Trent University and Guyana’s Institute of Applied Science and Technology Explore Opportunities for Collaboration


Training of graduate students, development of technology, and utilization of natural resources identified as key areas of interest

Friday, October 21, 2011, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Trent University and the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (IAST) in Guyana, signed a Letter of Intent on Friday, October 21, 2011 in Georgetown, Guyana, regarding collaborative opportunities in the areas of research and development and the training of graduate students.

Present at the signing were Dr. Steven E. Franklin, Trent University president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Suresh Narine, director of IAST and the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research and Dr. Neil Emery, Trent University vice president Research & International. 

Representatives from the private sector in Guyana, including Guyana Sugar Company (GUYSUCO), Banks DIH Limited, Queens Atlantic Investment Incorporated, Qualfon (Guyana) and Demerara Distillers Limited also joined the gathering along with representatives from the University of Guyana, and from research and development institutions such as the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana Livestock Development Board.

The Letter of Intent recognizes several complementary institutional goals and common interests between Trent University and IAST. It references the training and education of graduate students and the development of technology for the utilization of Guyana's natural resources for the benefit of the people of Guyana. Possible program areas are identified in fields such as Indigenous studies, sustainability studies, environmental studies, climate change, water management, green chemistry and biomaterials.

“The common goals of our institutions to prepare people and communities for brighter futures at local and global levels, indicate a promising collaboration between Trent University and the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor at Trent University.

“Guyana's leadership position on climate change through its celebrated low carbon development strategy provides a natural environment and valuable living laboratory for this wonderful collaborative opportunity,” said Dr. Suresh Narine, director of IAST and the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research. “I am delighted that this collaboration is now possible among equals – the recently enabled state of the art laboratories at IAST will provide scientific resources through which scholars from both institutions can seek solutions to problems related to sustainable utilization of Guyana’s renewable resources.”

The parties will explore the possibility of specific research programs at Trent University, such as the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research and the Trent Water Quality Centre, working with IAST to establish collaborative research programs of interest to staff at both institutions. It is anticipated this will allow the institutions to access joint international funding and will accrue to the generation of new knowledge and training of highly qualified personnel which would otherwise not be possible. 

The potential for local and regional graduate students in Guyana and the Caribbean Region to undertake graduate degrees at Trent University, while completing their practical work in Guyana at the IAST, would allow them to focus their research on local initiatives. This would greatly reduce their costs of a graduate degree while maintaining the rigorous academic standards set by the School of Graduate Studies at Trent University.

Trent University has been a leader in environmental research and Indigenous Studies since its inception in 1964 and is acquiring a growing reputation in agriculture and sustainability studies. Thousands of Trent students have gone on to become highly skilled, contributing professionals in a wide variety of occupations within the environmental-green workplace. Trent’s environmental expertise at both national and international levels is focused on aquatic sciences, biomaterials, climate change, water contaminant analysis, environmental modeling, northern and polar studies, species conservation and biodiversity, wildlife stress and diseases, ecological restoration, community-based environmental solutions and DNA profiling of animal and plants for effective ecosystem management. Graduates of Trent’s environmental portfolio make significant contributions to helping governments, the private sector and communities affect important and positive change.

Established in 1977, the Institute of Applied Science and Technology is an industrial research organization whose mandate is the development and / or adaptation of appropriate technology for the utilization of Guyana's natural resources, so that these resources can be gainfully developed and exploited for the benefit of the people of Guyana. IAST research areas include bioprospecting; alternative energy; utilization of indigenous and waste materials; and development of methods for the sustainable utilization of natural resources.  Over the past six years, IAST has benefitted from significant investment in science infrastructure by the Government of Guyana, and is now considered one of the most well-equipped institutions of its kind in the Caribbean region.


For further information, please contact: Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, 705-748-1011 x6184,