Collaboration for progress

Collaboration for progress

Last week, on 25th of January 2018, Mr Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Team leader, Innovation expert gave a workshop on “Becoming a smarter Curaçao by implementing innovation and through increased cooperation”.

Curaçao as a smart nation and Willemstad as a smart city are considered important in achieving sustainable economic development according to the coalition agreement of 2017-2021. Applying innovation and increasing cooperation will contribute to becoming this smart nation and city.

Ms Fiona Curie, Innovation Director presented at that occasion the Innovation Action Plan for 2018.

Curaçao news Fiona Curie OCT events
OCTA Innovation Issue 1/2018 – Curaçao

OCTA Innovation Issue 1/2018 – Curaçao

How to propel innovation? How innovation to interweave in the economy? How to progress in establishing innovation ecosystem? How to develop optimal innovation supporting instruments? How to implement innovation across all sectors? How to enhance true public private partnership? How to secure sustainability? How to establish priorities? How to use opportunities on the most efficient way? How to optimize use of available knowledge and expertise? How to deal with brain drain? How to optimize capacity building via different ways of blended learning? How to deal with lack of capacities? How to protect heritage? How to use and how to protect natural resources? So many questions and issues to progress with.

In the light of some of these questions and issues, different opportunities and actions are discussed with Ms. Fiona Curie, Innovation Director and with key Curaçao innovation stakeholders this week. Curaçao is one of the best OCTs progressing with innovation policy action plan. Meeting with Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath will be a crucial step to consolidate the action plan.

Read the newsletter.

Curaçao news Fiona Curie newsletter-en
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.

iago algaeparc bonaire

More information in the Press Release.

Sint Eustatius Curaçao Aruba educational innovation Caribbean news Saba Bonaire
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


Sint Eustatius Curaçao Aruba Caribbean news Sint Maarten Saba Bonaire Sint Maarten
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)

Curaçao news Fiona Curie e.startups-en Pilot project
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

Read newsletter.

renewable energy Sint Eustatius sustainable development Curaçao British Virgin Islands tech innovation SME support Cayman Islands Saint Helena newsletter-en
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:

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 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’.


Read newsletter.

creative industry Curaçao tech innovation good practice news Fiona Curie e.startups-en newsletter-en Jezic von Gesseneck