On Friday, January 31, 2020, the BIDC held a launch at Bagnall’s Point Gallery and Courtyard, Pelican Centre, to introduce 3 key BIDC programmes for 2020 - Bajans Connect, Innovate Barbados and Bloom. The launch, themed “We Connect”, gathered partners and stakeholders from international organisations, across government and private sector to focus on the 3 programmes and their aims - Expansion and Exports, Innovation and Investments and Pride and Passion in local industry.
Of the “We Connect” effort, CEO of the BIDC, Mrs. Sonja Trotman, noted that “Over the last year we worked to find synergies between programmes and partners and have built out a year-long series of carefully coordinated and integrated activities that focus on Expansion & Exports, Innovation & Investments and Pride & Passion. 2020 is the year to gather in Barbados and connect with our natural resources, Barbadian products and services, and with our diaspora.”
Attendees were able to view booths and engage with Officers of the Corporation about the 3 programmes.
The ‘Bajans Connect’ initiative is an integrated export marketing campaign that seeks to promote the sale of Barbadian goods and services to diaspora markets across the globe. Partnered with “We Gatherin’”, Cross Media Designs and 2018 Blue Flame Challenge Hackathon finalist1, Grabble, Bajans Connect is poised to turn nostalgia and a love for things Bajan into trading opportunities.
More than a conference alone, Innovate Barbados is a marketing and public awareness campaign and initiative to encourage greater innovative thinking across all sectors, schools and training institutions. Themed Blue-Green Caribbean, the 2020 innovation campaign will feature an exciting mix of activities including challenges, networking events, workshops, innovation awards, product development and more. The theme was selected in light of the myriad challenges we face as a region. Together, we can address these problems, share our knowledge, build partnerships and create the internationally competitive solutions our region so badly needs. We believe that the Innovate forum is the perfect space to influence policy and people, network and build strategic partnerships, learn from others through insights, research and experiences and to provide a platform to the people, businesses and non-profits that are the trail-blazers of innovative solutions within the blue and green economy spaces.
Bloom is a Barbados Clean-Tech Cluster designed to provide businesses and start-ups with access to operating space, high quality business intelligence, coaching and financial support, business development, match-making and business incubation services and more. Facilitated through a partnership between the BIDC, the Ministry of International Business and Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the partnership is intended to support least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) in the establishment of clean-tech clusters and associations. UNIDO Cluster Manager, Jari Aaltonen, noted that the cleantech cluster is a unique platform for cleantech entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop and test new product and business ideas. He added in anticipation, “We expect to receive many high quality applications for our cleantech business incubation runway program.” The Bloom project aims to assist the Government of Barbados in the development of a thriving green economy ecosystem in Barbados.
1 The Blue Flame Challenge is an innovation-focused challenge that aims to bring together multidisciplinary teams to address real problems that can impact all of us. BIDC and IBM partners to host the Blue Flame Hackathon in 2018.