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Cockpit Country could drive technology and research development

Published:Friday | March 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Sheldon Williams, Gleaner Writer

A researcher from the University of Technology (UTech) has identified the Cockpit Country as having the necessary resources and potential to propel research and technology for the development and growth of Jamaica.

Dr Andrew Lamm from the Faculty of Science and Sport at UTech is embarking on research that could see properties extracted from organisms in the Cockpit Country being used to develop nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.

He said the region is habitat to unique plants and organisms that have beneficial properties that can be manifested through research.

"There is nowhere else on the planet like the Cockpit Country. It has plants and microorganisms found nowhere else in the world that can be used to make new foods, new chemicals, new medicines and nutraceuticals," he said.

"With that kind of research we can diverge some of our findings into nutraceuticals, into pharmaceuticals, into agroche-micals, into pesticides, fertilisers and food stock," Dr Lamm remarked.

He was reluctant to readily identify the organisms he is researching, for fear of intellectual property and or research infringement.

The researcher further highlighted what the benefits of the findings could mean. "Say something as simple as marijuana - if you can extract components from it that can be used to make other things, then you will have added value from it and, therefore, your profits from it will be much greater."

He was speaking at Research and Technology Day at UTech yesterday.