UN Oceans Conference : Our Oceans, Our Future. Islands are incubators for innovative solutions, Ronald Jumeu, Seychelles representative to the UN stated. watch video
The linkages between fisheries and tourism, maximizing potential benefits for local fishers and fishing communities, as well as to reduce the growing dependence on imported fish and fisheries products. Sourcing locally produced fish and seafood for the tourism sector, quality assurance, reliability of supply, volume, product form and transportation, communication and information flow between fishers and tourist establishments. These issues are considered as key issues in the fisheries sector by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Read more . OCTA Innovation is proud that our Overseas Countries and Territories are leading the region in finding the most innovative solutions for moving forward in fisheries sector. Currently Sint Eustatius Innovation team lead by Roy Hooker, Innovation Director, with support of the Alan Cooper, expert from Trinidad and Tobago has developed a project called Blue Statia. Project is considered as very innovative and one of the most promising creativity and technological innovation initiatives.
OCTA Innovation’s International Conference at the Nonagon Science and Technology Park in Ponta Delgada, the Azores, April 11-14 2017, was a resounding success. The gathering of OCT Innovation Managers, the government of the Azores, the European Commission and innovation and creativity experts was extremely promising and fruitful. The event was unique in building synergies between OCTs and the EU’s Outermost Regions.
Similarities between the two in meeting the challenges related to isolated territories were highlighted by Rui Bettencourt, Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations of the Azores. Opportunities for cooperation were articulated by Chair of OCTA Innovation’s Steering Committee, Janice Panton.
As the Team Leader of OCTA Innovation, I am proud that Innovation Managers decided to draw up a conference declaration clearly showing a firm grip of innovation, creativity and leadership and in this way taking ownership of the very concept of OCTA Innovation. The Declaration calls on Heads of Government of the EU’s Overseas Countries and Territories to take full responsibility for prosperity of OCTs by taking the lead in developing the conditions for implementing Systemic Innovation.
Milan Jezic von Gesseneck
Future cooperation between Azores, one of the European Union’s Outermost Regions, and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) will be discussed at OCTA Innovation’s International Conference in Ponta Delgada, Azores, 11th-12th April.
Participants from the Azores and OCTs will look at the scope for sharing best practice and innovation knowledge and working together in areas where cooperation would be mutually beneficial. These include the green and blue economy, tourism and culture and creativity. An eventual Azores-OCTA Memorandum of Understanding could be proposed.
Azores is an Autonomous region of Portugal comprising three groups of nine islands located in the Atlantic Ocean some 1,360 km off the coast of Portugal. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east.
OCTs are mostly small island distanced from the European Union mainland. The challenges to innovation they share with the Azores include: remoteness, the small size of local markets, difficulties accessing other markets and high transport and energy costs.
The sharing of innovation knowledge and best practice, and possible cooperation on projects and programmes, could help surpass such challenges. The aim is to foster growth, economic diversification and sustainable development through innovation.
A forum takes place in Brussels, March 30-31, between EU policy makers and the EU’s nine Outermost Regions: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain). It will consider a renewed European Union Strategy towards the nine.
Existing EU measures under the Regional Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, assist the Outermost Regions in surpassing their unique challenges. Insularity, remoteness, topography, climate and dependency on a limited number of economic sectors are issues that the grouping shares with the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
However, the unique geographic and geological characteristics of the Outermost Regions are spurring research and innovation in the areas of renewable energies, pharmacology, space science, biodiversity and marine ecosystems. The forum will look at measures to make the most of the regions’ potential within a renewed strategy.
The Presidents of the Outermost Regions of the European Union are expected to attend the event, along with President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, French Minister of Overseas, Ericka Bareigts, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Margarida Marques and Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Jorge Toldeo Albiñana.
The recent period has involved a lot of commitment for Mr Cedrick Tilma, EU representative of the Government of Aruba at the permanent representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Brussels. He has been representing the Aruba Chairmanship of OCTA to the European Union’s institutions as well as assisting Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman to chair OCTA and to host the 15th OCT-EU Forum in Oranjestad, 20-24th February. Very successful team work has led to great results.
Mr Tilma former President of the OCTA Executive Committee and a member of OCTA Innovation’s Steering Committee, has played a major role in in establishing OCTA Innovation and in propelling innovation in the Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union.
