Cedrick Tilma: Innovation in energy – a top OCT priority

Cedrick Tilma: Innovation in energy – a top OCT priority

Cedrick Tilma, Aruba’s representative to the European Union’s institutions, Chair of the OCT Association’s Working Group on Energy and president of the Executive Committee of OCTA, was a key figure in both establishing the OCTA Innovation project and in bringing into being a Sustainable Energy Roadmap for OCTs, signed in June 2015 by OCT Heads of Government.


The importance for an OCT to innovate for economic growth and sustainable development.

Innovation is imperative to advance economic diversification for sustainable development across all economic sectors and activities of government and society. Community dialogue and innovation at all levels of education are a necessity. Aruba, for example, is establishing a Green faculty at the University of Aruba to ‘capture and disseminate on an academic level’ the knowledge that is being gathered as the Island is transforming into a green and low carbon economy. 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 importance of renewable energy for OCTs.

The greatest challenge of our time is the rising temperature of our planet caused by worldwide CO2 emissions. Only with a drastic transformation of energy consumption and generation can this trend be curbed. Although no heavy polluters, OCTs also have a responsibility that could be turned into opportunity when making our contribution to CO2 reductions. Islands by default are ‘non-connected’ which make us ideal locations to test and apply sustainable energy applications. In addition, OCTs possess an almost limitless supply of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, marine, hydro and thermal. Fossil fuels and centralized power supply are in decline and OCTs need to be part of the global sustainable energy transformation from the start. It is my firm belief that this can be achieved by strategically connecting the opportunities of our islands to the right resources and partners.

The use of renewables is also promising for the creation of new jobs, such as in the expanding eco-tourism market.

To ensure that these goals are a priority, OCT Heads of Government drew up and signed the OCT Sustainable Energy Roadmap in June 2015. It contains a commitment to cut fossil fuel dependency and promote renewable energy using all available tools: technical, economic and regulatory.


The feasibility of all OCTs sourcing 100 per cent of their energy from renewables is directly linked to access of applicable funding. Innovative financing structures such as the EFSI guarantees through the European Investment Bank can greatly excel the penetration of renewable energy in the OCTs.

Best practices can be shared between OCTs. My own country, Aruba, has already set a goal of becoming 100% renewable. It has invested in windmills, solar parks, a waste to energy plant, as well as in smaller products, such as solar panels for school roofs. One of challenges in the greater use of renewables is to balance supply and consumption via energy storage systems.
The sustainable use of natural resources is also the focal sector for OCTs under the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

OCTA Innovation is driving in the same direction. It is providing technical assistance and funding pilot projects to advance innovation in all sectors, notably renewable energies as well as leveraging the transfer of the best innovative practice and knowledge developed in Europe.

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Pacifique : L’agriculture se met au vert

Pacifique : L’agriculture se met au vert

Les territoires du Pacifique sont encore largement importateurs de produits agricoles et alimentaires. Des approches innovantes sont en cours d’élaboration pour augmenter et diversifier la production. Sur le plan agronomique, le semis sous couvert végétal, expérimenté par le Centre de recherche et d’expérimentation agronomique (CREA) en Nouvelle-Calédonie, offre aux agriculteurs une technique économe en intrants, protectrice du sol et de l’environnement et génératrice d’une meilleure marge brute. Cette pratique est expliquée par un technicien du CREA dans cette vidéo.

Cette pratique culturale fait plus largement partie de l’agroécologie. Découvrir le premier MOOC sur l’agroécologie en français.

La permaculture, inventée dans les années 70 par les Australiens Bill Mollison et David Holmgren, offre une approche globale de l’agriculture, à la fois respectueuse de l’environnement et génératrice de revenus pour les producteurs. Elle commence à se développer dans les îles du Pacifique. Plus de détails sur le site de Permaculture sans frontières ou sur le site du Permaculture Research Institute en Australie, berceau de la permaculture.

