the oil and gas industry.
This year's distinguished visiting keynote speaker is Dr. Naila Murray. A native of Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Murray is currently a senior scientist and manager of the computer vision group at Naver Labs Europe (formerly known as Xerox Research Centre Europe), where she actively conducts research, and coordinates the research efforts of her team.
Her work in computer vision enables machines such as computers and smartphones to automatically understand visual content such as images and videos. This understanding leads to applications such as automated image and video tagging, aesthetics prediction, and visual attention modelling. She is the recipient of the 2014 Frank Rampersad Award for Junior Scientist, awarded by NIHERST.
We Need More Content Says, Antigua & Barbuda's Minister Nicholas
At, CANTO's 33rd annual conference and trade show which took place in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Antigua & Barbuda's Telecommunications Minister Melford Nicholas, drew parallels with former President Bill Clinton's quote "it's the economy stupid", as he championed the digital equivalent "Content is King!"
On the sidelines of the conference, I had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Minister Nicholas on various matters of ICT development when he raised the issue of content creation.
"We need to move beyond the primary level of production, we need to be higher up the value chain and offer the finished product. And I think the area where we will be able to get the best bang for our buck is that there is no replication of Louise Bennett, there's no replication of Paul Keens-Douglas or Viv Richards, these are the people we have! Look at the strength we had in cricket, where we have allowed an American company to become the virtual repository for the information of cricket. They have taken over from Wisden, Cricinfo is now owned by ESPN. But we have been such giants of cricket and we do not have our own regional repository for cricket. We had Tony Cozier, Reds Perreira is still alive."
"It is new thinking, that I'm saying that we need to create some of those information portals in our own territories and get them branded. They have to be branded effectively so that we are able to utilise the same advertising models, and we bring eyes to our portals, and hence we're able to connect businesses to consumers in a real way."