OCTA Innovation in collaboration with the Department of Culture, on June 4th – 5th, hosted information gathering sessions with key stakeholders and entrepreneurs within the creative industry sector in the TCI. The sessions were steered by Mr. Jacques Grysole, visiting Consultant of OCTA Innovation and President, Expansion Strategies Inc. a Canada based company.
The aim of the mission was to conduct a sectoral study on Creative Industries and innovation in the Turks and Caicos Islands which included:
- Scoping and mapping on status and opportunities in the creative industry.
- Identifying innovative actions which could be implemented in short and medium term to create jobs, to enhance the SME development and to diversify the economy.
- Pulling out the actors and making synergy of different media and cooperation between content users and content producers.
Topics discussed were:
- short profile of the industries sectors
- strengths and weaknesses,
- innovation opportunities and constraints
- strategic orientations and
- proposed action plan.
OCTA Innovation a dedicated project initiated by the Overseas Countries Territories Association with the support of the European Union commenced in April 2014, aims to enhance sustainable development through innovative solutions for economic diversification and to improve regional and global competitiveness of the OCTs. Since the implementation of the project, the TCI has benefited from various technical assistance support, in addition to this TA support to the Department of Culture as steps are taken towards the formalization and recognition of the creative industry sector in the TCI.
Innovation Manager for TCI and VP SME Development, Invest Turks and Caicos, Ms. Alexa Cooper commented; "Being able to secure the Technical Assistance through OCTA Innovation for the Department of Culture was extremely important. It is the first step in helping to identify the current state of the industry, the number of persons involved, the opportunities that exist and charting a way forward for improvements to and further development of the sectors. There are a lot of very creative and talented young minds in the TCI, providing an enabling environment that hone their skills and fosters entrepreneurship can be the catalyst to sustainable growth of another industry in the TCI.”
Attending Day one session were Hon. Karen Malcolm, Minister for Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services, Permanent Secretary Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Director of Culture Ms. Ludwina Fulford, Director National Trust Ms. Ethyln Gibbs-Williams, Museum Representative, Mrs. Candianne Williams and Mr. David Bowen, former Director of Culture. Day Two session accommodated the entrepreneurs within the various industry sectors. Participants were Crystal “Tess” Charles, Daphne Forbes, Delphine Scott, Emily Malcolm, Jean Taylor, Easher Parker, Hezron Henry, Andy Williams (DJ Shakes) and David Bowen along with the Department of Culture Director and staff.
Commenting on the session Hon. Karen Malcolm stated; “I am extremely pleased that we were able to partner with OCTA Innovation to meet with and discuss matters to move the Creative Industry along. The discussions have been very robust and have brought a number of challenges being faced to light but we were also able to come up with several solutions that will help to put our artisan community in a much better standing. We recognize that for some time now, not enough attention has been placed on this industry. However, we are renewing our commitment to providing the necessary support by way of the Department of Culture and other such stakeholders.“
The creative industry covers sectors such as; Heritage, Museums, Theatres, Music, Fashion, Design, Film, television and radio, Interactive digital media (IDM), Books, Print Media, Digital Publishing and Literature, Advertising, Culinary, Local and traditional Crafts, Festivals.