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The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), a project of the World Bank and its global entrepreneurship program infoDev, has announced the 11 winners of its first regional proof of concept (PoC) competition. The successful applicants will receive grants of up to US$50,000 to develop, test, and commercialize innovative, locally relevant climate technology solutions.
Officially closed on April 20, the PoC has received more than 300 applications from 14 countries, including territories within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Entrepreneurs were asked to submit proposals for innovative products, services, or business models in sustainable agribusiness, water management and recycling, solar energy, energy efficiency, and resource use sectors.
“This overwhelming response is very encouraging for the future of the CCIC and its activities,” said Everton Hanson, chief executive officer of the Caribbean CIC. “The process was very competitive and even the unsuccessful applicants submitted interesting ideas that show great potential.”
The 11 winning proposals represent seven Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Belize. Particularly noteworthy is also the high engagement achieved among women, with four winning concepts submitted by female applicants.
|Antigua and Barbuda||Elliot Lincoln||Biofuels from microalgae cultivation: CO2 sequestration and wastewater treatment|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Mario Bento||Desalination Systems for Small Rural Communities; Low Cost, Solar-Powered, Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (RO)|
|Belize||Santiago Juan||Alternative Animal Feed using vertical farming techniques|
|Dominica||Gail Defoe||Creating Home Grown Organic Bio-Fertilisers|
|Jamaica||Shirley Lindo||Organic Soil Conditioner and Fuel Briquettes from Castor Oil Waste|
|Jamaica||Brian Wright||The Pedro Banks Renewable Energy Project|
|Jamaica||Harlo Mayne||H2-Flex Hydrogen Hybrid Project|
|Jamaica||Kert Edward||Fiber-Optic Solar Indoor Lighting (FOSIL)|
|St Kitts and Nevis||Donny Bristol||Recyclables Expansion and Commercialization Project (Focal Area Resource Use Efficiency/Reuse and Recycling)|
|St Lucia||Patricia Joshua||Development of Sustainable Agri-business Paper Products|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Suzanne Thomas||Mobile modularized PF bio-digester|
The PoC grants are designed to help entrepreneurs prove the value of their business concept by providing the resources and the skills necessary to prototype, test, develop, and commercialize services and products. In addition to funding, the PoC winners will also get access to the suite of advisory services offered by the CCIC, as well as considerable exposure and networking opportunities through the center’s media events.
The CCIC will work with Caribbean countries to develop innovative solutions to local climate challenges. By supporting Caribbean entrepreneurs with a suite of services to commercialize new climate-friendly products, the CCIC will spur economic development, decrease reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase resilience to climate change.
The CCIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of innovation centers across seven other countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Vietnam and Ethiopia. The center is also part of the broader Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) funded by the government of Canada.
Credit: Caribbean News Now!
When Mark Twain wrote, “Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story,” he could have been describing Canada’s current climate policy debate. Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeatedly claims that a carbon tax would “destroy jobs and growth.” Yet the evidence from the province that actually passed such a tax – British Columbia – tells a different story.
The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that B.C.’s policy has been a real environmental and economic success after six years. Far from a being a “job killer,” it is a world-leading example of how to tackle one of the greatest global challenges of our time: building an economy that will prosper in a carbon-constrained world.
B.C.’s tax, implemented in 2008, covers most types of fuel use and carbon emissions. It started out low ($10 per tonne of carbon dioxide), then rose gradually to the current $30 per tonne, which works out to about 7 cents per litre of gas. “Revenue-neutral” by law, the policy requires equivalent cuts to other taxes. In practice, the province has cut $760-million more in income and other taxes than needed to offset carbon tax revenue.
The result is that taxpayers are coming out ahead. B.C. now has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada (with additional cuts benefiting low-income and rural residents) and one of the lowest corporate rates in North America. You shouldn’t need an economist and a mining entrepreneur to tell you that’s good for business and jobs.
At the same time, it’s been extraordinarily effective in tackling the root cause of carbon pollution: the burning of fossil fuels. Since the tax came in, fuel use in B.C. has dropped by 16 per cent; in the rest of Canada, it’s risen by 3 per cent (counting all fuels covered by the tax). To put that accomplishment in perspective, Canada’s Kyoto target was a 6-per-cent reduction in 20 years. And the evidence points to the carbon tax as the major driver of these B.C. gains.
Further, while some had predicted that the tax shift would hurt the province’s economy, in fact, B.C.’s GDP has slightly outperformed the rest of Canada’s since 2008.
With these impressive results, B.C.’s carbon tax has gained widespread global praise as a model for the world – from organizations such as the OECD, the World Bank and The Economist. But in the rest of Canada, it is less heralded, which is a shame. Because when you look beyond the political rhetoric and examine the facts, B.C.’s experience offers powerful, positive lessons for Canada.
