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.

Aruba énergie renouvelable
Aruba opens brand new container port

Aruba opens brand new container port

End of March, the Prime Minister of Aruba has officially opened the multi cargo port in Barcadera, Aruba (see the report on Prime Minister website).

The new port is an integral part of the infrastructure development of Aruba. A new road has also been built that connects the port with the Green Corridor, the island’s second dual highway. As soon as the first half of this project is ready, the road will open to the trucks with containers to quickly reach the main roads. The technical capacity of the container port are available on the website of Aruba Port Authority.

This new port will also contribute to the development of the third economic pillar, a knowledge-based economy. It gives the opportunity to Aruba to become a hub for Free-Zone and/or Transshipment Cargo.

Aruba actualités transport
(Video) Aruba: Successful Renewable Energy Mix

(Video) Aruba: Successful Renewable Energy Mix

The island of Aruba is the most effective in mixing renewable energy sources. Beyond large scale wind turbines, visitors to Aruba are welcomed by solar-panel covered parking at the airport.

In addition, successful waste to energy initiative in sorting and recycling waste, as well as producing gas that is used for electricity generation and powering water desalination.

This truly systemic approach to energy and waste is great example for small islands. It is a key part of building sustainable and prosperous society.

Watch recent video on renewables in Aruba with interview of OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck.


Aruba actualités énergie renouvelable économie verte
Green Aruba 2016

Green Aruba 2016

It is great to see Green Aruba international conference growing from strength to strength.

Green Aruba is an annual conference born in 2010 with the specific aim to place dedicated emphasis on Aruba’s energy transition to 100% fuel independence. Besides showcasing Aruba’s progress and challenges to the accelerated penetration of renewables in the total energy mix, Green Aruba also exhibits the experiences and knowledge of other institutions and island nations in this field. Over the past six years, Green Aruba has evolved into a practical and valuable well-known platform within the region for the exchange of information and applied knowledge on sustainable and best practices for the shift to cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy sources and resources.

For more information check the video below or visit www.greenaruba.org


Aruba actualités croissance durable industrie créative énergie renouvelable
Prime Minister Mike Eman assumes Chairmanship of OCTA on behalf of Aruba

Prime Minister Mike Eman assumes Chairmanship of OCTA on behalf of Aruba

My central theme is to emphasize on the added value of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) to European countries. With The Netherlands as current president of the Counsel of the European Union (EU) I see opportunities to strengthen the bonds between OCTA and the EU and explore the opportunities for further development of the economic relationships.
– Prime Minister Mike Eman

On February 25th 2016, Prime Minister Mike Eman assumed Chairmanship of OCTA on behalf of Aruba, from neighbouring island Curacao.

His vision is to develop the relations between Europe and the OCTA-members and forge stronger economic partnerships.

A lot of the countries and territories involved are situated in the Caribbean or other regions far away from Europe. They are ideally located to be used for European companies to develop foreign markets. In Aruba we are currently working on developing a hub. We have for instance attracted the largest research company of the Netherlands TNO as well as Schiphol Group for airport management and Port of Amsterdam. These companies have branches in Aruba and from here they do projects in the region.

According to Eman, it can be interesting for European businesses to have a partner in a region close to a new market they would like to develop. “A partner that knows the business culture of both countries and speaks the local languages is very valuable when it comes to developing new markets. The contact establishment will be easier and faster.

In the coming year the prime minister is striving to convince the EU governments that the OCTA-members can have an added value to their economies. “What we would like to do during this presidency is to strengthen the potential of the OCTA members, and develop the vision that there are more win-win opportunities in working together than the countries involved realise. We would like to be regarded as islands of opportunities.

Aruba actualités Association OCTA
Climate Change at the OCTs

Climate Change at the OCTs

Climate change does not affect all nations and countries equally. Most of the OCTs and small island states are at the forefront and directly subjected to the array of climate change effects. From raising sea levels, to ever increasing hurricanes. But OCTs are taking initiative.

OCTs are also at the forefront of international discussions and innovation on tackling climate change. At the recent COP21 in Paris, many OCTs came with strong proposals and input. From New Caledonia to Greenland, we see numerous direct inputs into the Paris Climate Conference (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC) and side events such as the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 . These initiatives included several of OCTA Innovation’s Innovation Managers, such as Bran Quinquis.

HE Bernard D. Whiteman, The Prime Minister of Curacao and OCTA Chair, stated that “climate change is a crisis that can be grindingly slowrising sea-levels that gradually erase whole nations and cripple small economies […] We must aim to make a commitment to preventing more global warming, to let our voices be heard in our path to achieving sustainable development, to preserve ancient cultures, present lives and future potential.”

Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman, OCTA Vice chair, with his actions and speeches, including those at the the United Nations, TEDxBinnenhof and COP21 IREMA, has been widely recognized as leader of OCTs in energy sustainability and Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, presenting islands with an important potential to be green partners.

Shining example of an important OCT initiative that led to cross-OCTs cooperation is the OCTA Sustainable energy roadmap signed in June 2015 at the 1st Energy Summit. The resulting roadmap were inspiration and example of the well organized cooperation and established synergy, and formed the cornerstone of the OCTA actions on renewable energy.

In 2016, OCTA is engaging on climate discussions. ‘Technical Consultative Workshop on Climate Change in OCTs (Brussels, 9-10 February)”, presented a rich and insightful range of discussions. Chaired by Mrs Kedell Worboys (MBE), President of OCTA Executive Committee, the workshop shared practical cases and lessons learnt on mitigating impacts of climate change on islands and set the pace for this work in 2016.


