The Centre of Excellence (CoE) was established on December 1, 2008 as one of the five institutional pillars of the Mona School of Business (MSB). The CoE forms a key part of the vision of the new Executive Director, Professor Evan Duggan, for the MSB to provide more activist leadership in conceptualizing, building and disseminating IT-enabled business innovations, in the wider community.
For more than a decade, the MSB has sought to endow business graduates with both a sound understanding of the critical role that IT can play in business effectiveness and economic development, as well as provide them with the capacity to lead and participate in the successful introduction of such IT-enabled innovations in business. The CoE advances this intervention by creating a multi-disciplinary research and application-oriented technological environment that can leverage the rich knowledge resources of both staff and graduate students of the University. With targeted funding and key institutional partnerships, the CoE will seek to engender the development and deployment of innovative solutions to business problems that are amenable to IT intervention.
In pursuit of this mandate, a set of core competencies, that will become distinguishing hallmarks of the CoE, have been identified and will be progressively built upon. These include the areas of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), Project Management, Grantsmanship, Design Science Research and Business Intelligence.
Dr. Maurice McNaughton is the Director of the CoE and brings a diverse mix of large-scale enterprise Information Systems experience, together with an entrepreneurial and academic background to the position. The CoE is staffed by a core team led by Maheshwar Boodraj, Information Systems Manager; Leighton Duncan, Information Systems Support Coordinator; and Brian Hall, Computer Lab Technician together with a cadre of bright young Student Interns drawn from the Computer Science Dept. We also enlist GRA student talent from across the UWI campus for various project assignments. The CoE leverages a broader virtual support including an Industry Advisory board chaired by Mervyn Eyre of Fujitsu-ICL, and Associates from Industry and Institutional Academic partners, most notably Dr. Sameer Verma of San Francisco State University.
The CoE is mandated to realize self-sufficiency in the long-term and early efforts will focus on:
- Accelerating the building of critical institutional start-up capability in the areas of Project Management, Grantsmanship and FOSS technology expertise;
- Forging key partnerships with local and regional industry, technology and academic partners – both internal and external;
- Driving the MSB Automation Project to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal operations.
While there will be an initial emphasis on the immediate needs of the MSB constituency and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the wider business community, the CoE’s longer-term goal and ambition encompasses intervention at the national and regional level and will ultimately seek to assist in enhancing the global competitiveness of the English speaking Caribbean and contribute to its migration towards a knowledge-based and high-quality, service-oriented economy.