The inaugural Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference hosted by the University of Guyana’s School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI) opened on Monday at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel.The aim of the conference is to build relations and networks between current and budding entrepreneurs. The conference is being hosted by the SEBI under the theme “Economic transformation through entrepreneurship and innovation”, and runs until May 22.UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, has said SEBI must have a curriculum that is not only theoretical, but also practical, hence the reason for the conference. He noted that the conference will become an annual forum, where students, academics, businessmen and women within and beyond Guyana can be a part of advancing entrepreneurship while celebrating innovation.Some of the participants at the Conference“We decided that SEBI needs to actualize the realities of Guyana. One of that is that we are in a continent that speaks languages other than English, and we are not going to competitively undervalue yourselves by operating in English framework, and so we said students graduating through SEBI must know a language other than English,” Griffith said.“We are going to use the opportunity of tapping into the expertise of businessmen and women, so we are creating the position called Professors of Practice to allow businesspeople to come and impart their expertise (and) impart their knowledge. We are going to be creating a position called Executive in Residence, where a businesswoman or man can come and spend a week or month or semester (for) practical delivery, complementing those theoretical skills,” he added.The opening ceremony featured Chief Executive Officer of Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc, Charles Ceres, as the keynote speaker. He spoke extensively about the absence of incorporation of economic considerations into the engineering project and solutions in Guyana.Ceres, who is also a Civil, Geotechnical and Groundwater Hydrology Engineer, said the daily traffic pile-up on the East Bank Demerara road is as a result of poor planning and lack of forensic analysis prior to the implementation of the project.“This roadway is a local access roadway… apparently people who conceptualize these developments never considered the cost of lost working hours, increased fuel consumption, and the cost of human lives…certainly incorporated no assessment of risk, no U-turns and no dedicated single access points,” he explained.“The cost of lost time and lost lives probably exceeds the cost to put mitigation measures in place in the form of dedicated U-turns which will not snarl traffic… I suspect that people who conceptualize development along this corridor considered only direct cost to the public purse. The results of poor engineering conception and design has however increased the economic cost to the country in the form of lost time, increased fuel consumption, and lost lives,” he added.The conference includes presenters such as Business Minister Dominic Gaskin and Chief Executive Officer of GTT, Justin Nedd. Additionally, there are keynote speakers from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the United States and the United Kingdom.