Ghana set-up Centre to commercialise research results

Accra� Government to set-up the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialization (GIRC) Centre to oversee the management of research and its prioritization to address the socio-economic needs of the country.

The GIRC Centre would be responsible for deciding which research was relevant to the country’s socio-economic goals, how to fund it to ensure accountability and to make the output of research useful to industry and other institutions.

The project, to be completed in August 2019, is a partnership between government, research institutions, universities and the private sector.

The stakeholders would each bring on board the resources at their disposal, including policies, funding, infrastructure from government, intellectual property and research findings from universities and research institutions and market information and investments from the private sector.

Mr. Oliver Boachie, Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday at the opening of re:publica Accra rpt. Re:publica Accra conference about the setting up of GIRC Centre.

He explained that although Ghana had made investments into building of infrastructure, training of scientists and continuing payment of their wages, there had been no impact in the application of science and technology, as research results were not transformed into industry.

Mr Boachie noted that it was the first step in building the foundation for science, technology and innovation to take off in Ghana.

He said the Centre had already been established at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and was in the process of developing the implementation framework.

We have just sent out terms of reference for consultants to come and work with us. We have already brought in equipment, furniture and computers to start and the consultants will come in January, he said.

The ministry would be working with partners from Ghana, Germany, South Africa, Kenya and others. They will see this as something that the whole of Africa can emulate and so we’re working together to set the first one up in Ghana.

The next step was the identification of strategic technology areas that were most relevant for the country’s stage of development, where it could leverage technology.

For Ghana, these included agriculture and food processing, environment and waste management, mining and minerals processing, and manufacturing, among others.

Mr. Boachie said Ghana’s hosting of re:publica was testament to the fact that Ghana was ready for take-off when it came to the digital revolution and would create opportunities for the youth to see what technology could do for the country.

He said for Ghana to build a solid foundation for science and technology to ensure proper take-off of the sector, it was important for its leadership at the highest level, to appreciate the need to leverage science and technology for development.

In line with this, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was in the process of setting up a Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation.

The Council would include eminent Ghanaian scientists, innovators, technology manager in the diaspora to offer objective, non-partisan advice on matters relating science, technology and innovation.

An inter-ministerial coordination committee on science technology and innovation was also being set up with MESTI playing a coordinating role.

Mr. Will Senyo, Accra Lead for re:publica Accra expressed excitement at the initiative of the Ministry saying such interventions typified the kind of support and political will needed by innovators and entrepreneurs in Ghana.

The GIRC Centre’s goal is to find a way to commercialise new scientific findings, especially in technology and that is essentially what we are asking for as young people in the technology ecosystem; how can early stage ideas be brought to life in a way that it can reach scale, he stated.

It was government that could make it happen at that level’ Mr Senyo said.

Source: Ghana News Agency