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Photo: Jihan Williams (left), Nicola St. Catherine (right)



Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 27, 2017 (SKNIS):  Primary school students throughout the federation are encouraged to tap into their creative minds, as their creations can someday yield many benefits.


Nicola St. Catherine, Assistant Registrar – Intellectual Property (IP) Office, said that the idea came out of the theme for World Intellectual Property Day 2017, “Innovation- Improving Lives,” which was observed on April 26.


“We are attempting to put out a challenge to the primary school students to see what the grade five and six students will come up with, but we wanted them to look into their households, look at their society, look around them and see – this is a problem, how can it be solved with materials that already exist and that are easy to find,” said Ms. St. Catherine.” “We took it from the angle that we are looking at things every day – ordinary objects, and rather than have them as decoration or throw them out as trash, what can we do with them? We can reuse them or recondition them of sorts and make them useful again.”


Ms. St. Catherine added that innovation is different from invention as innovation seeks to improve upon an existing creation.


Registrar of the IP Office, Jihan Williams, commented on the theme and said that it is important to get the young people involved and tap into their creative skills, as the theme is about looking at ways in which people’s innovations and inventions have improved lives. She used cellphones and technology in general as examples, noting that these creations were done by persons who are spending millions of dollars to protect their inventions.


“So, getting our young people to see that we can create things; you don’t have to take or buy something to fix a problem. What if you sat down and you put something together based on what is available to you and you fix your own problem?” Ms. Williams asked, while adding that persons who are able to fix their own problems will not have to pay others to do so. “And then, it becomes innovative when you figure out a way that you can mass produce and sell it, and then you now become a creator and put yourself in a position to benefit financially from the thing that you have created with your mind.”


The assistant registrar said that having young people be creative is about fulfilling their needs and that of countless others. She added that their creation basically becomes not just a household item, but a household name as well.



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