Archive for the ‘Cluster Initiative’ Category

Tamana InTech Park: progress in paradise (TID magazine)

Tamana Intech Park: progress in paradise

Tamana Intech Park: progress in paradise

Exceptional facilities, eco-friendly construction, convenient transportation, ample resources and an educated, ready workforce…

A vibrant multicultural community and a few thousand miles of beaches…

Yep. Now you’ve got an idea of what it’s like to operate in the Caribbean’s financial, industrial, economic and energy hub, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, at Tamana InTech Park.

“We are a profoundly creative people, and the task before us is to apply this creative strength to achieving business and national goals,” says the Honourable Minister Stephen Cadiz, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade & Industry.

“While we cannot compete with larger nations in terms of output due to economies of scales, there is no limit to our capacity to innovate.”

From oil and gas to knowledge and innovation

The first oil well in the Western hemisphere was drilled in Trinidad and Tobago, signaling the start of a century of oil production in the country.

But in the 1970s, Trinidad and Tobago’s government embarked on a mission to diversify the country’s economy based on one of the islands’ other plentiful resources: natural gas.

The result was the Point Lisas project, a technology-driven initiative based on a cluster system, which resulted in Trinidad and Tobago supplying 70 percent of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States.

The concept of clustering

“Clusters bring together, in one geographic location, companies, customers, suppliers and academia in a particular industry,” explains Angela Hordatt, Vice President of Business Development, eTecK.

“Because all these people are in one location, they can form strategic partnerships and feed off the synergies created, both competitively and cooperatively. Point Lisas, a highly successful cluster, proved that this strategy dramatically increases the level of innovation and success of the entire cluster.

“I was a young engineer when Point Lisas started. I can’t wait to see Tamana blossom in the same way.”

Tamana’s cluster environment fosters industry in four distinct segments: information communication and technology (ICT); high value manufacturing; agro-technology; and what Hordatt refers to as clean energy and green technologies.

Ushering in a knowledge-based economy

“Tamana InTech Park will be the crest of the wave that would help transform our economy to one that is more driven by knowledge-based enterprises and innovative industries,” says Mr. Lindahl Ghany, director, Memory Bank Computers Ltd.

“The layout lends itself to the blending of educational facilities and private sector businesses – a mix which is critical to achieving the end product needed.

“Its location and easy access to our airport hub means we can attract the international business partners who will complement the locally owned industries.”

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Click here to read the full article published in the July/August issue of Trade & Industry Development magazine.

Data Storage & Management Tour of Park

Flagship Building

A Data Storage and Management Tour of Tamana InTech Park was held today on 16th June, 2010.

Attendees from the Working Group included representatives of Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) and Chapman’s Self Storage & Records Management, among others.

The guests were chaperoned by e TecK personnel and Safety Officers to view the Flagship Building, which is designed to ensure sustainable requirements including the efficient use of air, energy, water and other materials.

Flagship Building

The building’s design helps it to maximise day lighting, ensure optimum air quality to occupants, provide individual control of the thermal environment, and utilise plants and screens to block external noise.

The Flagship Building is well on its way to completion and is expected to be fully operational later this year in time for the soft launch of Tamana InTech Park.

The Data Storage and Management Working Group members were also given a brief tour of the entire Park, and led through the area reserved for Linear Park, which will traverse the entire width of the Tamana site and feature: a Moriche Palm Reserve, indoor and outdoor exhibits related to nature and technology, interactive walking and biking trails, and more.

Moriche Palm

The response from the Working Group attendees about the tour was positive, in particular their interest in the sustainable elements of the Flagship building such as the siphoning process of drainage rainwater to be recycled and used for flushing toilets.

They also liked the incorporation of roof gardens and terraces, which will be used for general recreation as well as corporate social events — a much-welcomed blend of work and play within the same building for the comfort and enjoyment of the tenants.

For more information on the possibility of being able to tour Tamana InTech Park, please contact Jossane Felix at jossane.felix@eteck.co.tt

ICT Cluster: Data Storage and Management Meeting

A Data Storage and Management Working Group Meeting was held on Tuesday 25th, 2010 at e TecK offices in San Juan, Trinidad.