La pratique de l’agriculture biologique est en expansion dans les Etats et territoires du Pacifique, et vise surtout les marchés à l’export (Australie, Nouvelle Zélande, Japon). Un réseau de 9000 fermes bio, structurées au sein du réseau POETCom, met en relation les producteurs et techniciens de 14 pays et territoires du Pacifique; par exemple le groupement des agriculteurs biologiques de Calédonie. Les produits sont commercialisés avec le certificat Bio Pasifika (norme océanienne d’agriculture biologique). La mise au point de techniques culturales adaptées aux écosystèmes de la région, se fait au sein de fermes pilotes, et chez les agriculteurs certifiés bio. Plus de détail sur les résultats des expérimentations, soutenues par le programme européen INTEGRE.

Intégrer davantage de produits alimentaires locaux dans les cantines scolaires participe également à l’alimentation durable. L’ONG NeoFood est pionnière dans ce secteur grâce au programme pilote cantines scolaires, testé au sein de l’internat provincial de La Foa (Nouvelle-Calédonie).

New Caledonia Pacific agriculture French Polynesia feature news Wallis And futuna
Innovation Countdown: Last Few Days

Innovation Countdown: Last Few Days

Our Innovation Managers and Key Innovation Stakeholders have been working exceptionally hard to bring forth the innovation strategies for their islands. There are only few days left for the submissions (deadline Friday 15 January 2016) but the contributions are already coming in.

Innovation Strategies are the result of many months of intensive work and engagement, in some cases even years. Innovation consultation meetings were carried out, ministries, business, education sector were involved, and the official government support secured.

Innovation and creativity remain the best way for driving sustainable growth and development at islands. Innovation strategies are the springboard for this growth and development. All of them are island-specific and looking at the local opportunities and challenges, that fully account for available resources, potentials and overall government commitment and support.

We are all excited at the OCTA Innovation Team to be on the forefront of receiving so many ideas, original concepts, and exceptional contributions. Innovation at the OCTs is clearly gaining recognition.

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Pitcairn – Photo blog from the island

Pitcairn – Photo blog from the island

Part of Blog post from Rhiannon Adam on her Photography project on Pitcairn island

Between February and July 2015, I lived on Pitcairn Island, a tiny, craggy lump of volcanic rock in the middle of the South Pacific.

Pitcairn is the last remaining British overseas territory in the Pacific, and measures just 2 miles by 1 mile. It is home to fewer than 50 people, most of whom are descendants from the Bounty mutiny of 1789.

Though famous for its association with the Bounty mutiny, Pitcairn is perhaps better known now for the string of high profile sexual abuse scandals involving girls as young as eight that took place ten years ago. As a result of past scars, locals were reticent about engaging with me, and I had a difficult three months on the island.

My aim was to photograph each and every resident on Pitcairn in 2015, with a view to drawing parallels between my own seafaring childhood and the fragility and physicality of the Polaroid film that I use. The project changed drastically during the course of my journey, and the most emblematic pictures were often found images that reflected the intense experience of living amidst this isolated community.


During my time on the island, I also made a Radio 4 documentary (in association with the Royal Geographical Society), called Journey of a Lifetime. You can listen to the documentary on iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06j144b

You can also read my blog of the trip here and see my Instagram images here.

With thanks to all of my supporters, including those on Kickstarter, GoFundMe, the RGS/BBC, Quondam, and Eftec.

For image requests, please contact me

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EU Grant for OCTA Innovation Pilot Projects

EU Grant for OCTA Innovation Pilot Projects

Associated to the European Union (EU), the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) comprise 25 islands, which have special links with Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, located in the Caribbean Sea, and the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans.

Twenty-two (22) OCTs, of which 21 inhabited, are members of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). One of the aim of OCTA is to contribute to the sustainable development of the OCTs, namely through innovation, competitiveness, and green growth.

OCTA recognised the critical need to spur innovation among key stakeholders (enterprises, education institutes, and public institutions). With the support of the European Commission (EC), OCTA initiated a dedicated project, “Territorial strategies for innovation” (OCTA Innovation project), which provides technical and demand-driven services to the governments of the OCT.

