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Tewarie: T&T short on apps capability

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie, second from left, congratulates Brent Asiu, managing director of Digi-Data Systems Ltd at the company’s 30th anniversary reception. With them are, from left, Darren Mohammed of Microsoft, Jeewan Mehan, COO Digi-Data Systems Ltd and Ricardo Hoyos of HP. PHOTO: SEAN NERO

T&T needs more software developers, says Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie. In an interview at Digi-Data Systems Ltd’s recent 30th anniversary celebrations at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, the minister said US-based IT consulting firm Medullan had been searching for 40 local software developers, but found less than ten per cent of that number. “Imagine we have all these engineers coming out of university and we have all these companies that are involved in ICT and yet we do not have any apps capability in this country. If we want to be in the new world we also have to understand how to create the capacity in order to do that,” Tewarie said.

For T&T to stay competitive, he said, there must be focus on graduating more talent in demand areas. Software development and the creation of applications are two crucial areas, he said. It was for this reason Government established an applications lab at the Centre of Enterprise Development at Cariri in Freeport. To complement that, the state also entered into a partnership with Microsoft for establishment of a Microsoft Innovation Centre.

Tewarie said the applications lab is going well and new innovations have been developed, but the centre is in its infancy stage. It will be formally launched in October by a senior executive of Microsoft. “We have just identified a $50 million fund to fuel innovation in this country. What we want to do is, if you have an innovative idea in your company, if your company is willing to put a dollar, Government is willing to put a dollar and you can bring which ever researcher or developer to work with you. Technology is a very important thing and innovation is critical for the future of development,” the minister said.