Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Caribbean Visionary Spreads his Message

Published:Friday | February 12, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Dr Henry Lowe

Leading scientist/entrepreneur Dr Henry Lowe was the recent keynote speaker at Barbados' national conference on Entrepreneurship and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): Exploring Areas on Complementarity. He was invited by the government of Barbados for the event held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown.

The two-day conference was convened by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, whose minister, Senator Esther Byer-Suckoo, opened the conference. Dr Lowe's well-received address was titled, 'STEM and Innovation for Wealth Creation'.

Lowe assessed the performance of Caribbean nations in competitiveness internationally, highlighting Barbados' performance on the whole within the region. He spoke on the high level of indebtedness and the low and slow growth of the various gross domestic product of Caribbean nations, while pointing out that innovation and entrepreneurship as concepts, and in practice, are not new to the Caribbean, citing Thomas Lecky and other innovators before himself.

CREATING INNOVATIVE

ENVIRONMENTS

He implored the policymakers in Barbados and the rest of the region who were in attendance to create an enabling environment which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship while connecting the dots on the importance of and the applications of STEM and innovation for wealth creation.

"Inspiration lies in life's challenges," he said. "If you can identify the problems, then half the battle is won because the most difficult action is to determine the root causes, and these can be solved through creativity and innovation."

Giving a step-by-step exploration of his own entrepreneurial journey in Jamaica, Lowe outlined the niches identified and exploited, and the lessons learnt in detail, along with how to create a culture of innovation.

The eminent scientist concluded his presentation with recommendations on the way forward via a strategic road map outlining the roles of industry, academia and the government in fostering and facilitating entrepreneurship through innovations in STEM for wealth-creation.

Several other ministries and innovation companies and individuals participated in the meeting. The major discussion of the conference focused on the role of young innovators and developing an effective ecosystem for sustaining establishing a pathway for innovation and entrepreneurship.

REALISED DREAM

The address was well received and Lowe responded to the praise with humility while admitting that it has always been his vision to enhance the quality of people's lives, and that it is a dream realised to be able to do so on a regional scale.

Lowe serves as executive chairman of the Environmental Health Foundation and R&D Commercial Holdings Limited, which includes Pelican Publishers Limited, Medicanja Limited, Biotech R&D Institute, Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa, and E.G. Wellness Brands Limited. These are all related companies offering innovative and affordable wellness and health-care products and services for the local and international marketplace.