The TSI project aims to meet the challenge “Innovation for sustainable islands’ growth”. For that purpose, the European Commission has allocated an overall budget of € 5 million, for technical assistance and implementation of pilot projects in the OCTs. The project focuses namely on the following OCTs: Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Greenland, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saba, Saint Helena Ascension Tristan da Cunha Islands, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wallis and Futuna. The technical assistance contract was awarded to the consortium Eurecna (Venice, Italy) and Egis (France) for a four-year period (April 2014 – March 2018). A team of experts (a core team based in Brussels and a number of short-term experts) is supporting the OCT governments, both from Brussels and in the OCTs, in order to:

  • Establish an innovation strategy for each OCT;
  • Establish action plans for implementing the strategy and then to carry them out;
  • Create training tools to raise the awareness of innovation;
  • Facilitate an innovation network through a digital platform and training sessions;
  • Develop regional cooperation.

Objectives of Grant Application and Priority Issues

The global objective of this application is to enhance sustainable development through innovative solutions for economic diversification and to improve regional and global competitiveness of the OCTs.
The specific objectives of this grant application are:

  1. To support the reinforcement of OCTs capacities on innovation and related strategy setting, and to encourage regional and sectoral cooperation when appropriate ;
  2. To develop a shared approach and enhance the links between the main stakeholders (i.e. private sector, research, education and public authorities) on strategic objectives for supporting innovation in OCTs;
  3. To create the appropriate framework and tools for supporting OCTs in the implementation of their strategies for innovation.

Good governance is a major crosscutting issue that will be taken into account through the consensus building and the involvement of all stakeholders. Policy-makers constitute a key element of the project and guarantee that the approach of the innovation strategies in the OCTs will have a democratic dimension. A more technical issue related to governance regards the lack or unreliability of statistical data and information which will be taken into consideration.

Grant Documents in French

Grant documents in English.

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Online music streaming offers new opportunities for the Caribbean Music Industry

Online music streaming offers new opportunities for the Caribbean Music Industry

Research by Boudino de Jong and Gino Jacobs, founders of ‘Skempi’ (http://www.skempi.com), showed that home markets for the Caribbean Music Industry are subject to high levels of piracy and other forms of copyright infringement. It has become apparent that the Caribbean Music Industry is not well protected by legislation, compared to other Caribbean industries.

The founders of Skempi found a solution: online music streaming. Online streaming services have been coined the future of selling media. And so Skempi was conceived: a web-based music streaming service with content exclusively from Caribbean artist.

The Skempi website consists of a responsive design that renders optimally on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops and PC’s. This year Skempi will be releasing its mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Skempi facilitates a balanced growth in Caribbean music sales, maximizes on the trade potential of diasporic markets and creates further inroads into global music markets. The online platform is heavily supported and protected by information technology and it enables artists to reach a larger paying audience.

The growth of streaming and online subscription and the continuing explosion of mobile devices is a trend for Skempi to further capitalize on. Specifically Skempi focuses on reaching the following markets:

  • The Caribbean Population;
  • The Caribbean diasporic market;
  • Other global regions.

So far, Skempi has established numerous strategic and exclusive partnerships, including United Telecommunication Services (UTS), the National Library of Curacao (BNK), E-Group insurances (Extura, El Tributo, ENK), Obersi Group of Companies (i.e. Xerox, TV-Carib) and Curaçao Innovation & Technology Institute (CITI). Additionally Skempi has an official partnership with YouTube (Google), Skempi is an affiliate of iTunes (Apple), and owns a streaming licence from Holland-based copyright house Buma/Stemra.


Skempi is currently in the process of partnering up with a Silicon Valley based company operating in San Francisco and Medellin and receiving significant seeding capital from an angel investor.

