Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade and export incentives for entrepreneurs of the Caribbean Netherlands and the Caribbean countries within the Kingdom.

As of 1 January 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened up the instruments for trade and export promotion to all entrepreneurs in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. Entrepreneurs with export ambitions from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten can now take part in these instruments.

More information. 

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Future of food – Workshop in Aruba

Future of food – Workshop in Aruba

Workshop given by OCTA Innovation expert Jacques Grysole in Aruba: Future of Food on March 6, 2018. This workshop on creativity in agriculture was organised by Varelie Croes, new Aruba Innovation director.

Main questions were:

How can we design a better food ecosystem of tomorrow that is:

  • Creative and triggers curiosity
  • Aligned with Aruba’s DNA (see “Cu Mira Pa Futuro” tourism report)
  • Sustainable
  • Supports the main ambitions in the Innovation Framework – Isla Innovativo report
  • Applies the latest break-through technology
  • Personalized (based on lifestyle, genome and microbiome etc.)
  • A new concept: From the ‘human body’ to table (‘on-demand’)
  • Taking into account the various trends/themes below
  • Does not require big investment to get off the ground
  • Attracts international partners to create centres of knowledge / R&D and/or a test-bed economy.

Other sub-questions that could be addressed during the workshop:

  • Is there a present and/or future niche in the Future of Food space that Aruba can own?
  • What is the role of creativity in the food space?
  • How do we motivate and empower the citizens to get involved? Would the creation of a digital platform be the first building block? Something similar to this:
  • What export markets should we be looking at in the next 2 to 5 years?
  • What would a collaborate platform look like? Where do we start?
  • If a Food Blockchain + AI is considered, who should lead this initiative?
  • What data can we gather or should we be gathering through the food supply chain?
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‘Sustainable Caribbean’ tastes like more!

‘Sustainable Caribbean’ tastes like more!

“Sustainable Caribbean”, a meeting on sustainability in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Around forty students and fifteen other guests came on January 12th 2018 to the ‘Sustainable Caribbean’ meet-up, an initiative of WeConnect Foundation in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research.

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More information in the Press Release.

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Sustainable Caribbean

Sustainable Caribbean

WeConnect , Dutch educational foundation in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research (WUR), is organising the meet-up ‘Sustainable Caribbean’ on Friday January 12, 2018.

The focus is on green and sustainable initiatives on the Caribbean islands and on how to liaise Antillean and Aruban students and young professionals with these projects. It is one of WeConnect’s initiatives to turn the brain drain on the islands into a brain gain and thus reinforcing the local employment market with homegrown talents.Read more


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Three Pillars: Intertwining innovation, education and commitment

Three Pillars: Intertwining innovation, education and commitment

OCTA Innovation under leadership of Mr Milan Jezic von Gesseneck (left on the photo) has developed into an innovation think tank committed to best outcomes in island states in the Atlantic and South Pacific. With innovation as the engine of sustainable development, Milan has lead developing innovation, including a new concept in learning, blended education. From his experience of working in developing countries, he developed a learning methodology that brings together most effortless in-job education, with structured distance learning enabling the students on minimal face to face support (often not available on the islands) to gain from the most advanced education tools and gain valuable qualifications.

In the summer of 2017 University of Aruba and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (University of Leuven) signed a 5-year partnership agreement for the Green Faculty at the University of Aruba. Under leadership of Mr Glenn Thodé (middle on the photo) the Green Faculty encapsulates an academic program focused on research in the field of sustainability, and application of new technologies related to green, renewable energy, in combination with economic and social sciences. The Green Faculty is a major leap forward for all region. By welcoming high-level experts and academic staff, the Green Faculty will, no doubt become the hotbed of learning in the Caribbean. Great work Glenn!

From economic hit-man to protector. Emerging from the world of hard, imperial economics where power is unscrupulously used to further interest of global finance, Mr John Perkins (right on the photo) has been reborn into one of the strongest protectors of natural life and resources. Advising small countries and organizations that protect resources and support economics that respects both environment and societal needs, John is using his economic knowledge and commitment to sustainable and circular economy. We love this work.

On the first sight these three approaches are unrelated. But they form the big picture of economic and societal prosperity in the Overseas Countries and Territories, the Three Pillars.

