Analysis of Technological Extension Services in the Caribbean

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Aug 2017
The Caribbean countries have experienced positive economic growth rates and significant increases in their exports, but GDP remains relatively low, and indicators of poverty, productivity, and innovation reflect significant lags. Incorporating knowledge and technology through technological extension policies could help increase productivity and competitiveness, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These policies consist of the adaptation and adoption of technologies already developed elsewhere, delivered through a variety of business development services (tools). Implementing them requires: (i) institutions with leadership and coordination capacities; (ii) instruments that meet the needs of business; (iii) human capital to execute projects; and (iv) capabilities to deliver technology services. Although the countries visited for this consultancy have different degrees of capacity to develop and implement technological extension programs, it is recommend that they carry out the policies using the same methodology and support platform, which could generate technical and financial benefits for the countries of the Caribbean region. The document proposes ways to further strengthen national (regional) systems to improve firm competitiveness.