The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is Jamaica’s principal public sector agency, responsible for the fostering and coordination of scientific research and the promotion and application of its results. It was established as a statutory body by the passing of a bill by the Legislature, under the leadership of His Rt. Excellent Norman W. Manley (former Premier and now National Hero) in June 1960. Many of the Council’s projects support the growth and development of the agro-industrial sector in Jamaica through research, adaptation of available technologies, creation of new and appropriate technologies and the provision of training and technical assistance. The Scientific Research Council is the only institution with a mandate by law to “collect, collate and review information concerning scientific research schemes or programmes relevant to the development of the resources of Jamaica (and) to establish and maintain a scientific information center for collection and dissemination of scientific and technical information’.
Scientific and technical information is increasingly driving productivity and economic growth in developed economies and is proving to be of greater significance in national development than other assets such as natural resources, cheap labour and finance. The popularization of Science and Technology (S&T) in various forms, especially among the youth, is therefore a focus area for the SRC, as it is driven by the philosophy that S&T is a means for improving the quality of life. The SRC is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM) and attained ISO 9001:2008 certification. Its analytical laboratories are also 17025 accredited which speaks to SRC’s commitment to continuous improvement, customer satisfaction and quality service at international standards. SRC also offers a certification markthat denotes product quality and safety for placement on products developed by SRC, commercialized through technology transfer or on any product that meets the stipulated criteria.
Committed to applying S&T for economic development, SRC in the early nineties spearheaded and fostered the development of a local sorrel industry, which gained traction and is now bearing fruits. On July 19, 2006 SRC received a patent for its Biodigester Septic Tank (BST); prior to this it held a joint patent with the UWI regarding work on natural pesticide. In November 2009, SRC along with other key stakeholders spearheaded the launch of a Lemongrass initiative under the banner “Yes Invest” to stimulate development of the local industry and show business opportunities at various stages of the value- chain, from farm to market. The industry, still in its introductory phase has already seen the commercialization of formulations developed by the SRC and has a database of over 700 potential investors from which to network.