The MET Overseas Research Project 2011 will explore how Trinidad is trying to reduce its dependence on non-sustainable energy sources and the steps it is taking to encourage a shift towards more sustainable, technology-driven industrial sectors.


The project will look at the new opportunities these changes present for foreign investment, assess how successful Trinidad is likely to be in developing high value-add industries, and identify ways in which other countries can learn from this experience.


In particular the 10-month research project will focus on:

  • Current industrial capabilities: the current industrial capabilities in Trinidad and how these affect its potential for diversification in the face of fast-diminishing oil and gas reserves
  • Foreign direct investment and local industry: the relationship between developing local industry and encouraging foreign investment is complex.
  • Research will focus on the avenues for local industrial growth, the regulatory environment for foreign companies, and the implications for local society and culture of multi-national corporations’ involvement in Trinidad.
  • Strategy and governance: how the local government is promoting and managing the transformation of its economy, how successful this has been and the implications of its experience for other economies.
  • Sustainability: the emergence and effectiveness of sustainable technologies within Trinidad, with particular focus on policy and benchmarking against international best practice.

Implementation and feedback

The project will be undertaken by manufacturing engineering students at the University of Cambridge. A two-week overseas study tour to Trinidad, involving visits to companies, institutions and key regional decision makers, will build on 10-months of research at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) in Cambridge.


The findings of the investigation will be communicated in two ways:

  • a comprehensive report detailing all findings
  • a pre-tour seminar giving sponsors, guests and academics an opportunity to discuss pre-tour research.