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Universities to tackle issues with innovative technology - Innovations expected to combat crime, impact Kingston Harbour, hazard prevention

Published:Friday | October 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Northern Caribbean University (NCU) President Professor Lincoln Edwards (left) and UNDP Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat on tour of the Innovation Expo at Social Good Summit at NCU on Monday, October 1.

Universities in Jamaica are innovating facial-recognition technology to combat crime; earthquake risk software for hazard prevention; robots to clean up Kingston Harbour, and a legitimate electrical outlet to support persons who are not on the national grid.

These were some of the highlights outlined on Monday by university leaders and experts at the annual Social Good Summit 2018, convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office in Jamaica at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville. The event was organised in partnership with NCU, The University of the West Indies, Mona campus (UWI), University of Technology Jamaica (UTech) and Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).




NCU President Professor Lincoln Edwards and NCU Director Dr Michael Harvey disclosed that a new face integrated technology solution (FITS) has been developed by NCU students to provide facial recognition of criminals in support of crime and violence prevention and reduction.

Dr David Smith of UWI's Institute for Sustainable Development disclosed that the university had developed an open-source software in partnership with the University of Illinois to estimate the risk of earthquakes, including risks to persons, building infrastructure and contents.

CMU President Dr Fritz Pinnock and the head of the university's new digital innovation centre, Erica Simmons, disclosed that CMU is developing cyber physical systems, also known as robots, to clean up Kingston Harbour. The team is also leveraging technology created in Europe to build an oyster farm as a filter mechanism for the same purpose.

UTech President Professor Stephen Vasciannie announced developments in anti-cancer treatments through a guinea hen weed patent, the upcoming development of a regional engineering and computing institute, and the development of an electricity outlet that can be used by persons without access to the national grid.

Held annually during the United Nations General Assembly Week, the Social Good Summit focuses on how Jamaica can unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place. Globally, the Social Good Summit is produced in partnership with Mashable, United Nations Foundation, 92Y and the United Nations Development Programme. The summit was moderated by Ingrid Riley of SiliconCaribe.