Attendees included representatives of Teleios Systems Ltd., the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT), and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT).

The purpose was to discuss the Working Group Charter and objectives of the working group, in an attempt to re-engage and mobilize the working groups within the ICT Clusters in Trinidad & Tobago.

Some of the issues discussed by the cluster members were:

  •  It is better to partner with local companies
  •  There must be interaction amongst the current players in the industry
  • How will e TecK facilitate different facets of the cluster process?
  •  How do we connect our objectives to the curriculum and programmes at the universities?

Quantitative research: questionnaires

It was decided that a questionnaire must be developed which would extract from the current players in the industry, opportunities and threats.

Questionnaires would target the following: Key customers, Key providers, Banks, Energy sector, Insurance companies, Larger customers.

The deadline of the end of June  was set for the assembling of information to get other members to contribute to the questionnaire, to engender dialogue with the ICT Clusters Steering Committee.

The Working Group would like to present a real life case study on the services that surround Data Storage and Management and IP creation at the upcoming National ICT Symposium, which will be held in November 2010.

If you would like any further information, please contact Jossane Felix at jossane.felix@eteck.co.tt

Communicate, Innovate, Liberate: Launch of the High Value Manufacturing Cluster Initiative

The fervent plea for ‘innovation’ was the cohesive thread among the keynote speakers at e TecK’s  High Value Manufacturing Cluster Launch, which was held at the Trinidad Hilton on April 29th.

The Cluster Initiative provides support for a group of interconnected companies, educational and research institutes and associations, developing linkages between the members and gaining importance from the synergies between stakeholders in order to minimize business expenses for research and development, and streamline production and distribution channels.

High Value Manufacturing is a very different philosophy,” said Dr. Denise Thompson, Professor at the Centre for Production Systems at the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT).

“We have to re-train ourselves… how we view ourselves, how we conduct business, what we do. Hopefully the cluster is going to be assisting there in terms of moving our industries into the high-value areas.”

‘Business sophistication’

The issue at hand, as Dr. Thompson identified, is ‘business sophistication’: we must move up the value chain in the types of products and services that we offer.

She reiterated that we should no longer be satisfied with producing the best cocoa beans in the world at $3US a kilogram, but we should move towards producing the best chocolate in the world for $1500US a kilogram.

“Farmers must start thinking of themselves as not just farmers but as businessmen, engaging in the industry in terms of pushing what they do up the value chain,” she said.

“What we see in the cocoa industry is repeated in all different areas. We think for some reason that we can’t market our own stuff, when we can. We cannot just say ‘Well we’re a small market’. We need to recognize that the world is always there.”

‘Parlour mentality’

Dr. Prakash Persad, Professor of Design and Manufacturing at UTT, also believes that the problem lies in the culture and mindset of the population.

“We seem to lack the confidence,” he said, addressing the attendees. “We need to change the ‘parlour mentality’ of just buying and selling.”

Dr. Persad lamented the deficiencies in the country’s legislative framework, particularly the lack of the enforcement of intellectual property laws for the manufacturing sector.

“To publish is to perish,” he explained. “Once your research is published by a tertiary institution, it belongs to the public. If you publish, you can’t get ownership within a year, and the patent process takes up to five years.”

Safeguarding Intellectual Property

Greig Laughlin, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturing Association, added that there is a general ‘mistrust’ between students and the business community which acts as a barrier to innovation.

“We are very innovative in partying, fete and all that, but where we lag behind is in business innovation,” he stated. “The real problem is the lack of an IP policy to help students… The cost of innovation is the real key.”

The Cluster Initiative, which has been undertaken over the last three years throughout the twin island, is also core to the construction and development of e TecK’s eco-industrial Tamana InTech Park in Wallerfield, north-east Trinidad, which is expected to be opened later this year.

Tamana InTech Park offers the benefits of corporate clustering within four sectors: Information Communication and Technology (ICT), Agro-Industrial, High Value Manufacturing and Mixed Use.

The corporate clustering format of the Park will provide a managed environment in which similar businesses and industries will interconnect to create innovation solutions and increase productivity, allowing them to compete on a global scale.