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Best of luck Cedrick!

Best of luck Cedrick!

We have great experience and pleasure working with Aruba, as one of the leading OCTs in using innovation for propelling prosperity of the country. We have extraordinary cooperation working with Cedrick Tilma, Representative of the Government of Aruba at the EU in developing and implementing  innovation and sustainable growth of islands. With the formation of a new government in Aruba and the retirement of Prime Minister Mike Eman as of November 1st, Cedrick Tilma’s function in Brussels is coming to an end after almost 8 years.

We are grateful for the guidance and support that we had enjoyed in the period particularly when Cedrick Tilma was President of the Executive Committee of Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) as well as later on during Aruba chairmanship of OCTA. Dear Cedrick, thanking you a lot for indeed great cooperation beneficial not only for Aruba, but for all Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union, we all are wishing you the best in your new endeavours.

Aruba news
OCTA Innovation BRUZZ events

OCTA Innovation BRUZZ events

OCTA Innovation Brussels BRUZZ events rise the visibility of the OCTs through direct interacting with the Brussels audience but also to the world wide audience due to the high OCTA Innovation visibility and due to the high press coverage.

Last BRUZZ event was devoted to Turks and Caicos Islands. Honourable Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson with her team, including Ms. Tracy Knight Turks and Caicos Islands EU representative based in London, addressed Brussels audience in Brussels Press Club last Thursday 13th of July. See photos 

You may watch videos from TEDxAruba BRUZZ  and St-Barthélemy BRUZZ.

Pitcairn’s Innovation Manager Leslie Jaques visit to Brussels concluded in the agreement to have an OCTA Innovation BRUZZ dedicated to Pitcairn in November 2017.

Anguilla’s Innovation Manager Bren Romney visit to Brussels concluded with the agreement to have an BRUZZ event devoted to Innovate Anguilla.

All OCTs are warmly welcomed to benefit having BRUZZ event to create business, investment and  knowledge and experience sharing opportunities with both EU public and private stakeholders!

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Green Faculty becomes reality in Aruba

Green Faculty becomes reality in Aruba

After years of thorough preparations, the Government of Aruba and the University of Aruba are launching a brand new academic research and teaching program in Science, Technology and Engineering (STEM): the Green Faculty. Academic partner in this endeavor is Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven). Representatives of both institutes signed the documents for a five year partnership on June 30th, 2017. Prime Minister Mike Eman committed, with his signature, the Government of Aruba to support the Green Faculty as facilitator and financial partner.

The most innovative university in Europe, according to Reuters Institute, is KU Leuven. This nearly 600-year-old institution was founded by Pope Martin V, but today it’s as much known for technology as for theology: KU Leuven maintains one of the largest independent research and development organizations on the planet. Danny Pieters, vice-rector Humanities and Social Sciences and vice-rector for International Policy was in Aruba earlier this year. “We are fascinated by the sustainable ambitions of Aruba. We were looking for options in this part of the world and Aruba is the perfect partner for us”, he said at that occasion. KU Leuven brings in the initial academic staff, who will educate and train local professors.

The University of Aruba (UA) is a small unique university or can be referred to as an academic institution with interactive classes and much individual attention given to each student. The University of Aruba currently offers degree programs at the Faculties of Law; Accounting, Finance & Marketing; Hospitality, Tourism Management & International Studies; Arts & Science. These Faculties offer educational programs and research activities, as well as services to society. Business Director Patrick Arens explains that the Green Faculty will offer short programs to companies, permanent education for highly educated professionals and a bachelor program for regular students. “In a few years we will add master programs and deliver PhD’s.”

The Government of Aruba strives towards a sustainable Aruba in de broadest sense. The sustainable development is directed towards a better quality of life for the citizens of Aruba. The creation of a new economic pillar based on the knowledge economy, sustainability and innovation is part of this policy, as well as strengthening the ties with the European Union.

The development of the Green Faculty is supported by the European Development Fund for the amount of 13.05 million Euro.

With the creation of the STEM Bachelor program in Sustainability, starting in fall 2018, the UA will provide qualitative and relevant education in Sciences, Technology and Engineering. The Green Faculty will attract students from Aruba as well as from the entire region.

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