Friday, April 12, 2024

Hill high on innovation

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It has been said that innovation, especially in green energy, will lead Barbados into the future and Mark Hill plans to be one of the leaders.
He is the chief innovation officer of Innogen Technologies Inc., a company that seeks to merge energy technology with information technology to create new innovative products.
One such product is codenamed the “scarecrow” and it is hoped it will revolutionize the fight against predial larceny.
“The scarecrow is a surveillance system powered by solar energy to help deter predial larceny. It has 360-degree surveillance; any person [who] steps on your property sends an alert to your BlackBerry or iPhone and you can remotely view them in real time, alert the authorities, or take a picture,” he said.
For those without such modern conveniences, Hill said, it can also act as a conventional camera and simply record, adding there were currently working with different types of cameras, such as a bullet cam which can be remotely controlled or straightforward recording devices.
Hill said their next step was to partner with a local camera manufacturing company and to debut their product with a farmer.
The age “40-something” innovator said the scarecrow was far from the only thing Innogen was working on as there were other solar-powered innovations they produced, such as solar mobile generators, solar street lights, solar-powered refrigerated vehicles, and solar-powered micro farms.
“We also have a new type of solar water heater in the works which will take the industry by storm,” he said, adding they were working on other types of renewable energy projects concerning biomass and wind turbines.
“All of the economies which have done well through this economic crisis, every one of them is high on the innovation index. New innovations are driving the economy, so we are doing our part,” he said.
Hill is a trained industrial designer who studied at De Montfort University, Leicestershire, Britain. He said he was always interested in development a boy and tutored at the Barbados Community College before becoming a design advisor for the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.
However, he said Barbados was too focused on merchandising.
“We value merchants but look down on innovators, but there is nothing creative about buying and selling.
“The support for innovators in Barbados is lacking – our environment doesn’t support the outlook of designing; they want to turn you into an entrepreneur with a single product but we need to develop a research-and-development culture in Barbados,” he said.

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