Mr Cedrick Tilma is also working on capacity building, enhancing higher level education and building a Sustainable Energy Roadmap for OCTs, in line with Aruba’s commitment to cut fossil fuel dependency and promote renewable energy using all available tools: technical, economic and regulatory. He says: “The use of renewable sources of energy is a key issue for OCTs to reduce dependency on the import of fossil fuels. The wider use of renewables is one of the top innovation priorities for OCTs.” The use of renewables is also promising for the creation of new jobs, such as in the expanding eco-tourism market, he adds. View the video to find out more.
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.”
The European Commission has signed a pilot project for Bonaire.
Dianne Boelmans, our Innovation Manager, who is an advisor wthin the government of Bonaire, has played a major role in bringing the pilot project to fruition, as well as mobilising all stakeholders behind innovation and steering other activities of OCTA Innovation on the island.
The pilot project is a collaboration between Bonaire and Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), a leading institution in this field. It will assist the implementation of bio-technology for stand-alone production of algal products, consequently increasing food production, generating income and jobs and diversifying the economy.
Vendredi 17 février dernier, le BRUZZ consacré à Saint-Barthélemy lors de l’évènement Saint-Barth Smart Island a permis de bien présenter ce Pays et Territoire d’Outremer (PTOM) des Caraïbes et ses enjeux actuels au public de Bruxelles. Le succès de ce BRUZZ a ainsi mis l’accent sur le caractère unique de cette île et aussi de renforcer les liens entre les PTOM et l’Union Européenne, comme en témoigne la participation exceptionnelle des fonctionnaires européens.
Le Président Bruno Magras de la Collectivité d’Outre-Mer de Saint-Barthélemy, accompagné de ses hauts collaborateurs, vient débattre avec l’audience de Bruxelles lors du BRUZZ du 17 février sur les sujets de l’innovation dans cette ile dans différents secteurs tels que le tourisme de luxe, le développement numérique, l’élargissement de l’accès aux nouvelles technologies, l’utilisation des énergies vertes, les véhicules électriques et l’énergie solaire, l’accroissement des créneaux d’opportunités commerciales et le partage des connaissances.
Le Président Magras et son équipe vont particulièrement présenter «Saint-Barth Smart Island» l’évènement numérique de la Chambre économique multi-professionnelle consacrée cette année aux «séjours connectés» autour des thèmes de l’innovation numérique et du tourisme.
En direct depuis Bruxelles: Hannah Cole, Chef d’Unité adjoint, DEVCO G2 Interventions régionales, Amérique latine continentale et Caraïbes ; Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, Directeur de projet, OCTA Innovation. En direct depuis Saint-Barthélemy : Bruno Magras, Président de la Collectivité d’Outre-Mer de Saint-Barthélemy ; Pascal Peuchot, Directeur de l’Innovation, Saint-Barthélemy ; Nadège Carti-Sinnan, Directrice Générale, Chambre économique multi-professionnelle. http://octa-innovation.eu/bruzz
La government de la Polynésie française reconnaît pleinement l’importance de l’innovation pour apporter une croissance économique durable, comme indiqué dans la Stratégie d’Innovation et dans le Plan d’Actions.
Bran Quinquis, Directeur de l’Innovation pour la Polynésie française s’est engagé dans la mise en œuvre de cette stratégie avec énergie et enthousiasme. Le Plan d’Actions de la Stratégie Territoriale de l’Innovation (STI) de la Polynésie française est entré dans sa phase opérationnelle. Pour atteindre son premier objectif « Développer la culture de l’innovation et de l’entrepreneuriat », la grappe d’entreprises Tahiti Fa’ahotu en partenariat avec le gouvernement de la Polynésie française a organisé le premier « marché de l’innovation » l’année passée.
Un autre point d’orgue – l’implémentation d’un projet pilote qui cible la bioconversion de tourteaux de coprah, signé par la Commission européenne le 8 février, permet la Polynésie de répondre à la deuxième orientation de la stratégie polynésienne de l’innovation qui est d’ “Accroître l’impact économique de la Recherche par le Transfert de Technologie et une R&D plus performante et renforcer ainsi les liens et les synergies entre acteurs économiques et acteurs de la recherche.