St Helena is the untouched tourism jewel of the South Atlantic, becoming more accessible thanks to a new airport offering charter and commercial flights. Dr Niall O’ Keeffe, Innovation Manager for St Helena and Chief Executive Officer for Economic Development and Kirsty Joshua, Quality Systems and Information Officer of Enterprise St Helena, came to Brussels on 30th November 2016 for OCTA Innovation’s BRUZZ on St Helena.
Dr. Niall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive for Economic Development, Enterprise St Helena and Innovation Manager of St Helena and his assistant, Kirsty Joshua travelled from St Helena to Brussels to be there on the 30th of November 2016 for BRUZZ, OCTA Innovation’s event on Business, Innovation and Creativity. We took this opportunity to make two videos, St. Helena Innovation and St Helena Tourism.
It was great meeting the St Helena team whose mission was focused on deepening relations with EU partners and strengthening innovation links for sustainable growth. Dr Niall O’Keeffe stated that with support from the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) St Helena is to systematically capture the knowledge and information available to the community through various networks and also by working in closer cooperation on the island.
Investment has been put in to support the process where all sectors are represented, all information shared and where ideas are tested, followed through and prioritised for the benefit of the sustainable growth of St Helena’s economy.
The community of St Helena is a very resilient one. Because of its isolation, everybody must develop the skills required for the island’s sustainably, innovative development and survival. With support from the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories, we are to systematically capture the knowledge and information that is available to the community through a series of networks and also by working in closer cooperation on the island.
We are doing with multiple methods and systems, primarily overseen by the Governor and the Government. Investment has been put in to support a process where all sectors are represented, all information shared, and ideas tested, engaged and prioritised for the benefit of sustainable growth of St Helena’s economy and in particular, of the tourism sector which we are working to promote.
Since 1502, the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic was accessible only by sea. Over the centuries, we have been visited by many of the great minds of renown in social, political and scientific spheres. Captain Cook, Captain Blight, Darwin, Napoleon, Dinizulu, Halley and many others came to our shores. In the coming months, people from all over the world will be able to visit the island by air. It is great opportunity for us to develop a sustainable economy.
What we want to do is to make sure that we develop the economy for the benefit of all in an innovative way. This is very challenging but by working in partnership with the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories, we hope to systematically develop a process whereby each aspect of the environment we develop is monitored, measured and supported. It is one of rare opportunities left in the world, where the economy has not yet been exposed to the wider world and we are going to muster all the support that we can get, on-island and off-island, to ensure that it is a great story and positive story and show how tourism can enhance the well-being of everyone in the community.
With a tourism offering which encompasses adventure, particularly marine-based, extraordinary heritage & culture and beautiful diverse landscapes, we expect discerning visitors from all around the world to take the opportunity to explore an island previously only accessible after a five-day sail. There is much work to be done to bring St Helena to its true potential and to achieve this we will focus on supporting projects which bring about sustainable and incremental growth.
I am St Helenian from the island of St Helena, a beautiful and pure place. Together, we are looking to advance innovation and progress. Fundamentally, in order to achieve this, we need to work collectively with other small islands to progress innovation and develop relationships so we all share knowledge and understanding and develop innovation together.
We are proud and honoured to bring to an audience in Brussels the highest-level representatives from St Helena to outline opportunities for propelling innovation for development of this remote island. The Island of St Helena is one of the most isolated places on Earth. For centuries, this isolation has been driving the need for sustainable living, self-sufficiency and innovative solutions. To live and to operate business in this environment requires significant energy, knowledge, innovation and creativity.
Innovation comes in many forms on St Helena. In waste management, renewable energy – including an EU-funded bio-digester plant – community driven creativity, biodiversity, marine protection, transport improvements and tourism opportunities.
The high-level speakers scheduled at BRUZZ St Helena are: Lisa Phillips, Governor of St Helena; Roy Burke; ;Chief Secretary of St Helena; Robert Midwinter, Director of Enterprise, St Helena; Kedell Worbys MBE, St; Helena’s Representative to the UK; Janice Panton MBE, Head of OCTA’s Executive Committee and Montserrat’s Representative to the UK; Jean-Paul Joulia, Head of Unit, DG Devco, European Commission and Niall O’ Keeffe, Innovation Manager for St Helena.
OCTA Innovation organises regular Bruzz events in Brussels. These give the opportunity to OCT personalities to address audiences throughout Europe, and further afield, about innovative developments in the Overseas Countries and Territories.
Bruzz events bring together the private and public sectors, potentially leading to business opportunities and investment in the OCTs. They generate interest in issues of importance to individual OCTs, leading to future partnerships with EU public and private entities.
High-level speakers and a broad audience including politicians, business representatives, students, journalists and EU civil servants, all contribute to the buzz. The events use the latest technology and online engagement online tools to reach a potential audience of 25,000.
Work will begin shortly on building an anaerobic digestion plant for waste in St Helena under an OCTA Innovation EU-funded pilot project that will also put in place a management plan for its long-term operation. Creating bio-gas from waste, the plant will manage waste in an environmentally-sustainable manner and create a renewable source of energy.
In the initial stage, the project will carry out an in-depth analysis of the quantity and quality of waste produced on the island – an agricultural and household mix – in order to select the most appropriate bio-digester technology. Vocational training will be carried out to ensure the plant’s long-term operation and maintenance and waste will be organised and collected in a coordinated manner. Procurement for the plant build will be carried out using the PRAG procedure.
Enterprise St Helena, the body created by the government of St Helena responsible for promoting private sector development, will implement the project.
A bio-digester facility is expected to enhance environmental sustainability and the prosperity of society on the remote island, with St Helena becoming a centre of excellence for all Overseas Countries and Territories in the use of bio-digesters.
A 200 nautical mile Maritime Zone in the sea around St Helena has been designated a Marine Protected Area (MPA). The announcement was made at the 2016 ‘Our Ocean’ Conference hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC on Thursday 15 September 2016.
The MPA and subsequent Marine Management Plan for this area is a significant step forward for St Helena to meet both local and international commitments, and to protect local maritime interests.
In parallel, a new Fisheries Ordinance and Regulations, and a new Fisheries Licensing Policy are being drafted to provide improved management of fishing. A dedicated marine fisheries enforcement post is also being developed to support awareness and compliance. This post will also enforce fisheries law, provisions for marine tourism and fisheries licences granted for recreational, sport and commercial fishing.
Nationals of St. Helena should not miss out on applying for funding under the European Commission’s ERASMUS + programme. It gives the opportunity to academic students to spend either 3 to 12 months – or 2-12 months in the case of vocational trainees – in another EU country. The programme is enhancing the knowledge, creativity and skills of tomorrow’s innovators.
Eligible students must already be studying at a recognised higher education institute, or pursuing a vocational course in the EU. Successful applicants receive a small monthly stipend towards living costs and travel expenses, as well as some language training.
Applications must be made by the high education establishment where the individual is registered, via the national bodies in EU member states running the programme.