3 BIC Awards for Curaçao

3 BIC Awards for Curaçao

OCTA Innovation awards in Business, Innovation and Creativity (BIC Awards) are a part of OCTA Innovation’s Innovation Support Network programme and they are presenting a symbolic distinction to a business from an OCT but in practice showcase innovation and creativity across the OCTs.

Fiona Curie, Innovation Director for Curaçao recommended four candidates for the BIC Awards. A BIC Award ceremony took place during the Azores OCTA Innovation International Conference on the 12th of April 2017. Curaçao received three awards during this ceremony, namely:

  • Innovation Award for Curaçao Innovation Award
  • Creativity Award for Creative Lab Caribbean
  • Creativity Award for Street Art Skalo
Curaçao news Fiona Curie Award
‘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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Launch of the start-up launchpad

Launch of the start-up launchpad

Minister Martina opened registration for ‘Start up Launchpad’ at the Ministry of Economic Development on September 21, 2017.

Since then, entrepreneurs can apply for the ‘Start up Launchpad’. Through this program, start ups will receive support and will be able to invest in their companies through ‘knowledge’, ‘technology’ and ‘support’ vouchers. The program consists of 4 rounds of intensive coaching and support. Each round will be concluded with a ‘pitch competition’, determining who will continue to the next round. Through the course of the program, the final winner of the last round will have accumulated up to over ANG. 50.000 in support, technology and knowledge vouchers.

Participants need to have products or services in the start up stage that contribute to the development of Curacao into a ‘Smart’ island.

The deadline for application is October 19, 2017 after which CITI and members of the jury will select the participants. The participants will be announced on November 1, 2017 at the Kick-off event of Round 1. This first round will have a duration of one month.

More information on conditions, information and the application form.CITI Launchpad (23)

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OCTA Innovation Issue 12 / 2017 –  Innovation

OCTA Innovation Issue 12 / 2017 – Innovation

The pilot projects are part of the OCTA support for the implementation of the most promising and innovative ideas, innovative modalities of organization, and implementation of the advanced innovative technologies in the OCTs. The OCTA Innovation pilot projects are immensely important as one of the first actions in the implementation of the OCT innovation strategies. Keeping the innovation momentum, and securing these early steps have been funded by the European Commission.

Five pilot projects are already well progressing in their activities and monthly reports present great collaborative work in propelling innovation in territories. Four more pilot projects have been contracted and kick-offs are ongoing.

Smaller innovation projects (SIP) are currently under development to be contracted in the coming period. We are very proud with the high intensity actions as this period is simultaneously full filled with different innovation initiatives, innovation studies, innovation workshops, events, trainings and missions. Visit our web site for more news, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Milan Jezic von Gesseneck

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Start-up Launch Pad for Smart Communities in Curaçao

Start-up Launch Pad for Smart Communities in Curaçao

Curaçao aims to become smarter as a nation by investing in innovative solutions to existing problems and improve people’s well-being. The Curaçao Pilot Project “Start-up Launch Pad for Smart Communities program” will increase the success rate of start-ups that develop solutions for Small, Safe and Smart Communities.

Curaçao aims to achieve a more export oriented future and improve its potential for economic growth by focusing on the wider world. This requires Curaçao to advance to the levels of a digitalized society/ Smart Nation. Smart communities use technology to solve problems and improve people’s well-being. Curaçao aims to become smarter as a nation by investing in innovative solutions to existing problems.

A smarter Curaçao as a nation to contribute to the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all by investing in innovative solutions, improving the success rate of SME’s and increasing employment in Smart Nation related jobs and industries.

Participants in the Start-up Launch Pad for Smart Communities have improved access to knowledge, finance and support for start-ups and through the increased use of technology and innovation, will create products and services that contribute to Curaçao becoming a smarter and safer community.

Curaçao tech innovation Caribbean SME support news Fiona Curie


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: innovation@octa-innovation.eu

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OCTA Innovation Issue 3 / 2017 – Curaçao

OCTA Innovation Issue 3 / 2017 – Curaçao

Curaçao is an island strategically situated in the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of the South American mainland. A polyglot society, it boasts more than 60 different nationalities, living and working harmoniously on a 171 square-mile territory. As part of the erstwhile political entity the Netherlands Antilles, the island became an Overseas Country of the European Economic Community in 1964. Historically a trade enclave, today the island’s economic mainstay is centered around tourism, oil refining, financial services and ship repair.

