Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2015 Contents MARCH 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
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gramme must be well versed in social
issues," he said.
He said some of the criteria he would use
to determine the success of the Lumination
programme would be similar to the i2i pro-
"Retention into the programme, proof of
concept. That means people are happy with
how the programme is structured and they
want to be part of it, and that we get a good
proportion of ideas being converted into proof
of concept and some of them moving into
finalisation. The statistics for this I cannot say
because this is the first time I am doing it."
Permanand spoke to the Business Guardian
at the Ministry of Planning, Level 17, Tower
D, International Waterfront, Port-of-Spain.
According to the Ministry of Planning s Web
site, the Lumination Challenge seeks to foster
social innovation and experimentation by
reducing the associated financial risks through
grant funding provided by the CCI. Grant fund-
ing from $75,000 to $200,000 will be disbursed
to worthy projects as well as mentoring and
project development assistance. Support for
the implementation of selected projects will
be provided through pilot programmes and
idea to innovation
Permanand also spoke about the Idea to
Innovation (i2i) programme and the successes
it has experienced since 2012.
He said the i2i programme---started in
2012---is now in its fourth year.
"We have just closed the fourth stage,
which is the challenge stage. Proposals will
come in from people who have an interest
in participating in the programme and it
closed off two Fridays ago.
What does CCI do?
It focuses on improving the competitive-
ness of our country through the ranking of
the global competitiveness index. Through
this we are charged to improve the awareness
of innovation in the country. The i2i addresses
that second part, he said.
He said they want to stimulate the citizens
to be aware of innovation and it does not
necessarily mean "people in white coats in
"Many people have problems facing them
and many people solve these problems in
creative ways. If you are 18 years and over,
you may have ideas that you can see have
potential to be developed to a commercial
place. It is about a business innovation that
will lead to entrepreneurship. When you cre-
ate entrepreneurs, you create jobs and wealth
in the country," he said.
He said most people have an idea but many
times they cannot access financing to get
that idea off the ground.
"The traditional lending mechanisms in
the country are banks, and like banks across
the world they are not interested in such
risks. We want entrepreneurs to get their
ideas off the ground to a proof of concept.
The Government realises funding is important
to get the masses into innovation and creative
thinking and has put together an Innovation
Financing Facility (IFF) which started off
with the i2i programme in 2012 with $10
million. Every year it is topped up and it is
that which is issued to support the financial
requirement of the i2i programme," he said.
He said of the three i2i programmes, they
have had 1,300 applications in three years
and a fair amount of success in achieving
the programme s goals.
"Out of these applications, 145 projects
and ideas were awarded. The amount award-
ed over those three programmes is around
$15.5 million. What is important is the robust-
ness of the programme.
"About 90 per cent or more of the par-
ticipants stay within the programme. Roughly
33 per cent are already in business. These
figures are related to the two programmes
completed and another 20 per cent are likely
to get to the point of commercial activity."
Success in innovation
From Page 6
FLASHBACK: Guest speaker Michael Phillips, left; Senator Dr Bhoendradratt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development; Richard
Lewis, chairman of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation, and Dr Rikhi Permanand, executive director of the Council for
Competitiveness and Innovation at the launch of Lumination, in January at the Medulla Art Gallery in Woodbrook.
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