The Technical Mission of Taiwan and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) continue to forge ties in their commitment to transforming the innovative and entrepreneurial landscape of Saint Lucia. The two entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday July 14, 2021 at a ceremony held on the campus of the College.
The agreement will provide capacity-building opportunities and training programmes as well as enhance the existing partnership between the parties in the areas of Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT Education), Innovation, Mandarin Teaching and Vocational Training.
The Taiwanese also pledged to promote knowledge sharing and the exchange of technical expertise for the development of the Innovation Hub at SALCC – the only of its kind in the OECS. The Innovation Hub aligns with the College’s core pillars of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship which emerges from the strategic implementation plan in the transition to University College status.
The Innovation Hub will aid in upgrading the global competitiveness of College graduates and the wider economy of Saint Lucia through the provision of technical assistance and start up incubation as it is aligned with the College’s Gateways to Global Careers programme which has been in operation for the last several months.
The Labs which will transform how education is delivered towards immersion and experiential learning will include a Technology Lab, a Food Lab, an Environmental Sciences Lab, a Virtual Lab and a Digital Fabrication Lab.
His Excellency Peter C.Y. Chen, Ambassador of Taiwan to St. Lucia described the signing as a milestone and said it could not be timelier as it consolidates the strategic alliance between the two partners.
Principal/President of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Dr. Keith Nurse signed on behalf of the College. He indicated that the Innovation Hub “really sets us apart from many of the community colleges and several universities that are already established in the region.” The College is therefore able to make a significant contribution to Saint Lucia, the OECS and the Caribbean through the Innovation Hub.
Ultimately, we see ourselves becoming the Caribbean’s Silicon Valley.
Brent St. Catherine, Head of the Innovation Hub and Gateways to Global Careers Programme
Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development bore witness to this occasion and thanked the Government and people of Taiwan. She highlighted that we are able to dream here in Saint Lucia beyond the natural capacity of the consolidated fund because of unwavering support and partnership such as this, and this memorandum of understanding is another testament of the partnership and belief in the path that Saint Lucia is on.
The Innovation Hub will be housed at the College’s main campus and will operate in partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Ministry of Education, OECS Commission, Invest Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Chaitech Alliance for Green Innovation and Technology, National Competitiveness and Productivity Council and the Global Environment Facility.