The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC)—a hub designed to help clean technology ventures transform the region to a low-carbon economy and create green jobs—launched yesterday in Freeport, Trinidad & Tobago.
The CCIC will offer financing, training, mentorship, and other services to a growing network of innovators in the areas of solar power, energy efficiency, water management, resource use efficiency, and sustainable agribusiness.
By supporting local climate technology companies that make use of these natural resources, the CCIC is expected to cut 20,882 metric tons in carbon emissions in the first six years of operation – which is equivalent to the exhaust emissions from 4,500 passenger cars per year.
“We believe biodiesel could play an important role in the energy landscape of the Caribbean,” said Elliot Lincoln, founder of Themba Biofuels, based in Antigua. “We aim to replace ten percent of imported diesel fuel with biodiesel and create more than a hundred jobs. I look forward to the support of the CCIC as we scale our operations and develop new markets.”
The CCIC is currently accepting applications for proof-of-concept grants of up to $50,000 to facilitate product development, prototyping, testing, or piloting a product or service. Caribbean green ventures are invited to apply by March 30.
The center will have facilities in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as satellite hubs in other Caribbean islands. The center will be part of a global network of eight Climate Innovation Centers, the first of which—in Nairobi, Kenya—has supported over 75 businesses since it launched in September 2012.