The Trust for the Americas Strengthens Partnerships and Fosters Innovation in Trinidad and Tobago

Rodrigo Iriani and Quimey Del Rio visit CARIRI

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 8 to 12, 2024 – Rodrigo Iriani, DIA Senior Program Manager, and Quimey Del Rio, Senior Project Officer, from The Trust for the Americas, embarked on a significant visit to the DIA Youth Innovation Lab in Trinidad and Tobago (DIA Lab TT) to bolster ties with local partner Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and donor Citi Foundation. This visit aimed to explore innovation, engage with stakeholders, and enhance collaboration in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The visit started with a productive meeting at CARIRI's headquarters at the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine. Rodrigo Iriani and Quimey Del Rio engaged with CARIRI's esteemed leadership, including CEO Mr. Hans-Erich Schulz and Executive Managers Mr. Meghnath Gosein and Mrs. Denise Ferguson. Following this, the CARIRI team curated an insightful tour of its research branches, spanning Food & General Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, Calibration & Maintenance Services, and Petroleum & Sustainable Energy Services, showcasing cutting-edge research and innovation accessible to DIA Lab TT beneficiaries. 

Furthering their engagement, Rodrigo and Quimey were joined by Mrs. Marina Piper, OAS’ Trinidad & Tobago representative, to connect with DIA Lab beneficiaries at the Center for Entrepreneurship Development in Freeport. They delved into participants' entrepreneurial journeys, witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of the Lab's initiatives on their innovations. Additionally, a field visit to one of the DIA Pitch Tank Competition winners, Antonio Ramcharan, at his H2O Grow farm in Valencia provided valuable insights into innovative agricultural practices and sustainable food production methods. 

Reflecting on the visit, Rodrigo Iriani emphasized, "The passion and creativity exhibited by DIA Lab beneficiaries reaffirm our dedication to nurturing young entrepreneurs and fostering a culture of innovation. We are thankful for the opportunity to connect with stakeholders and explore avenues for collaboration." 

At Trinidad and Tobago, they were invited to the “Innovation Challenge Facility Awards”, a grant funding event by Shaping the Future of Innovation initiative by the Ministry of Planning and Development, the European Union, IDB Lab and CARIRI. This was an opportunity to connect and network with different organizations and local stakeholders. CARIRI introduced the team to different players from both the public and private sectors.   

Finally, as part of the visit goals, a meet-and-greet session was arranged with Citi Foundation, bringing together representatives and five talented DIA Lab beneficiaries. This intimate gathering allowed Citi employees to directly engage with the youth they support and hear inspiring innovation journeys firsthand. DIA Lab beneficiaries shared stories of empowerment and community impact, demonstrating the Lab's role in nurturing young talent. 

This visit served as a cornerstone in strengthening partnerships, fostering innovation, and empowering the vibrant youth of Trinidad and Tobago. By engaging with local stakeholders, exploring cutting-edge research, and witnessing the transformative impact of initiatives like the DIA Youth Innovation Lab, The Trust for the Americas reaffirms its commitment to driving sustainable development through collaboration and innovation. This visit not only marks a milestone in ongoing efforts to nurture young talent but also sets the stage for future collaborations that will continue to shape the socio-economic landscape of Trinidad and Tobago for years to come. 



 About The Trust for the Americas:      

The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada.      

More information:        

Instagram: @Trust4Americas | Facebook: The Trust for the Americas  | LinkedIn: The Trust for the Americas

About Democratizing Innovation in the Americas (DIA):     

DIA is a regional initiative of The Trust for the Americas that was launched to foster innovation and empower new generations through access to technology training, specialized curricula, collaboration spaces, mentorship, and financial resources for social and economic ventures.     

Trinidad & Tobago
Press Contact
Lara Bersano Calot
Director, Marketing & Communications
C. +1 202 460 9573