STACIE Activities at the Research Festival and Awards 2023

STACIE Activities at the Research Festival and Awards 2023

The STACIE booth showcased a wide range of quality funded research projects at the Research Festival 2023 on November 22-23 which was organized by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGSR). Our past RDI Fund and ITT Fund winners had a diverse array of posters and displays for the STACIE booth.


The posters from our past RDI Fund winners available for viewing were:

Professor Jayaraj Jayaraman – Valorization of Sargassum biomass for application in agriculture

Dr. Wayne Goodridge – SwaRNeT Disaster management App

Dr. Wendy-Ann Isaac – Local Vegetable Seed Producers and Savers

Prof. Christopher Oura – The Identification and Characterization of High Impact Avian Viruses Circulating in Wild and Domestic Birds in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Prof. Christine Carrington – COVID-19 IMPACT project SARS-CoV- 2 Genomic Surveillance for the Caribbean

Dr. Davinder Pal Sharma – The UWI Smart Grid Project

Dr. Deborah Villaroel-Lamb – An Assessment of Infiltration on Maximum Wave Run-Up within the Swash Zone

Dr. Diane Ignacio – An Indigenous Caribbean Plant Extract Inhibits Growth of PC-3 Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer Cells

Prof. Duraisamy Saravanakumar displayed his team’s biophytostimulant, Biophyt 1.0 which is a microbial based formulation. Prof. Jayaraman displayed his team’s biophytostimulant, Biostimulant OJA which is a seaweed extract-based formulation. Our past ITT Fund winners, Mr. Derrick Lewis had a video on the BITREM fingerprint recognition technology and Mr. Marcel Byron had a display of the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI). The audience included students, the general public and persons from industry. Upon engaging with the products, several persons inquired about the availability of these commercial products for sale.


Dr. Wayne Goodridge had his SwaRNeT app available for download via QR code. Dr. Wendy-Ann Isaac displayed a sample of the seeds which were in tandem with her “save our seeds” poster. Dr. Arianne Brown-Jordan displayed the equipment and software use for the COVID-19 testing. These displays effectively complemented the video and poster displays.


In light of one of the core roles of STACIE being to provide information and guidance on intellectual property, Ms. Folasade Bishop from the Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) was invited to distribute information on patents and copyright and answer questions. This was also to promote the UWI Intellectual Property Helpdesk at the Alma Jordan Library (Ground Floor near Reading Room) every Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.


In the afternoon STACIE hosted a UWI-Industry Research Collaboration Workshop moderated by Director of STACIE, Dr. Graham King. The event was enhanced by the presence of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development, Mr. Keshore Lutchman and our Campus Principal, Professor Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine. Representatives from various sectors were in attendance such as the oil and gas, food and beverage, manufacturing, distribution, energy, agriculture and technology industries. A portion of the distinguished cohort were able to enjoy a tour of the research at the Research Festival in the JFK quadrangle before having to weather the onset of the rain. They also toured the posters at the JFK auditorium and were able to spark conversations with the researchers.

The Workshop comprised of a welcome by Dr. Graham King and remarks by Mr. Keshore Lutchman. Dr. King emphasized the woefully low investment in research and development in Trinidad and Tobago and the importance of doing projects in harmony with industry. Mr. Keshore Lutchman highlighted the human capacity that can be leveraged to achieve great potential. This was followed by an interesting and thought-provoking panel discussion comprised of an academic and industry panel. The academic panel comprised, Dr. Lorraine Sobers, Lecturer, Petroleum Geoscience, UWI Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan, Director, Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) & International Fine Cocoa Innovation Centre (IFCIC) and Mrs. Cheryle Dubay-Tewarie, Senior Business Manager, U.W.I St. Augustine Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The industry panel comprised, Mr. Dexter Riley, Chief Executive Officer, UNIPET, Ms. Alicia Lutchman, Technical Services Manager, SM Jaleel and Mr. Mushtaq Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Paria Fuel Trading. Some exemplary examples of University Industry Collaboration were given such as internships, accreditation and green energy projects, but some problems were brought to the forefront. However, the academic panel leveraged the reputation and competitive advantage of The UWI in collective efforts to bridge the gap between University and Industry for mutual benefits.


This was followed by a brainstorming session where the invited guests held round table discussions about the problems faced by their organisations, UWI research that captured their interest, opportunities for collaborative projects and ideas for research. This led to stimulating and fruitful discussions and it is anticipated that within the next three to ten years that some of these partnerships can be brought to life to yield impactful research and enhance the practicality of UWI research.




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