Aruba Curaçao actualités Environnement changement climatique Association OCTA
First OCT ERASMUS Young Entrepreneur

First OCT ERASMUS Young Entrepreneur

Guided by OCTA Innovation throughout the application process, Aruba national Deanna Pinilla has her sights set on going to the Czech Republic under the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme.

She intends to improve her ICT skills with an experienced entrepreneur and hopes to bring back more innovation to her own company that delivers products directly to beaches using an innovative downloaded app.

Bianca Peters, Innovation Manager in Aruba, played a big part in putting the word around about the scheme to the island’s budding entrepreneurs.

The ERASMUS for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme has been pinpointed by OCTA Innovation as an outstanding opportunity for new entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas
for an EU-sponsored mentorship of up to six months in another EU country.

The opportunity is open to those with less than three years in business. OCTA Innovation has been providing assistance to candidates, giving guidance with the online application process and responding to specific queries.

As part of the application process, Deanna had to draw up a business plan including the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) and a break-even analysis of her innovative company, ‘Breezly’ that she co-owns.

‘Breezly’, is the only on demand beach supplies provider in Aruba. It is improving the beach experience by providing food, ice, drinks, sunglasses and games for beach-goers. Orders are made via a downloaded app and delivered towel-side by ‘Breezly’s’ branded delivery trucks.

After being accepted by an Intermediary Organisation – the entity that matches the EYE applicant with a mentor in a different EU country – we wish Deanna every success with her EYE mentorship and ‘Breezly’s ambitions of regional growth.

Interested in applying to EYE? contact: innovation@OCTA-Innovation.eu

programme européen Aruba actualités industrie créative innovation pédagogique
Looking back at TEDxAruba 2015: Education at the top of the agenda

Looking back at TEDxAruba 2015: Education at the top of the agenda

Wow. TEDxAruba yesterday was a blazing success.

Superb organization, great line of inspiring speakers, visionary opening by the Prime Minister Mike Eman, motivated audience and great music by Databank.

Education was the buzzword of the TEDxAruba. Not only ‘E’ in TEDx, that usually stands for entertainment was replaced by education, but the theme of learning to set the future of sustainable and successful Aruba was kick-started by Mr Mike Eman, who opened the TEDxAruba with outlining the importance of education and youth as the building blocks for the future. He presented a clear, forward looking vision, of the Aruba in the future, where education, creativity and innovation will drive economic success.

Amongst many inspiring speakers, Prof Dr Glenn Thodé, the Rector of the University of Aruba, stood out with his call to change the mindset on how education is perceived and organised. Using example of his private life, he outlined that education must be alive and changing, and reflect on the interests and needs of the learners. His view is that education should not be a one-way process of broadcasting knowledge and experience, but a dialogue between educator and learner. Furthermore, Dr Thodé, as well as several other speakers, called on learning to be part of everyday living and experience, as if in learning by doing and distance learning.

TedxAruba, undoubtedly set a very high standard for proactive and inspirational event. Great organizational work by Bianca Peters and her team. And we need more of these on other OCTs. We are looking forward sharing learnings at the forthcoming OCTA Innovation Regional Workshop in Sint Maarten.

Aruba actualités industrie créative innovation pédagogique
1 Day left to TEDxAruba!

1 Day left to TEDxAruba!

12 Amazing Speakers. Entertainment by Michael Lampe and Datapanik. Innovation Lab expo area. Fresh ideas, new perspectives and real stories. It’s gonna be amazing! 1 day left.

TEDxAruba is an independently organized event licensed from TED to official TEDx ambassador Jim Stolze and organized by the TEDxAruba Foundation. Together with a network of fellow thinkers and do-ers and long time collaborators, this team has put together a platform and pipeline for the spreading of (Aruban) sustainable ideas, solutions, creativity, innovation and culture to the rest of the world.



Aruba actualités industrie créative
Atelier régional de l’innovation à Sint Maarten , 5-7 Octobre

Atelier régional de l’innovation à Sint Maarten , 5-7 Octobre

Atelier régional des Caraïbes aura lieu 5-7 Octobre 2015 au Sint Maarten. L’objectif principal de l’activité est d’améliorer PTOM et OCTA ses capacités et d’assurer un meilleur échange d’expérience et d’expertise dans l’innovation en rassemblant les GI et d’autres parties prenantes à des ateliers régionaux et une conférence de projet, ce qui contribuerait à faciliter le développement, l’accès et la mise à jour d’un réseau d’innovation efficace.

Atelier Sint Maarten sera assisté par les gestionnaires et les parties prenantes de l’innovation à partir de 15 PTOM (Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Îles Vierges britanniques, les îles Caïmans, Curaçao, îles Falkland, du Groenland, de Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Hélène, Ascension, Tristan da Îles Cunha, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten et îles Turques et Caïques), et les intervenants régionaux à partir de Trinidad, la Barbade, la Guyane, ainsi que de l’Union européenne.

L’accent devrait être fait sur la entrepreneuriat, en particulier sur les micro et petites entreprises actives dans l’économie bleu et vert; sur la protection de la biodiversité et sur la création de l’ensemble des mesures politiques pour soutenir la croissance économique tirée par la connaissance et l’innovation dans les PTOM.

programme européen Aruba Îles Vierges britanniques Caraïbes Curaçao Iles Malouines Groenland Montserrat Sint Eustatius - St. Eustatius - STATIA Anguilla Bonaire Sint Maarten Iles Caïmans Missions d'innovation Saba Saint-Barthélemy Iles Turques et Caïques événement Commission européenne réseau d’innovation OCT Association OCTA soutien aux PME Sainte-Hélène