Export Barbados is committed to facilitating and supporting innovation in the ocean economy.
According to Export Barbados’ Manager of Ocean Economy, Beverley Alleyne, the ocean economy is an under-tapped economic resource. She noted it is one of three new strategic pillars that Export Barbados is pursuing to buttress efforts at building and expanding exports, diversifying the economy and supporting the national target of carbon neutrality by 2030.
“For Export Barbados, we want to add value by means of enabling greater capabilities, allowing for the production of more products and services that can enter the market at the higher spectrum where greater returns lie. We want to facilitate and support innovation, and this is reflected in the projects which we are pursuing currently in the ocean space,” she said.
Manager Alleyne referred to some of those projects, including the Oceans Innovation Challenge 22, which Export Barbados is hosting in collaboration with Compete Caribbean. She explained that local private sector firms have been invited to engage in practical exploration of innovative solutions to solve real market needs and persistent challenges. Those solutions, she said, must be able to be readily converted into commercially viable products and services.
Other projects being pursued by Export Barbados are:
- Sea Moss Pilot Project
It is intended to demonstrate the potentially significant economic value of sea moss farming to Barbados. It seeks to provide a critical mass of sea moss to enable international innovation and research to create sustainable new high-end products for commercial trade and export.
- Wave Energy Project
This project explores wave energy as an alternative, sustainable and clean source of energy for Barbados. The pilot project is using a prototype to show the feasibility of wave energy in support of the 2030 energy goal. There is also the opportunity for technical knowledge and skills transfer and new business generation.
Alleyne spoke to this at a World Oceans Day event at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, hosted by the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, Export Barbados, BARNUFO and Blue Shell Productions.