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.

Aruba educational innovation news research and innovation Science Bianca Peters
‘Sunrise Solar Park’ one of the biggest solar parks in the Caribbean Region

‘Sunrise Solar Park’ one of the biggest solar parks in the Caribbean Region

To further raise the sustainability bar in the Aruban energy mix, WEB Aruba N.V recently was handed over 92.000 square meter of land, which was previously owned by the Refinery of Aruba (‘RDA’), following the contract signing of a 5.9 megawatt solar project with partner ISOTRON and the official groundbreaking of the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ in the east side of the island of Aruba in Lago Heights, San Nicolas.

WEB Aruba is proud to initiate the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ project. This is a significant event for WEB Aruba because of the 16 million florin investment, and the complete ownership of a project of this magnitude. The Sunrise Solar Park will be one of the biggest solar parks on the island and the Caribbean Region. The solar project is monumental because it states the lowest price achieved for solar photovoltaic (PV) on Aruba to date.

The main focus of the ‘Decentralized Solar Photovoltaic Integrated Project’ is to construct a ground mounted solar PV system in San Nicolas, east side of the island, with a capacity of 5.9 megawatts. In addition to contributing to a more sustainable energy mix, this project supports the government’s agenda of repurposing part of the refinery premises.

This project brings WEB Aruba closer to their goal of completing all solar energy projects that are part of the Aruba Renewable Energy Strategy (‘ARES’) and portfolio. WEB Aruba’s mission is to reach an average of 5% solar energy penetration.

WEB Aruba expresses gratitude to all its departments who have also contributed to the development of this project and also, the Government of Aruba, Utilities Aruba N.V, N.V. Elmar, ISOTRON, Aruba Investment Bank, Brown Lawyers, Refinery of Aruba and CITGO who have played a fundamental role in making the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ become a reality for the island of Aruba. Find more about Green Aruba

renewable energy Aruba news Bianca Peters Jezic von Gesseneck
Bureau of Innovation hosted sold out Coffee Byte Session on E-Commerce in Aruba

Bureau of Innovation hosted sold out Coffee Byte Session on E-Commerce in Aruba

On 26th of April the Bureau of Innovation (BI) hosted their “Coffee Byte Sessions”, a small two-hour learning event on different topics in Aruba’s society in which BI invites experts in their respective fields to discuss and present their knowledge with interested people.

BI invited Mister Atwell Aniceta – Local Representative from CX PAY, to come and share his experience on CX PAY and e-Commerce in Aruba in general. This topic resulted in being a “sold out” event. The invitation shared with BI’s mailing list clearly stated limited seating available – which made everybody invited RSVP within no time.  

With the world changing and customer behavior changing with it, BI decided it was time to invite Merchants to hear what CX PAY can offer when it comes to e-commerce and to point out that there are indeed solutions within Aruba to keep up with the pace of change.

During this event Merchants, Bankers and even Economic Affairs came together and discussed their concerns, idea’s and insight on what would be needed to establish a secure way to e-commerce.

CX PAY is committed to assist the industry with the ultimate goal to maximize sales easily and effectively by creating a securely protected environment against fraud by using the highest level of secure transaction infrastructure available to their clients with a simple “local buying feeling experience”.

What stood out is the possibility to finally receive your money locally on your account within just a few days in a cost effective way. Also present at the Coffee Bytes, CMB / MCB Representative Annelien Tromp-Diaz showing their ongoing support in opening the market for those in need and being one of the steady partners with CX PAY. This way CX PAY presents you with local partners, who understand the market, language plus the supply and demand of customer and merchant. What became clear during this session is how other banks in Aruba have not yet shown their full support on this option, making it difficult for the Merchants to move forward as well.

Overall it was a very informative session, with a lot of different dynamics and the merchants being central in their need to move forward and to become innovative while looking for the right tools to do so.

More on Bureau of Innovation

Aruba event tech innovation trade news Bianca Peters OCT events


The OCTA Innovation International Conference took place in Ponta Delgada, Azores on 11-14 April 2017. It gathered representatives of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTs), the government of the Azores, the European Commission and innovation experts to look at how innovation is spurring sustainable development in small islands and to develop cooperation and future initiatives.

The pillars and values that are the basis of a society were considered as well as the capacities and needs of all stakeholders to underpin them. The implementation of different types and different levels of innovation have been under consideration. The vision of an economically prosperous and inclusive society should be based on innovation and entire collaboration between public and private actors. Innovation should support all stakeholders in society, in both economic and social fields and is perceived as crucial for tackling the issues of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development. The governments have to ensure enabling conditions for propelling innovation. Innovation Managers of the Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union, active members of OCTA Innovation, assembled in the Azores, commit themselves to feeding these dynamics.

