Chamber introduces Tech and Innovation Award

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Above: Gabriel Faria, CEO of the T&T Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy TSTT.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s Annual Champions of Business Awards will see the introduction of a new Technology and Innovation Award this year. CEO of the Chamber, Gabriel Faria, explained that technology and innovation are important for the continued transformation and diversification of the Trinidad and Tobago economy and the award is being introduced to create an environment that will recognize and encourage innovation in T&T.

The new award is being sponsored by TSTT and according to the EVP Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations Rakesh Goswami, this is in keeping with the telecoms provider’s commitment to fostering technological innovation and digital transformation within the local business community. “TSTT has made substantial investments in local infrastructure to support businesses through 4G LTE technology, an internationally accredited Tier 3 TIA-942 Certified Data Centre and a future-proof core network to deliver rapidly scalable and flexible business and residential solutions.”

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the capability to bring innovation successfully to the market will be a crucial determinant of the global competiveness of nations. In a  report titled, “Innovation and Growth: Rationale for an Innovation Strategy,” it was noted that innovative activity is the main driver of economic progress as well as a potential factor in meeting global challenges in areas such as the environment and health.

The application of advances in technology, in conjunction with entrepreneurship and innovative approaches to the creation and delivery of goods and services, is what translates scientific and technological advances into more productive economic activity.

The Champions of Business Awards is one of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s signature events which highlights the contributions of some of T&T’s finest minds, while recognizing their performance and excellence within the local business sector.

Established business leaders, emerging entrepreneurs and high performing companies are nominated by peers and members of the public from which winners are subsequently selected.

Goswami explained that TSTT’s enterprise customers are among the most competitive in the region and there are also extremely creative leaders of small and medium enterprises. “These companies accept that they must compete against global alternatives because there are so many tech savvy consumers in the local market. TSTT’s business solutions provide them with the best available technology to drive digital transformation and deliver creative, practical products and services to local consumers and in some cases makes it possible to export these.”

Faria has praised the partnership with TSTT, acknowledging the great work being doing to improve the lives of citizens through advances in technology and innovation over the years.

“Technology-when you look at the speeds of broadband today and you look at the way you can connect with consumers today, TSTT has been at the forefront of driving technological improvement. In our discussions, we thought TSTT was an ideal partner to look at recognizing and encouraging this award”

Faria expressed concern that in the local economy, technology and innovation were still relatively low in the eco-system in terms of the contribution they make to the overall economy. “We’re still anchored by energy. But both TSTT and the Chamber recognizes that and that is why we have decided to work together on developing this award to recognize those organizations that take a leap in terms of leveraging technology or doing innovative things in their businesses.”

The Chamber and TSTT are currently working on the mechanics to be able to identify the persons who will qualify for the award. Faria said that a judging panel has been selected the Chamber is finalising the basis for how people can be nominated.

The winner of the award will enjoy all the benefits of the Chamber. “If the person is not a member of the Chamber, they will be given honorary membership in the Chamber. They will have access to all our training programmes, they will have access to all the benefits of the Chamber. We hope to also pair them with people who could provide mentorship to help them as they strive to build their business,” Faria said.

This year’s Champions of Business award ceremony and gala event will be held on November 1st at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain.