By Rocheda Bartley
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Inventors and entrepreneurs can now access funding support under the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) $100-million patent grant facility.
Manager for DBJ’s Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) Programme, Christopher Brown, announced a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the agency’s head office in Kingston on Thursday, October 27.
The BIGEE Programme, under which the patent grant falls, aids entrepreneurial development in Jamaica.
Brown said a maximum $4 million will be provided to each successful inventor, researcher, and entrepreneur to file patent applications locally and internationally for their products or inventions. The funds will cover up to 80 per cent of the project cost.
“The intent is to get [these individuals] to be able to create commercial value out of their ideas and inventions, and one of the steps in doing this is to protect ideas. We really want [them] to protect their ideas, so that they will be able to operate in specific jurisdictions without anyone else being able to use their ideas,” he said.
The period of protection will span two decades from the filing date.
Brown invited interested persons with novel ideas to apply for grant support at www.thinkbigee.com.
However, they must first submit a patent application with the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), which is one of the technical support partners. They must also engage an approved patent attorney before going to the DBJ.
The application period will close on November 25 and businesses must be registered in Jamaica to be considered.
Additionally, eligible products and inventions must have public utility, and be environmentally safe and patentable
Executive director of JIPO, Lilyclaire Bellamy, advised prospective applicants to check with the Office to ensure they do not replicate existing solutions. She also encourages individuals to envision the opportunity as a first step towards improving their economic status.
“I cannot think of many jurisdictions where they would provide a grant. This is not a loan. We are giving you the money to allow you to protect your invention and, depending on the invention that you have, you may end up employing several persons,” Bellamy added.
Other organisations collaborating on the initiative are the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University, and the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre.
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