As acting Representative of the Government of Curaçao to the European Union for the past two years and a member of OCTA’s Executive Committee, Ann Philipps, has been advocating a vision of an internationally focused future for her island. This makes the most of Curaçao’s natural assets; a multi-ethnic and multi cultural population speaking several languages and a good strategic position for trade. At the same time, it recognizes the need to forge strong international partnerships and improve the quality of its human capital through an internationally-oriented educational system. This vision for the future was reflected in the theme of Curaçao’s OCTA chairmanship, ‘building strategic partnerships for sustainable development’.


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Going international in Curaçao

Going international in Curaçao

Acting Representative of the Government of Curaçao to the European Union for the past two years and a member of OCTA’s Executive Committee, Ann Philipps authors below an article of her vision for the future of her island.

“ One of my predecessors stood at the cradle of OCTA at the beginning of this century. The theme of Curaçao’s OCTA chairmanship was ‘building strategic partnerships for sustainable development’. This theme ties in nicely with what from my point of view could be a vision for the future of the island. I have the habit of capturing ideas in the titles of books. When I envision the future of Curaçao, Russell Shorto’s book, ‘The Island at the Center of the World’ comes to mind. In this book Shorto traces the origins of Manhattan and uncovers the ideological building blocks of the United States of America; among other things: tolerance, freedom and multi-culturalism.

I see Curaçao as ‘going international’: focusing on the wider world by forging strong partnerships with its immediate surroundings and with countries and regions farther afield. So to speak, becoming an international center for exchanges between and among peoples from all over the world. The necessary elements to achieve this vision are already there: Curaçao has a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural populace, several languages are spoken on the island and it is strategically located between the trading routes of East and West, North and South.

But there are also challenges, that the island needs to address in order to realize this vision: improving the quality of its human capital through an internationally-oriented educational system and advancing on the road to becoming a more digitalized society.

In my view being a member of OCTA constitutes one of Curacao’s assets in realizing this vision. Although representing a mere one and a half million people on this planet OCTA, despite its limited thrust, in spanning the globe, can nonetheless be further developed into an international player. OCTs in their own right are geographical, ecological and cultural gems, that through their links with the European Union have access to a market of 500 million people. A smarter, more efficient OCTA, can overwhelmingly reap the fruits of this unique access.

In going forward one of the areas in which OCTA should bring its weight to bear in a more focused manner is in heavily promoting education and training, in particular capacity-building in entrepreneurship, the arts culture and sports among the youth of the Overseas Countries and Territories. Articles 32, 33 and 36 of Part Two of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD) covering respectively youth, education and cultural exchange between the Union and the OCTs, offer the mechanisms through which these areas can contribute to the much-needed social mobility of the youth in the OCTs.

When looking at the current state of human relations on our planet I believe that the most needed commodity, that regrettably is now in short supply, is empathic and respectful dialogue. As a member of the Executive Committee of OCTA I have sought during the past two years to contribute, however modestly, to increasing its stock. “

Find out more about Ann Philipps

Curaçao news OCTA
Stimulating innovation in Curaçao

Stimulating innovation in Curaçao

The OCTA Innovation project is supporting sustainable growth in the OCTs in many different ways. Fiona Curie, our Innovation Manager in Curaçao, is leading the way in all innovation-related activities. Working in the Ministry of Economic Development and in charge of propelling innovation in public and private sectors in Curaçao, Fiona Curie recommended four candidates for the BIC Awards. Fiona Curie authors below an article of innovation in her island.

Curaçao is not unfamiliar with the term innovation. The Innovation Prize has been awarded to businesses that have applied innovation ever since 1996 via the Innovation Centre Curaçao. Since then, many organizations on the island have received the prestigious prize.

The dedicated OCTA Innovation project is helping OCTs in their sustainable growth through innovation, by providing support to OCTs in establishing their innovation strategy, execution of the strategy, raising awareness on innovation, providing technical assistance and implementation of the action plans.

With the help of the OCTA Innovation project, Curaçao has developed an Innovation Strategy based on consensus which was approved by the Council of Ministers January 6th, 2016. This has raised innovation on the public/policy agenda of Curaçao. Innovation is no longer considered an alternative, but rather one of the main conditions for sustainable economic growth and wealth creation. Innovation is part of the long term economic strategy of Curaçao which in turn is derived from the National Development Plan of the island. Innovation is spurred among key stakeholders, enterprises, education institutes and public institutions.

Find out more about Fiona Curie


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