Mission in the British Virgin Islands
Mission of Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Team Leader to the British Virgin Islands from 14th to 16th August 2017 assisted in progressing on different innovation issues on the island. The key innovation person in the British Virgin Islands is Lizette George, Innovation Director for the British Virgin Islands. All meetings and actions have been developed and coordinated by Lizette George.
Honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance is known as long-term active promoter of innovation in the British Virgin Islands and in the Overseas Countries and Territories. Premier is very much interested in how to implement systemic innovation and how to develop entrepreneurship by bringing innovation as a driver to the economy.
Brodrick Penn, Permanent Secretary of Premier’s Office discussed with OCTA Innovation Team leader the awarded Pilot Project of Innovative Business Lab (IBL) and how to secure the highest impact of this innovation pilot project. The Innovative Business Lab project will be established and will operate under supervision of National Business Bureau which is a governmental body established under Ministry of Finance.
At Forge, new established privately owned incubator, Meade Malone, CEO of FORGE, has explained policy and business approach of this very new entity which will be opened to entrepreneurs before end of the year. The partnership should be established with IBL as they work in the same area: training and engaging incubators and start-ups.
This mission was the occasion to launch the Innovative Business Lab pilot project. The project is co-funded by the European Union and by the Government of the British Virgin Islands. The project has already received advanced payment and is engaging person to be in charge of the Innovation Business Lab. OCTA Innovation proposed to have a monthly “Mentorship innovative entrepreneur conference call”. The OCTA Innovation mentoring would enable interested entrepreneurs to have contact with the OCTA Innovation Team Leader or another OCTA innovation expert (to be agreed on in advance).
Team leader of Ecorys COSME SME Support Project Huib Poot and Prakaash Rostam his Key Expert SME & Private Sector Development presented the extensive work done on SME and incubation. Indeed a lot of work has been done in the British Virgin Islands and in the region. A significant set of information has been shared, what is enhancing synergy with our project and for benefit of regional Overseas Countries and Territories. Formulation of a Diversification Strategy and Implementation “Strengthening the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises of the OCTs in the Caribbean Region (COSME)” Executive Summary, Strategy and Implementation Plan.
OCTA Innovation Team Leader also met Luce Hodge-Smith, director of Culture for having assistance of short-term expert in creative industry.
The Team within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour: Permanent secretary, Joseph Smith Abbott, Deputy Secretary, and Tessa Smith, Senior Administrative Officer appreciate very much given assistance and support provided in fishery field. Another assistance in agriculture has been discussed.
Joseph Abbott who is a member of the BVI Innovation Board participated in the Innovation Workshop. Joseph Abbott gave appreciated input in innovation ecosystem establishment in the British Virgin Islands. Similar discussions about innovation ecosystem was held also with members of Chamber of Commerce, namely, A. Simon Potter and Louis Potter.