Sharing for innovation in environmental risk mitigation
Some kinds of Innovation can be expensive for small enterprises in smaller territories. The large projects under Bo Aruba and Sint Eustatius the solar park project are evidence of the scale of meaningful work that smaller enterprises cannot undertake but can benefit from. Cost factors are perhaps the most important single barrier to technology transfer to smaller enterprises. While the bulk of the literature on seems to focus upon access to finance within the OCTs there have been isolated but very valuable cases of innovation support and transfer without the need for significant cash outlay from the government or smaller enterprises. One of the important characteristics of climate change, particularly in small island tourist-based territories, is that they affect both large and small enterprises at the same time.
When large enterprise address environmental risks, they simultaneously addresses the problems faced by smaller ones. In several cases, the benefits can be passed on as part of corporate social responsibility or at a marginal cost to smaller enterprises. The CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla is one example of this, where it provided water to residents during a drought in that territory. The Cooper Island Beach Resort is another such example where it engages community and tourist involvement in waste management and food production.
Going forward, the OCTs must explore of the symbiotic relationships that can be formed between large enterprises and smaller ones in the area of innovation for environmental risk mitigation. Co-operatives and similar associative structures are another method of reducing the cost of innovation per user. Co-operatives are democratically organised, member-based business structures founded upon the principle of sharing. Co-operatives can amass sums of money from their members to acquire technologies that can be communally used, operated and maintained. Co-operative structures exist within the agricultural sectors of several of the OCTs but several countries noted that there is a need for strengthening the movement and for refocusing them upon environmental risk mitigation, obtaining common technologies and for diffusing knowledge on best practice within specific sectors. These will be explored for agriculture and fisheries among the OCTs.