Governments must take the lead in systemic innovation across all sectors; fostering partnerships between public and private entities and knowledge sharing and capacity-building. The ambition is to grow a number of thematic and regional centres of excellence among OCTs with a focus on those sectors where individual OCTs are already leading the way, and to share expertise among the OCTs and with regions.

Innovation Managers: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; British Virgin Islands, Lizette George; Cayman Islands, Jamaal Anderson; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Falkland Islands, Michael Betts; French Polynesia, Bran Quinquis; Greenland, Lars Balslev; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; New Caledonia, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Helena, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Turks and Caicos Islands, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Wallis and Futuna, Carole Manry.

OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck:

Greenland Falklands New Caledonia Sint Eustatius sustainable development Montserrat Curaçao British Virgin Islands Aruba event French Polynesia news OCTA Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands St Barts Saba Cayman Islands Bonaire Anguilla Saint Helena Tristan da Cunha islands Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis And futuna Pitcairn Bianca Peters Menno Van Der Velde Jamaal Anderson Fiona Curie Lizette O. George Roy Hooker Carole Manry Dianne Boelmans Olivier Gaston Alexa-Cooper-Grant Michael Betts Bran Quinquis Niall O'Keeffe Pascal Peuchot Jezic von Gesseneck Conferences Azores
OCTA Innovation Issue 8 / 2017 –  Aruba

OCTA Innovation Issue 8 / 2017 – Aruba

The European Commission has signed a pilot project for Aruba. The innovative project, which engages a new generation, will give schoolchildren on the island the opportunity to gain practical experience of 3-D technology. The project has been greatly enabled by the dedication and enthusiasm of Bianca Peters who is our Innovation Manager in Aruba and Director of the Bureau of Innovation.

The Bureau of Innovation is a unique mix of creative think-tank and project development within Aruba’s Ministry of General Affairs, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Science. It has already been given OCTA Innovation BIC ‘Business, Innovation and Creativity’ Award for its outstanding support to social, technical and economic innovation.

Says Bianca Peters: “Within the vision of Aruba to become a 100% sustainable society, we see the need to focus on start-ups, on young entrepreneurs who think outside the box and find solutions to challenges in the development towards a sustainable society. A very important development for Aruba is to give the younger generation and recent graduates the opportunity to remain in Aruba to exploit their creativity and build on them thereby a future here.”
Read newsletter.

renewable energy green economy Aruba smart specialisation bioeconomy blue economy good practice Caribbean European Commission Bianca Peters newsletter-en Jezic von Gesseneck
Pilot project for Aruba signed

Pilot project for Aruba signed


The European Commission has signed a pilot project for Aruba. By teaching electronic technologies to the next generation, OCTA Innovation’s EU-funded pilot project will assist in building the foundations of a knowledge-based economy in Aruba.

E-based equipment such as 3D printers, lasers and shape scanner will be bought for use in after-school clubs or other venues so that elementary and secondary school students can learn how to operate the equipment and be inspired. The project will be mounted by a project manager and two technical trainers.

The results of the project will be a disseminated through different communication channels such as newsletters, press releases, website and presentations. The aim is that others will draw inspiration from the project and eventually ‘copy’ it in other OCTs, or further afield.

Aruba tech innovation Caribbean news European Commission Bianca Peters
WEB Aruba N.V. up to the energy storage challenge

WEB Aruba N.V. up to the energy storage challenge


The transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy at WEB Aruba N.V. for the production of electricity and potable water continues. The company’s ambitious goal of 100% fossil fuel independence by the year 2020 has led to the development of solutions that provide reliable, affordable electricity around the clock. Such solutions require advanced energy storage systems to bridge the gap between peak renewable production and peak demand.

WEB Aruba N.V. has selected the technology leader, Tesla to provide the energy storage systems needed to develop 100% renewable energy solutions, on Friday November 18th, 2016 at the Green Aruba VII conference, the two companies signed the agreement in presence of Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman, Minister of Economic Affairs, Communication, Energy and Environment, ing. Mike de Meza and Drs. Franklin A. Hoevertsz, Managing Director of Utilities Aruba N.V. The first utility scale project will be commissioned early next year, and serve as a model for larger scale deployments to be announced over the coming months. WEB Aruba N.V. and Tesla will also deploy Powerpacks and Powerwalls at Aruba’s Smart Community next year, which is designed to serve as a model for broader deployment to households and communities across the island.

Management of WEB Aruba N.V. explained that the main purpose of this strategy is to develop energy storage projects as part of a long-term island-wide strategy. Consequently, this strategy will allow more renewable energy penetration, decrease the use of fossil fuels, increase grid stability and decrease overall operations and maintenance costs of Aruba’s electricity system.

WEB Aruba N.V. is currently developing short-term, medium-term and long-term, execution plans in order to achieve Aruba’s target of 100% renewables by 2020

renewable energy Aruba news Bianca Peters