Building an Entrepreneurial UWI

Cocoa Research Centre Spin Off Company The Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) at The UWI has established a spin-off company of the St. Augustine Campus, which has the potential to revitalise the regional cocoa industry and develop into a knowledge based service centre for the Latin America and the Caribbean region is truly exciting. Cocoa can one day again be King. The CRC, custodian of the largest public collection of cocoa types globally, is justly proud of its status as the oldest cocoa research institution in the world—since 1930. With the support of a €2 million grant from the European Union/African, Caribbean and Pacific (Science and Technology Fund), its 10-acre model cocoa orchard will showcase innovations in production and postharvest processing, establish business and technology incubators, and purchase equipment for a commercial chocolate factory. Its other partners are The UWI and the Caribbean Fine Cocoa Forum. It will comprise a chocolate factory, a business incubator facility, a living museum of cocoa plants, a cocoa tourism centre, a restaurant, kitchen and labs, and a Chocolate Academy for courses in chocolate making. The chocolate factory will produce cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor (the unsweetened liquid base for chocolate), and couverture or finished chocolate (both dark and milk). Its total bean-to-bar model is intended to stimulate the sector and enable applied research for real community and industry impact.

L-R: Programme Manager, Entrepreneurship Unit in the Department of Management Studies, Julian Henry, Head of the Cocoa Research Centre (CRC), Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan, and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland

The CRC runs its own small in-house chocolate factory in The UWI since 2012, making a delicious 70% dark chocolate bar from locally grown cocoa

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