Grant for Climate Change Initiatives
C.E.O. of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center, Everton Hanson, is in country since Thursday; his mission is to sensitize and bring awareness to entrepreneurs on the availability of grants for projects on climate change issues. C.C.I.C. is a regional World Bank project that is jointly managed by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute and the Scientific Research Council. The Center seeks to assist innovative persons from within fourteen CARICOM states to develop and deploy relevant and appropriate technologies to demonstrate positive potential impact of climate change to the environment and communities affected by the phenomenon. This year, there seems to be little interest in the initiative and entrepreneurs are yet to apply for the Proof of Concept grant which ranges between twenty-five and fifty thousand U.S. dollars. Hanson told News Five that he is encouraging entrepreneurs to get involved.
Everton Hanson, C.E.O., Caribbean Climate Innovation Center
“We have a proof of concept going on; you can get a grant of up to fifty thousand. The average is likely to be somewhere in the range of thirty-five thousand essentially starting a new business in that area. So we want to bring out the creativity and innovativeness. We have had applications from other Caribbean countries and we haven’t had any from Belize. So I am here to promote it in the Belize. I strongly believe that. I don’t think there is high exposure of the product in Belize and that is why I am here to increase the exposure because I am sure in Belize there is a lot of innovation here. So it is out there, it is just to reach the people and to let them know what is happening. The only requirement really is a good idea. Once you have a good idea, the grant is actually free money. Once you have a good idea and you think it is an idea that is worthwhile exploring, we provide the grant to you to explore the grant and if it is something that becomes worthwhile, we help you to commercialize the idea. Let me give you an example, organic agriculture for example. Let’s say somebody in Belize wants to produce organic vegetables for the tourism industry in Belize; that individual clearly would want to have discussions with the hotels. And therefore they are going to need some sort of demonstration plot—let’s say an acre or two of land—to show what they can grow in the appropriate quality and quantity. It’s an annual thing and this is the first phase. It is a five year project and it is a U.S. ten million dollar project over the five years. So it is about roughly two million a year. This is the first year and the point I want to make is that in dealing with the World Bank, we can’t just say to them that we need to go to the next phase. We need to prove to them that there are existing projects otherwise they’ll go elsewhere. I also want to say that this for the World Bank is a global project.”
The deadline for submissions is March thirtieth. Application forms are available online at Caribbean C.I.C. dot org.