Paul Ivey has been working as Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research & Entrepreneurship at University of Technology, Jamaica for 6 years. Aged 53, he holds a PhD in Entomology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA as well as a MSc. in Adult Education/Lifelong Learning from Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Canada. Today, he is more particularly in charge of raising findings for innovative research and commercialising its results.
The CAP4INNO Project and its relevance?
As a Research & Innovation Management Professional, this project is particularly relevant to me, as it is helping in the building of my technical capacity (through the workshops and other activities) to be more effective in my day-to-day job functions.
It is also relevant for my institution which is my country's National University, with a mission to positively address national problems.
Renewable energy is one of the focus areas of my institution for the development of innovations, especially as my country has a heavy reliance (90%) on imported petroleum products to meet its energy needs. In addition, my institution has prioritized innovation skills and an innovation-mind set as attributes graduates should possess.
The CAP4INNO Project and your role?
My job functions involve working on international projects. Hence, when the EDULINK Call was announced, I and my colleagues began looking for partners to jointly develop and submit a proposal. We attended an information session hosted by the ACP Secretariat, and received the relevant information. Once the partnership was agreed, my colleagues and I, and the other partners, worked with the Project Leader to finalize and submit the proposal. When the proposal was approved, I naturally continued as a member of the project implementation team for my institution.
I have participated in capacity building workshop - both as participant and as a trainer. I have also taken part in new course development and revision of existing courses at my institution. I jointly developed and delivered training courses for energy sector professionals and have also attended and participated in project coordination meetings. I assisted in the planning and subsequent participation in regional conferences and jointly planned and implemented energy sector stakeholder consultation.
What are your expectations from the results?
The project will enhance the capacity of project partner countries to develop innovative solutions to the energy challenges they are currently facing - more skilled personnel will enter the labour market from the partner HEIs, and the energy sector professionals who have been trained will also contribute.
At the organizational level, the new and revised courses and the building of staff capacity through the workshops will result in more innovation-centric graduates in terms of their skills and mind-set.
Have you identified any impact to date?
Participation in the project has increased my knowledge and effectiveness to better perform my day-to-day job functions. This is as a result of the train-the-trainer workshops, the study tours, the conferences, and the interactions with various expert presenters.
Experiential learning has resulted from interactions with my colleagues from the different project partners and associated organizations. I now have a greater understanding of and appreciation for the innovation process, innovation systems and actors. In addition, I have also increased my academic publications in journals based on my increased knowledge and insights from participation on the project.
Furthermore, during the life of the project, I have assisted researchers here in applying for a patent for innovative research results from an energy project - participation on the project helped me to be able to do this better.
At the personal level, increased knowledge, insights, and perspectives regarding innovation can be highlighted.
Any Impact at national and or regional level?
The Government of Jamaica has been very involved in the project - representatives from various government departments have participated in project-related activities, and the activities and outcomes of the project have been formally reported to the Planning Institute of Jamaica as well as the National Commission on Science and Technology. The Ministry of Energy is also aware of my institution’s involvement in the implementation of this relevant project.
I would say that governmental stakeholders have had their knowledge and awareness increased and, most importantly, their mental landscape and culture outlook regarding innovation has been positively impacted.