Mon | Nov 12, 2018

More than simply books and academia – UWI touts solution-based Research Day, focuses on climate change, health and poverty

Published:Wednesday | January 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Dr Ian Thompson (second right), project manager, University of the West Indies (UWI) Agricultural Research and Innovation Facility, shows Howard Mitchell (right), president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, a loaf of bread made with cassava and wheat at the launch of UWI Research Day at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI last week. Sharing in the moment are Professor Paul Brown (left), head of Department for Basic Medical Sciences, and Paula Kay Wright (second left), research assistant, UWI Agricultural Research and Innovation Facility.

Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, is promising that this year's staging of Research Day will seek to present solutions, based on research, on some of the issues facing the country.

McDonald singled out climate change, poverty, and health as some of the present-day problems researchers probed and will be presenting to the public from February 7-9 at the St Andrew-based campus.

Research Day is a signature event at the Mona campus and is in its 19th staging. This year's event is being observed under the theme 'Powering Development through Partnerships and Innovation'.

Speaking at the media launch at the Mona campus last week, McDonald said this year's staging comes at a time when the region is being forced to formulate innovative ideas to immediate and daunting challenges such as extreme weather events.




He noted that UWI, as a regional institution, has a role to play in finding solutions, even as he highlighted that the university will be moving into its 70th anniversary this year.

"The time has come for us to move fully from theory to action in partnering and bringing research to life for the social and economic benefit of our communities and our countries," McDonald said.

He shared that there is an intensive and aggressive drive at the university to explore how research done on the campus can be converted into actual programmes and products that "positively enhance our daily lives".

According to chairperson of UWI Mona Research Day's Steering Committee, Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, the university will be taking strategic steps to get more businesses, government decision-makers and educators to see the research produced.

It is expected that more than 80 exhibitions will be erected in the Research Day Village from all the faculties of the institution, in addition to some from other campuses where a programme dubbed 'One UWI' is implemented.

The conversion of waste cooking oil into biodiesel and purified glycerol and a prototype developed geared towards creating the Caribbean's first functional home-grown satellite are expected to be among those generating much interest.