Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz (2nd right), holding a cheque valued at $22,741,00, which represents a donation from the Universal Service Fund (USF), to the University of the West Indies, Mona, Information and Communication Technology Research Programme. Also pictured Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Mr. Daniel Dawes (L-R), State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Head of the Computing Department, UWI Mona and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber.


USF POWERS ICT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The research capabilities of the University of the West Indies, Mona have received a multi-million dollar boost courtesy of the Universal Service Fund (USF). On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, the Fund handed over $22.7 million to the regional tertiary institution to fund three projects aimed at implementing solutions to everyday problems through the use of Information and Communication Technology.

Under the USF’s Tertiary ICT Research Grant programme which was launched in 2020, a total of six proposals were received by the Fund from three institutions and evaluated by a panel of experts spanning the private and public sectors to determine the alignment to the USF mandate and the national priorities.

The projects include Jump Start led by Dr. Andre Coy which is a speech technology enabled automated tutor, Moving Eye by Dr. Paul Gaynor is an enhanced video monitoring alert system, and a study on the suitability of specific locations in Jamaica for Smart City status is being led by Dr. Louis-Ray Harris.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon Daryl Vaz, in his keynote address said, “Investments in education and innovation are crucial to the creation of a digital society. For too long our people have been consumers rather than producers of technology. It’s time for our country to become an innovative nation .”

In agreement with Minister Vaz was State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, “One of the challenges we are facing as a developing nation is a need for more endemic research and development to boost local economic activity.”

In agreement with Minister Vaz was State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, “One of the challenges we are facing as a developing nation is a need for more endemic research and development to boost local economic activity.” Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Mr. Daniel Dawes added that the USF shared the vision of a digital transformed society for Jamaica which see it continuously investing in Information Communication Technology.

Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Mr. Daniel Dawes added that the USF shared the vision of a digital transformed society for Jamaica which see it continuously investing in Information Communication Technology.


In accepting the donation, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber said the partnership with USF will increase the research potential of UWI. “This is important as at the UWI, today’s research can become tomorrow’s lecture enhancing the next generation to more rapidly engage in solutions for the future.

The industry-academic partnership will also drive UWI’s digital transformation as we demonstrate the relevance of the UWI in the National and regional development.”

USF is an Agency under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, mandated to ensure access to information and communication technology tools to bridge the digital divide.