IDB and YABT to Coordinate Efforts on New Platform for Intellectual Property Commercialization in the Caribbean

Panama City, Panama, April 10, 2015 — Representatives from the IDB and the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) announced their partnership on the Caribbean Regional Entrepreneurial Asset Commercialization Hub (REACH) platform at the IV Young Americas Forum, in the VII Summit of the Americas held in Panama, April 8-9, 2015.

REACH is a recently approved regional technical cooperation project aimed at building the commercialization capabilities of competitively selected Caribbean entrepreneurs and firms. The project will provide institutional capacity building, training, and mentorship in three main thematic areas: (i) technology commercialization (ii) creative industries intellectual asset management and (iii) product branding value capturing. Improved commercialization of IP rights would transform intellectual ideas into profitable business models thereby narrowing the productivity gap of Caribbean entrepreneurs relative to global competitors and capturing more income opportunities for these firms. In the long run, efforts will result in increased innovation and productivity growth that will impact economic growth in the region.

The REACH project is being executed by the University of the West Indies with financing from the IDB’s Regional Public Goods Initiative and a growing number of partners which includeCompete Caribbean, WIPO, Connect Americas, and now the YABT.

The IDB and the YABT are committed to social and economic development of the LAC and through the REACH, will also focus on youth entrepreneurs. REACH will host annual competitions based on the Caribbean Innovation Competitions executed by YABT. The REACH competitions will put competitively selected firms and entrepreneurs through an incubator process with leading experts that will help firms to secure commercialization deals. The official launch will take place on June 12-14 through a Startup Weekend event in Trinidad and Tobago with other launches to take place throughout the Caribbean.

The IDB and YABT look forward to a fruitful relationship that will create a sustainable and lasting impact on the innovation systems of the Caribbean region.

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The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is a nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) in promoting and implementing programs that encourage entrepreneurship in the Americas to combat poverty and seek better opportunities for youth.

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