Dr Andre Gordon, founder and Managing Director of Technological Solutions Limited, is the 2022 recipient of the National Medal for Science and Technology.
He has been recognised for outstanding contribution to research in the field of food science and technology.
The award was presented by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Chairman of the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), during a ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on Thursday November 17.
An emotional Dr. Gordon told JIS News that it was his first time winning a national award.
“To be recognised by your country and to be recognised for science and technology, which is what I do, and having built a company that is going to have the next generation of Jamaican scientists take it forward… I am elated,” he said.
Describing himself as “very patriotic”, Dr. Gordon said: “I could have lived anywhere in the world and worked anywhere; [but] I chose to come back to Jamaica, to build this country. So, to be recognised [by] the country for doing that, has made me emotional.”
Technological Solutions Limited provides scientific and technical services to the manufacturing, distribution, food service, agriculture, hospitality, and export sectors in the Caribbean.
Through the 26-year-old company, Dr. Gordon has fostered the development of market access initiatives in the agro-food sector, promoted food safety and quality systems training in Jamaica and the wider region, and applied science and technology in the development of products that preserve the country’s cultural legacy.
The astute scientist’s work has resulted in the development of more than 85 commercial products.
Also during the ceremony, Educational Technologist Davia Bryan-Campbell was named Innovator of the Year, while Peter Nelson, a chemistry lecturer at The University of the West Indies, received the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) Young Scientist and Technologist Award.
Prime Minister Holness, who delivered the main address, said “these awards place the spotlight on the importance of science, technology [and] innovation for the present and future development of our island nation.”
He stressed that the process of wealth creation, economic growth and transformation of the society must involve science, technology and innovation.
“It is in the innovative use of technology, that we will get our economic independence,” he declared.
Mr. Holness congratulated the nominees and winners and encouraged them to use their “God-given talent” to assist the country to grow and develop.
For his part, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz noted that the National Medal for Science and Technology aims to inspire, motivate, and support local innovators.
“This year’s nominees are incredibly imaginative, and their dedication to their various fields is admirable. These candidates, through their revolutionary ideas and inventions, represent the potential of our nation and signify the tremendous impact of investing in science and technology for youth,” Vaz said.
The National Medal for Science and Technology is bestowed by the Prime Minister on Jamaicans who have made outstanding contributions in the natural and applied sciences, including engineering.
The award is intended to highlight the importance of cultivating applications of science and technology as a means of national development.
For 2022, a total of six nominations were received and three nominees were shortlisted.
They were evaluated based on contributions to the knowledge pool and the enhancement of science, technology, and innovation; the social, cultural and economic impact of their work on Jamaica; lasting contribution of their work and innovation; and overall contribution to the nation.
Dr. Gordon is the fifth recipient of the award, which was last bestowed on Master Blender Joy Spence in 2018.
Mickella Anderson/ JIS News