In particular, it shows that Canada can be competitively ambitious in shaping a 21st century economy that internalizes the real costs of pollution. And that is important, because carbon and other emissions from burning fossil fuels impose heavy costs on us all – as B.C. knows well. The mountain pine beetle infestation, resulting from warming winters, has devastated the province’s interior forest industry, closing mills and costing thousands of jobs. Similarly, air pollution, caused mainly by burning fossil fuels, costs thousands of lives and more than $8-billion a year to Canada’s economy. These problems will only get worse if we don’t get serious about tackling the causes of carbon emissions.
B.C.’s example shows that we can do that, while also building a prosperous economy, if we use smart policies. And it’s not alone in doing so. Both Alberta and Quebec, for example, have also put a price on carbon emissions, using different policy approaches. All three provinces offer instructive, made-in-Canada lessons for spurring clean innovation, advancing energy efficiency, and preparing Canada’s economy to compete with other nations that are already making this shift.
Canada has a history of taking pragmatic, far-sighted policy action to meet global economic challenges, like free trade, deficit fighting or the financial crisis. The shift to a low-carbon economic future poses a similar challenge. With such strong evidence of how to meet it from within our own borders, it’s time to set aside the stories and act.
Ross Beaty is chairman of Pan American Silver Corp. and Alterra Power; Richard Lipsey is professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University; Stewart Elgie is professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa, and chair of Sustainable Prosperity.
Credit: The Globe and Mail
The Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), Mr Everton Hanson, says the application deadline for the Proof of Concept (POC) Grant Funding Scheme has been extended to April 20, 2014.
Grant funding of up to US$50,000 is currently being provided to entrepreneurs within the Caribbean region under our POC Grant Funding Scheme.The scheme seeks to support projects or prototypes in five (5) thematic areas, namely:
(a) Resource Use Efficiency/Recycling (b) Water Management (c) Sustainable Agribusiness (d) Solar Energy (e) Energy Efficiency
The CCIC was officially launched on January 27, 2014. The Center is a World Bank financed Caribbean initiative being executed by a consortium comprising the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) of Trinidad and Tobago and the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Jamaica.
The CCIC is headquartered in Jamaica and delivers its services in 14 CARICOM countries. These are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St.Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The main objective of the CCIC is to support Caribbean entrepreneurs in developing appropriate technologies suitable for the mitigation or adaptation to climate change. This is expected to be achieved through the offering of services such as, among other things, technology commercialization, market development, and access to financing, mentoring and training, incubation and CAD Lab services to such entrepreneurs.
Learn more about the POC Grant Funding Scheme http://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d8dc7083e/files/POC_Flyer_March_17.pdf
Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen says growing your food indoor is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that “leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,” he says.
Bhagwandeen told IPS that his hydroponic project was also developed “to leverage the growth of the urban landscape and high-density housing, so that by growing your own food at home, you mitigate the cost of food prices.”
Hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil using mineral nutrients in water, is increasingly considered a viable means to ensure food security in light of climate change.
His project is one of several being considered for further development by the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), headquartered in Jamaica.
The newly launched CCIC, which is funded mainly by the World Bank and the government of Canada, seeks to fund innovative projects that will “change the way we live, work and build to suit a changing climate,” said Everton Hanson, the CCIC’s CEO.
Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Advisor at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, chairs the CCIC's Management Committee.
A first step to developing such projects is through Proof of Concept (POC) funding, which makes available grants from 25,000 to 50,000 dollars to successful applicants to “help the entrepreneur to finance those costs that are related to proving that the idea can work,” said Hanson.
Among the items that POC funding will cover are prototype development such as design, testing, and field trials; market testing; raw materials and consumables necessary to achieve proof of concept; and costs related to applications for intellectual property rights in the Caribbean.
A POC competition is now open that will run until the end of March. “After that date the applications will be evaluated. We are looking for ideas that can be commercialised and the plan is to select the best ideas,” Hanson said.
The CCIC, which is jointly managed by the Scientific Research Council in Jamaica and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad and Tobago, is seeking projects that focus on water management, resource use efficiency, energy efficiency, solar energy, and sustainable agribusiness.
Bhagwandeen entered the POC competition in hopes of securing a grant, because “this POC funding would help in terms of market testing,” he explained.
The 48-year-old engineer says he wishes to build dozens of model units and “distribute them in various areas, then monitor the operations and take feedback from users.” He said he would be testing for usability and reliability, as well as looking for feedback on just how much light is needed and the best locations in a house or building for situating his model.
“I would then take the feedback, and any issues that come up I can refine before going into mass marketing,” he said.
