IDB Lab, the innovation lab of the IDB Group, has approved a US$925,000 grant for the University of Trinidad and Tobago to catalyze expansion of animation services. The global animation market size was valued at US$ 354.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US $642.5 billion by 2030 . Over the years, UTT has trained and certified over 250 graduates through its Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media Arts (with specializations in Animation, Music Technology & Game Art), and there are several local studios and even individual freelancers that have secured international contracts for animation.
The Tamana Technology and Animation Production (TTAP) Factory launched on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. This is the culmination of the vision of UTT’s Camille Selvon Abrahams who is the founder and creative director of Anime Caribe now in its 20th year and is also an advocate and promoter for the internationalization of Trinidad and Tobago’s animation sector. In partnership with IDB Lab, TTAP Factory will be a hub where animators can access the best technology and benefit from ongoing skills upgrades, marketing support and international industry connections required to expand export.
The IDB Lab financing is complemented by counterpart resources from the IDB Global Services loan operation with the Ministry of Planning and Development which were utilized to set up and equip the TTAP Factory at the Tamana Technology Park. IDB Lab resources will be focused on developing and implementing a strategy to help secure commercial contracts, providing local animators with upskilling and retooling as new technologies emerge, facilitating collaboration between small scale studios and freelancers to compete and secure international contracts and positioning the TTAP Factory as a competitive and sustainable business model.
According to Carina Cockburn, IDB’s Country Representative in Trinidad and Tobago, “This is an investment in the commercial growth and internationalization of animation service delivery in Trinidad & Tobago, a new sector in the knowledge economy that leverages digital technologies and is based on the entrepreneurial talent and creativity of local animators. Ultimately, we would like to see the evolution of the TTAP Factory as a sustainable and competitive model that facilitates creative and business collaboration and inflows of forex earnings to the sector.”
The UTT has since inception focused on applied learning in areas that are relevant to Trinidad and Tobago’s industries and private sector. Animation is one such area that has now received an investment to catalyze commercial growth of services that can be exported in a global high growth market. UTT’s Chairman Professor Clément A.C. Imbert states “As Chairman of the Board of Governors of The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), I speak on behalf of the University to express our appreciation to the IDB for its assistance in making it possible to launch and sustain UTT’s Tamana Technology and Animation Production Factory to train students, support local entrepreneurs, and also operate as a commercial centre providing services in Animation and related technologies locally and internationally.”
About IDB Lab
IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, the main source of financing and knowledge for development, focused on improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations due to economic, social, or environmental conditions. Since 1993, IDB Lab has approved more than $2 billion in projects developed in 26 LAC countries, including investments in more than 90 venture capital funds. www.bidlab.org
UTT’s primary focus is on the development of Trinidad and Tobago. With its genesis in the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Technology (TTIT), UTT initially focused on programmes in engineering and technology. Today’s programmes, however, go far beyond engineering and technology to a fuller spectrum of educational opportunities where experiential learning programmes are incorporated into the traditional learning environment. Alternative avenues are also provided for persons to enter, exit, and re-enter tertiary education. This kind of flexibility and integration within programmes; together with UTT’s leadership position in sector-driven research and innovative teaching methodologies, is a direct response to twenty-first century global trends. https://utt.edu.tt/