UTech, Ja Collaborates with Regional Universities for FORECAST 2024 Conference

Dr. Kevin Brown, President, University of Technology, Jamaica


The University of Technology, Jamaica has partnered with the Science, Technology and Sport faculties of two other regional universities for the second biennial staging of the Frontiers of Research in Caribbean Science and Technology (FORECAST) Conference slated for July 10 to 12, 2024.

In addition to The University of the West Indies, Mona who hosted the first execution of the event in 2022, newcomers, the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of Guyana, have joined forces with the local tertiary bodies to expand the reach and impact of the initiative within the region.

FORECAST 2024 will be hosted under the theme, “Advancing Science and Technology Innovation for National and Regional Development,” and will be held at the Papine Campus of the University of Technology, Jamaica. The event will showcase science and technology as a pillar for national and regional transformation and is expected to bring together over 500 local, regional and international delegates to usher in a new scientific revolution of collaboration and cooperation across a range of stakeholders.

The three-day regional science and technology academic conference will also feature a distinguished cadre of speakers which will include Plenary Sessions.  These sessions will be led by the four partnering universities and will feature researchers from national and regional academic institutions as well as from regional and international public and private sectors. They will deliver oral and poster presentations detailing original research findings in the fields including but not limited to: medical science, natural and applied sciences, sports, artificial intelligence, data privacy and protection, climate and disaster resilience, energy and sustainability.


FORECAST 2024 Grand Innovation Challenge

The FORECAST Conference will also feature the exciting Grand Innovation Challenge (GIC) under the theme, “Resilience and Transformation: Innovating Connected Caribbean Communities.” The objective of the highly contested tech showdown is to encourage amongst secondary and tertiary students, critical innovative skills which are geared towards driving sustainable industry solutions for technological and economic development in the region.

The GIC is open to CARICOM students 16 years and older and requires contestants to develop a feasible community-based innovation (prototype/product/concept) that is consistent with the theme.  Competitors will be vying for up to $5000 US in cash and awards.  Teams must consist of 2-5 members accompanied by a mentor. The winning solution must be scalable, cost-effective, beneficial to the Caribbean, possess the ability to solve a community related problem and should be relevant over time with the ability to replicate its problem-solving functions. Interested teams can visit https://forecastconference2024.org to obtain more information about FORECAST 2024 and to submit their applications for the Grand Innovation Challenge.

Dr. Kevin Brown, President, University of Technology, Jamaica stated, “the University of Technology, Jamaica is delighted to be partnering with our neighbouring and regional universities for the staging of the FORECAST Conference 2024 to be hosted at our Papine Campus.” He added that “we recognize the importance of this timely conference focussing on impactful STEM research and innovation, in the context of global efforts to advance UNESCO’s 2030 agenda for the World Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Jamaica’s Vision 2030 Developed Country status agenda.”

Former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Sport, UTech, Ja., Professor Kamilah Hylton, expounded on the significance and focus of the second staging of the Conference. She noted that “the continuation and expansion of our collaborative efforts underscore the benefits derived when collective efforts are focused on a common goal. This is especially crucial in a global setting where harnessing diverse perspectives or approaches tends to enhance the quality of solutions developed. This conference is a vehicle for harnessing efforts, stimulating creativity and driving innovation.”

Professor Michael Taylor, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, The UWI, Mona Campus, also embraced the partnership, stating that “the successful staging of the previous edition of FORECAST showed the many benefits of this kind of collaboration. Caribbean science capacity and scientific resources remain too dispersed and too limited in any one institution for this kind of collaboration not to become the norm.” He stated that “the addition of new partners for FORECAST 2024 only means that the discourse will be even richer, the sharing of knowledge wider, and the subsequent networks and new research even more contextually relevant. FORECAST is rapidly evolving in its significance for the Caribbean science ecosystem.”




Contact: Michelle A. Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager 
Corporate Communications Unit 
Advancement Division 
University of Technology, Jamaica 
237 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, Jamaica 
Tel: (876) 970-5299; 927-1680-8 Ext. 2299  
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm