Silicon Valley? ….. TTRENT Vale!
Let’s revisit an earlier suggestion of the TTRENT application market place, which was the equivalent of an app store which resides on TTRENT. Let’s now take it up a notch and look at the possibility of a collaborative business environment powered by TTRENT. This would consist of nurturing an application development cluster, which granted may not sound too unique or innovative, however, read on for the catch.
The current state of the local development industry seems to be very limiting and exceedingly difficult to navigate, particularly for newcomers. What is being proposed therefore is to replicate a version of Silicon Valley business experience for our environment, which we can call the TTRENT Vale. The Vale will create the virtual bypass for the transit of the talents of skilled engineers and scientists from institutions in the tertiary sector; business opportunities from government assured markets, and funding from venture capitalists to power the growth of the application development cluster. Just in the same fashion of Stanford University providing institutional leadership to the Silicon Valley in the early years, it is hoped that a leading tertiary level institution in the Vale will also step forward to ensure that up and coming development firms will actually flourish. Silicon Valley didn’t become what it is today just by chance, the Valley attracted the right mix of innovators, infrastructure, venture capitalists and government legislation to support its growth.
The Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago, in particular, is arguably one of the most culturally diverse and naturally richly endowed spaces in the world. There seems to be no obvious reason why our creative treasures should not be directed to producing an innovation and development empire. It is firmly believed, however, that this has not materialized so far because the region has not seized the opportunity to apply technological solutions to remix the context in which its natural endowments are applied for 21st century productive and commercial outcomes.
With NRENS like TTRENT coming into their own, however, the prospects seem to be much more favourable for these networks to assume the role of engines of innovation and wealth creation and ultimately becoming the great equalizers.
So how do we create a TTRENT Vale?
- Build and grow the network
- Create a governance structure to manage the network
- Create a subsidiary company able to provide products and services to the market
- Set up units of this company on the major campuses of member universities.
- Integrate degrees with work/study programmes which would satisfy the bulk of the work requirements of the company.
- Pass legislation allowing for online purchasing and transactions.
- Create a virtual operations center to manage the operations of the company which will offer the company an operational and cost effective system of pulling together the ingredients discussed above to ensure a competitive advantage in the global market for software development.'
We should take comfort in the fact that a similar approach was adopted by the government of India many years ago and the result is that Bangalore is now recognized internationally for being a global heavy weight in software development and Information Technology. In citing the familiar saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, time will tell whether according to the Parable on the Talents we bury our talents or invest in them to multiple their value.