Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Maritime institute gets multimillion-dollar boost

Published:Saturday | February 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The Caribbean Maritime Institute.
Dr Fritz Pinnock
Andrew Wheatley

The infrastructural capacity at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is to be strengthened to the tune of $310 million for technological equipment, which will, in turn, enable the institution to deliver best-quality training in logistics, freight forwarding, immigration and other border protection-related areas.

By way of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Universal Service Fund (USF), an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, the sum will cover the procurement of equipment for a national maritime port operations simulator training centre, a multipurpose laboratory to form a regional training centre and a geographic information system centre.




Speaking at the official signing of the MOU at the Petroleum Corporation Jamaica (PCJ) on Wednesday, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Andrew Wheatley described the move as being critical in an ever-advancing technological playing field.

He told The Gleaner: "What we are doing at CMI is a part of the capacity-building process. The USJ and Government of Jamaica are committed to that. With this addition, it will give them greater reach in terms of training as Jamaica seeks to become a logistics hub."

Wheatley further added that a key component of the USF mandate was to support the provision of infrastructure in educational institutions throughout Jamaica.

Dr Fritz-Pinnock, executive director of the CMI, who also serves as chairman of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics steering committee, expressed that the move would serve the wider Jamaica.

"This money is going to bring us up to First World standards in how we train border-patrol people, logistics and the new areas of engineering. This is about applied education. This is for Jamaica. How do we diversify the space and create a more specialised institution?" he said.

The physical spaces required already exist at CMI's Port Royal base and are to be outfitted simultaneously with the state-of-the-art equipment starting April and concluding by September, in time for the new academic year.




- A national maritime port operations simulator training centre will be designed to produce locally trained technical personnel, as well as offer training in logistics, engineering, customs, freight forwarding, immigration and other border-protection areas.

- A geographic information system centre will facilitate advanced regional maritime research and sensitisation, assist in zoning efficient resources, and provide greater access to technogically advanced resources that will aid community development in East Kingston and surrounding areas.

- A multipurpose laboratory to be utilised as a regional training centre.