About Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programmes at The UWI

Since the 1980s, universities have focused their attention to innovation and entrepreneurship. This focus was driven by a view to enhance the overall competiveness of universities. The University of the West Indies (UWI) is a recognised accredited tertiary level institution and has been ranked by Times Higher Education World University Ranking at 591 among the over 25,000 Universities in the world for 2018. This is a testament to our efforts at improving programme quality and internationalising the University. Although we are a traditional University; fulfilling the missions of providing education (teaching & learning) and conducting research, we are now pursuing a third mission: Innovation and Entrepreneurship as part of our overall developmental agenda as contained in our Strategic Plan (2017-2022). Innovation is a key driver of social and economic growth. In pursuit of this, The UWI has therefore undertaken a leadership role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across the region by:

  • Providing new revenue streams to the University.

  • Providing graduates with the skills and passion to start businesses.

  • Promoting economic growth in the region and thereby reduce unemployment. 

  • Assisting in creating knowledge economies in the region.

Objectives and Goals

The objective then is to undertake those steps necessary to make The UWI more entrepreneurial. Drawing on the experiences of other universities that have successfully added this third mandate of entrepreneurship and innovation, our approach involved the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. These activities included:

  • Engaging staff and students in the generation of innovative ideas.
  • Incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship ideas in most academic programmes.
  • Encouraging the establishment of small businesses by students as part of their curriculum.
  • Increasing the exposure of students to real-world business activities and education through internships and industry partnerships.
  • Providing suitable and adequate resources to enable the development and eventual commercialisation of new ideas.
  • Building up a strong research capability with staff that are able to engage in industrial activity and not be unduly encumbered by teaching and research requirements such that industry requests can be successfully met.
  • Building into the University’s assessment and promotions systems recognition and rewards for successful engagement in entrepreneurial activity, thereby encouraging staff involvement.
  • Developing/establishing seed funds, incubator services, intellectual property services and venture capital support on each campus for product commercialisation.


We are pleased to report on our accomplishment during the academic year 2018-2019:

  • The establishment of Faculty Entrepreneurial Committees across the various University Campuses.
  • UWI-Industry Consultative Series at Cave Hill, Mona, and St. Augustine Campus
  • UWI-TSTT Innovation Laboratory powered by Huawei in Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Assessment and Promotion Proposal to recognise innovation and entrepreneurial efforts undertaken by staff.
  • A memorandum of understanding with Academy of Sustainable Innovation, Canada.
  • The launch of The Entrepreneurial Webinar Series.
  • The initiation of the review of The UWI Intellectual Property Policy.