Bhagwandeen’s model would enable homeowners to grow leafy vegetables, including herbs, lettuce and tomatoes, inside their home or apartment, with minimal expense and time.
The model uses smart electronics, meaning that 100 units can run on the same energy as a 60-watt light bulb, he said. So it differs from typical hydroponics systems that consume a great deal of energy, he added. His model can also run on the energy provided by its own small solar panel and can work both indoors and outdoors.
Bhagawandeen said his model’s design is premised on the fact that “our future as a people is based more and more on city living and in order for that to be sustainable, we need to have city farming at a family level.”
A U.N. report says that “the population living in urban areas is projected to gain 2.6 billion, passing from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion in 2050.” Most of that urban growth will be concentrated in the cities and towns of the world’s less developed regions.
To meet the challenges of climate change adaptation, the CCIC “will support Caribbean entrepreneurs involved in developing locally appropriate solutions to climate change.”
Bhagwandeen said that support from organisations like the CCIC is critical for climate change entrepreneurs. “From the Caribbean perspective, especially Trinidad and Tobago, we are a heavily consumer-focused society. One of the negatives of Trinidad’s oil wealth is that we are not accustomed to developing technology for ourselves. We buy it.”
“We are a society of traders and distributors and there is very little support for innovators and entrepreneurs.”
He said access to markets and investors poses a serious challenge for regional innovators like himself, who typically have to rely on bootstrapping to get their business off the ground.
Typically, he said, regional innovators have to make small quantities of an item, sell those items, and then use the funds to make incrementally larger quantities. “So that if you get an order for 500 units, you cannot fulfill that order,” he said.
Fourteen Caribbean states are involved in CCIC: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean CCIC is one of eight being developed across the world.
Credit: Inter Press Services News Agency
The recently launched Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) is recruiting two Climate Innovation Leaders. Peruse the flyer for details. The posts will be based in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago with travel to other territories in the Caribbean. The CCIC is a regional World Bank/infoDev project being managed jointly by the Caribbean Industrial Research Centre (CARIRI) of Trinidad and Tobago and the Scientific Research Council (SRC) of Jamaica. The Centre, among other things, seeks to accelerate the development and deployment of relevant and appropriate climate technologies in Caribbean countries.
The CCIC provides services and financing to enable local small and medium enterprises implement innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions that meet local needs profitably. Solutions will be in the areas of water management, resource use efficiency, energy efficiency, solar energy and sustainable agriculture. The services offered include advisory and mentoring, proof of concept, financing, creating a conducive policy environment for mitigation and adaptation technology adoption, access to appropriate facilities for business incubation and access to relevant technical, market and financial information.
Also read: Caribbean Green Tech Incubator Launched
The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) was launched today (Monday, January 27, 2014) at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad and Tobago. The World Bank/infoDev initiative, which is being administered by the Jamaica-based Scientific Research Council and Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), will function as an incubator for businesses solving climate change problems and promote investment in green technology in the region. The Centre is one of eight globally, as others are located in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam.
The Centre will provide grant funding of up to US$50,000.00 to MSMEs/ entities to assist them in developing prototypes for commercialization.
The Centre’s five focus areas are:
Solar Energy – e.g. Residential and commercial self generation, residential and commercial water heating, solar powered air conditioning
Resource Use Efficiency – e.g. waste-to energy, materials recovery, reuse and recycling
Sustainable Agribusiness – e.g. water/ energy efficient irrigation systems; waste management; high value agribusiness; sustainable land use practices; waste to energy; wind and solar energy for farms
Energy Efficiency – e.g. Lighting, household appliances, air conditioning, commercial cooling and ventilation systems, consumer behavior, building and energy management systems, building design and materials
Water Management – e.g. Potable water, rain water harvesting, efficient irrigation, wastewater treatment and recycling, water use efficiency, desalination
Dr Ulric Trotz, Chairperson of the CCIC, and Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, says the CCIC comes to fruition at a point when unsustainable and inefficient energy consumption exacerbates the enormous socio-economic constraints faced by Member States of the Caribbean Community.
The region, which is among the most vulnerable places to climate change and climate variability, imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products annually, with 30 million barrels used in the electric sector alone, at a cost of up to 40% of already scarce foreign exchange earnings. This dependence on ever more expensive imported fossil fuels increases our economic vulnerability and reduces our ability to invest in climate compatible development. Therefore, it’s crucial that we support initiatives that can make the region’s energy sector more efficient through increased use of renewable energy, which will in turn reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This comes at a time when economies around the world are re-orientating towards low-carbon, green growth pathways, which have the potential to make some of our established industries, including tourism, more attractive to discerning travellers who are willing to spend more for environmentally sensitive travel packages.
