On May 17, 2017, The UWI and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on research to drive innovation. The MOU establishes an innovation committee, initially consisting of members of the PSOJ and The UWI, who may later on invite other institutions to participate. The committee will "support research activities and apply their outputs to the needs of the private sector".
Speaking at the signing event, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, noted the importance of
innovation to the development of the Jamaican economy: "The UWI has the ability to do the research required by the private sector to drive innovation."
"We all have our sleeves rolled up to drive Jamaica out of recession and achieve '5 in 4'— economic growth of five per cent by 2020. We are focused on fostering a culture of emigration of UWI research into the region to rebuild competitiveness and development of new product streams," Sir Hilary continued.