The Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Victor Agyeman, has spoken against the notion that many of the country’s research findings are gathering dust on shelves.
While it is the generally held belief that development efforts are being held back by the lack of appreciation for the work done by the country’s research institutions, Dr Agyeman said the lack of connection between research and development was due to the weaknesses of the private sector.
He said since 1996, the CSIR had had an Act which indicated that it had to work with the private sector and commercialise.
“Since then, we partner with the private sector in developing our projects and if there are some research results that have not been applied or taken up, then it is not the fault of the research institute, but it is the weakness of the private sector and it is the weaknesses in the systems that we have around us.”
“Therefore, what we need to do, instead of accusing the research or academic institution of shelving, is to build the capacity of the private sector to uptake research results,” he stated.
Dr Agyeman, who said this in his opening address at a workshop to share findings on an innovation platform study on Monday, said there was the need for such platforms to strengthen the private sector to effectively use data from research work.
Solving issues with science and technology
For his part, the Director of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), Dr George Owusu Essegbey, said the prevailing gap between the research system and the private sector had contributed to the uninspiring progress in Ghana’s industrialisation.
Speaking on the rationale for the workshop, Dr Stella A. Ennin, Director, CSIR-Crops Research Institute, said although Ghana’s agricultural technology development and transfer had gone through various models and improvements since 1959, there had not been much innovation.
The acting Australian High Commissioner, Mr Timothy Millikan, said Australia’s goal in providing support for the agricultural sector in West Africa was to lift food security by increasing agricultural productivity.
He said Australia intended to do that through investment in research and the adoption of new technologies that addressed food availability, access and nutrition-related challenges for poor rural farmers.
By: Edmund Smith-Asante
Date: Tuesday, 31 March 2015