The Centre offers this region a unique opportunity to leverage technological innovation in its bid to adapt and mitigate challenges brought forth by climate change, with particular focus on energy efficiency, resource use, agriculture and water management, as the regional technology space is rapidly evolving and seems poised to take-off with the advent of events and groups like DigiJam 3.0, Caribbean Startup Week, Slashroots, among others. This is encouraging as the development, deployment and diffusion of technology are key factors in any effort to mitigate and adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change. So the Centre is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these developments and focus them to achieve essential technological advancement.
~Dr Ulric Trotz, Chairperson of the CCIC, and Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Please view the CCIC website at www.caribbeancic.org for further information.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said Monday he would use his six month term as chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping to deal with the deleterious effects climate change is having on the socio-economic future of the 15-member bloc.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica are now emerging from the effects of a weather system that left a trail of death and destruction over the Christmas holidays.
Caribbean countries have also had to deal with the annual hurricane season and in many cases, like in Haiti, unseasonal rains that cause widespread devastation.
“The big issue…is global warming, climate change. We are having systems affecting us outside of the normal rainy season and the normal hurricane season,” he said making reference to the floods in April last year and the Christmas Eve rains that resulted in the deaths of nine people and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages here.
“There are lots of monies which countries talk about for adaptation and mitigation to climate change. But I haven’t seen the money yet and we have to use our diplomacy as a region and we have to be aggressive with our climate change center in Belize.
“In my term as chairman of CARICOM this is one of the issues which you will recall I said earlier on…I want dealt with during my term in a continued serious and structured way, (and it) has to deal with the deleterious effect of climate change and to get the requisite responses from the international community in relation to this matter”.
Gonsalves told a news conference that the region does not contribute “anything to these man made weather systems, these problems with putting so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“We are …on the front line,” he said, adding that “this is an issue which is big”.
Gonsalves said that efforts were now underway to stage an international donors’ conference to help the three affected islands recover and rebuild their battered infrastructures.
He said he had already received a letter from Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who is also chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), outlining plans for an international donors’ conference.
“There is a letter which Baldwin sent to me which I have reviewed and make one or two slight alterations and suggestions, but we have to prepare for a donors’ conference well, maybe in March may be in February… but we have to prepare for it well so that we can get the donors to make pledges,” he said, recalling a similar conference had taken place to help Grenada after it was battered by a recent hurricane.
“I know some of the donors came through and others did not, but at least we need to do that to lift the profile,” Gonsalves said.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister told reporters that an insurance scheme organized through the World Bank, to which all the Caribbean countries contribute, does not go far enough.
“To the extent that the monies you get from the Catastrophic Relief Insurance System is fairly minimal, but of course every little bit helps,” he said.
Gonsalves said he had already written to the leaders of several countries and was now waiting to see “what kind of grant assistance we can get because we really need grants preferably.
“The World Bank will give soft loan monies, the CDB (Caribbean Development Bank) will give soft loan monies, the European Union will give grants, Venezuela will give grants, (and) Taiwan will give grants”.
Turn Down the Heat, a new World Bank commissioned climate report released on June 19, looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia. Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change. The report explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in Issuu, Scribd, Open Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre showcased its work at the 10th Carbon Expo in Barcelona, Spain last week (May 29-31 2013). The Carbon Expo is the largest event for the international carbon market and attracts project developers, regulators, financiers, brokers, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
The Centre shared a display booth with Cuba and the UNEP Riso Centre. Despite the depressed state of the carbon market, approximately 2,200 participants attended the expo representing 110 countries and 150 exhibitors.
The expo was organized in three streams covering: policy, climate finance, and clean energy and clean technology in plenary, training and dialogue sessions. While the regulated market which developed as a result of the Kyoto Protocol has declined significantly in 2013, the voluntary market and the national and regional markets are expanding. The focus of the expo therefore was considering options for linking these diverse markets, exploring opportunities in NAMAs, understanding the new market mechanisms being negotiated under the UNFCCC, and bridging the gap until the new mechanisms come into effect. For the first time, the Carbon Expo included issues of adaptation on the agenda as the organizers appreciated the linkages between adaptation and mitigation.
The Centre’s representative at the Carbon Expo, Carlos Fuller, the International and Regional Liaison Officer, held discussions with the representatives of Cuba, UNEP Riso, Barbados, and representatives of several organizations to explore opportunities for collaboration in the Caribbean. The Centre work was also promoted through a World Bank display featuring the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) project.
The Centre’s attendance was facilitated by the World Bank. Carbon Expo 2013 was preceded by the First Forum of the standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC, where Mr Fuller was part of a panel discussion during which he highlighted the work of the Centre in adaptation in the Caribbean.