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CARIBBEAN TECH ROUNDUP – Weekend of 13th October 2017

Caribbean Tech Roundup

Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year Programme signs partnership with CIF and IDB in HAITI

The Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year prorgramme signed a partnership with the Investment Facilitation Centre (CIF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) this week. The tripartite memorandum of understanding was signed between Digicel Entrepreneur, the CFI and the IDB.

“The CFI’s decision to play an active role in this partnership is an important vote of confidence in the Digicel Entrepreneur programme. This is a positive sign of the Entrepreneurship Promotion Program over the past 7 years and its central role in strengthening a business-oriented economy,” said Maarten Boute, President of Digicel Haiti.

Speaking about the agreement Tessa Jacques, the Director General of CFI said, “This partnership is in line with the CFI’s reaffirmation of its commitment to accompany private investment in Haiti, particularly local investment. This partnership must result from the CFI’s promise to strengthen its work with investors so that they can fully benefit from all the advantages offered by the Haitian State. Particularly accompanying the CFI through the AfterCare unit whose objective is to assist them in certain steps to ensure the smooth running of the company after its installation,”

The IDB, which jointly finances this programme, intends to support this 8th edition of Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year. Which focuses on the transfer and sharing of knowledge in management and entrepreneurship. “For the IDB it’s another opportunity to encourage Haitian and foreign investors continue to believe in this country and maintain their commitment in favour of the economic development of Haiti” said Luis Echebarria, IDB Representative in Haiti.

The 25 national finalists of Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an official ceremony to be held on October 28th. As in previous years, the competition will reward 5 Heads of companies operating in the sectors of agriculture and the environment, construction, industry, in the services sector and emerging businesses nationwide.



Cayman OfReg Proposes Draft Plan to Exempt Internet Cafes, WiFi hot spots, Hotels and B&Bs

Draft proposals to regulate information, communications and technology services

in Cayman seek to exempt certain uses of wireless Internet signals and Internet

streaming services from licensing requirements.

The deadline is closing for the public to comment on proposals which would exempt, Internet cafes and hotels from WiFi licensing requirements under the draft rules, which were released in September.

According to the draft that was circulated, the types of information communications technology (ICT) services requiring a license include telephony, television services, sound broadcasting and Internet services.

However, the proposed regulations would set exemptions for certain types of services based on where they operate. For instance, anyone holding an accommodation license under the Tourism Law and who does not provide Internet services outside of those licensed premises, such as hotels or B&Bs, would not be required to obtain a separate WiFi operating license.

Similarly, Internet cafes or WiFi hot spots providing access to the Internet “where there is no fee associated with obtaining such access, and who maintain minimum security standards” as defined by OfReg, would not be required to obtain a license.

The topic of licensing for WiFi services was raised earlier this year following a notice from OfReg indicating that a number of businesses charging customers to use their wireless Internet service should be licenced by government.



Dominican invents AI device to predict disease outbreaks

26-year old Rainier Mallol, from the Dominican Republic has invented a medical epidemiological device with artificial intelligence (AIME) that predicts where the next outbreaks of dengue, zika and chikungunya are most likely to occur. The invention turned Mallol into one of 35 winners of Innovators under 35 in Latin America 2017 of the MIT Technology Review in Spanish.

MIT Technology Review explains that medical epidemiology studies the patterns of

onset and spread of infectious diseases, but always after the fact. Mallol used available data from the study of the conditions that favour the outbreaks to identify the zones that have a greater risk due to their characteristics. His platform enabled the detailed analysis of large volumes of data by an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, a tool that is more powerful and faster than human experts can calculate. The AI is shown to accurately predict the likelihood of an outbreak occurring at a particular location three months in advance.

“The project currently focuses on three mosquito-borne diseases: Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya,” says Mallol. In the case of dengue, the effectiveness achieved exceeds 88%. To do this calculation, Mallol fed its platform with historical data from which it made the predictions. Then he had to compare his results only with the outbreaks that actually occurred after three months. Having this level of precision with that margin in advance would allow authorities to make more effective use of resources, such as more effectively targeting fumigation campaigns.

In addition to the prediction map, the platform generates a control panel that displays, in real time, various strategic analytics, such as the total history of cases, age ranges of the affected, ethnic background and symptoms presented, to name a few examples. “In 2016 four scientists took almost a year to map all the cases of 2014, grouped by months, with AI that work was done in three hours,” asserts the young Dominican, as reported by the MIT Technology Review.