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Innover pour se nourrir autrement

Innover pour se nourrir autrement

Bpifrance accompagne les entreprises pour voir plus grand et plus loin et faire émerger les champions de demain. Dans le domaine agricole et agro-alimentaire, elle appuie des startups innovantes, qui participent à une croissance verte. Les exemples cités dans Innovation alimentaire – de la mayonnaise au sel sans œuf donne un petit aperçu de secteurs à explorer.

L’élevage d’insectes commence à se développer dans de nombreux pays, et l’exemple de cet entrepreneur de Guadeloupe pourrait être certainement étendu à d’autres territoires d’outremer. L’Université de Wageningen explore cette nouvelle production, qui s’avère utile pour l’alimentation animale et humaine, tout en étant plus économe en intrants.

La culture d’algues est une autre production intéressante à développer dans plusieurs PTOM. Les débouchés sont nombreux : engrais, biocarburants, alimentation, médecine, biomatériaux. Le projet AT-Sea est dédié au développement de textiles techniques qui permettent d’améliorer la culture d’algues en pleine mer. L’Université de Wageningen étudie les valorisations possibles offertes par des nombreuses variétés d’algues.

Parfois les algues envahissent les plages, comme c’est le cas des algues brunes appelées sargasses, autour des Antilles. Il s’avère que les sargasses pourraient se transformer en une véritable aubaine !

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Energies marines renouvelables

Energies marines renouvelables

Les énergies marines renouvelables (EMR) constituent une réponse tout à fait pertinente aux problèmes énergétiques des îles. C’est une filière en plein développement partout dans le monde.

Pour connaître les derniers développements de la filière des énergies marines renouvelables, inscrivez-vous à la veille assurée par le Marine Renewable Energy Group. Quotidiennement sont analysées de très nombreuses sources d’information sur l’ensemble des EMR : éolien offshore, hydrolien, houlomoteur, énergie thermique des mers, algues, SWAC (Sea Water Air Conditionning).

L’observatoire des énergies renouvelables met à disposition également de nombreuses ressources pour appréhender les diverses technologies et identifier des partenaires ou des cas concrets.

Parmi les diverses technologies, l’Energie Thermique des Mers (ETM ou OTEC en anglais) est très prometteuse. Elle consiste à utiliser la différence de températures entre les eaux chaudes de surface et les eaux froides des profondeurs pour produire de l’électricité. Elle permet d’apporter une réponse aux besoins d’autonomie énergétique des zones insulaires.

Le projet MARLIN vise la fabrication en série de centrales d’une capacité installée de 25 à 30 MW. Coordonné par DCNS, un premier prototype est en cours de test à La Réunion. Un autre projet vient de démarrer à la Martinique, NEMO (New Energy for Martinique and Overseas), qu’on peut découvrir sur cette vidéo. Enfin le cluster maritime de Polynésie française étudie avec DCNS la possibilité d’installer une telle centrale au large de Tahiti.

Citons également le projet de l’entreprise néerlandaise Bluerise à Curaçao.

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Le séminaire régional d’innovation pour le Pacifique

Le séminaire régional d’innovation pour le Pacifique

Le séminaire régional d’innovation pour le Pacifique aura lieu du 4 au 6 Novembre 2015 à Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie. Le but principal de cette activité est d’améliorer les capacités des PTOM et d’assurer un meilleur échange d’expérience et d’expertise en innovation en rassemblant les Responsables de l’innovation et les parties prenantes concernées. Le séminaire contribuera à faciliter le développement , l’accès et la mise à jour d’un réseau d’innovation efficace.
Les responsables de l’innovation et les parties prenantes de cinq PTOM (Nouvelle-Calédonie, Pitcairn, Polynésie Française, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis-et-Futuna) prendront part au séminaire de Nouméa, ainsi que les parties prenantes internationales basées en Europe et sur place et des représentants de la Commission européenne.
L’accent devrait être mis sur l’entrepreneuriat, l’agro-écologie, la biotechnologie et les algues, les énergies renouvelables, la recherche et l’innovation.

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