Local industries can access a modern science laboratory at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to enhance the research and development of new products.
The KNUST Central Laboratory is equipped to support research in the pharmaceutical, engineering, biomedical, agrochemical and chemical disciplines.
The facility allows for the common use of expensive and complex cutting-edge research instrumentation by students as well as researchers at home and abroad.
Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis, explains the concept of a central lab is a shared network of research facilities that brings state of the art equipment to the doorstep of scientists of varied backgrounds – both basic and applied sciences.
The motive is to meet standards in teaching, training and research comparable to any such facility in any part of the world.
Prof. Ellis says the facility will support industry, especially those in pharmaceuticals, herbal medicine, food and agriculture, mining and environmental related sectors as well as regulatory bodies such us the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The project started in 2012 with the Jos Hansen and Soehne Group of Germany aiding with a six million euro research equipment.
Chief Executive of Champion Divine Clinic, Dr. Kwaku Frimpong, partnered the University with a 25% funding stake in the construction of the building/laboratory complex to house the specialized equipment.
The “Divine Champion Building” was constructed by Berock Ventures Ghana at an estimated cost of 1.25million cedis – the University contributed the 75% of the cost from its internally generated fund.
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Mahama Ayariga, has lauded the initiative and observed the need for national research institutions to also have centralized laboratories to create avenues for collaborations and also for cost-effective and efficient operations.
“We should have central laboratories at least in every regional capital that services every research institutions, so we all converge at the same place and carry out the research,” he said.
The Minister said the country would have to leverage on the application of science and technology by “indigenizing” technologies to resolve most of the socio-economic challenges.
“We are importing too much technology and it’s costing our economy so much,” he observed. “Until we indigenize a lot of that technology and produce it ourselves and even take a further step of innovating and also exporting technology to other people, we’ll continue to face many of the challenges that our economy is confronted with”.
Managing Director of Jos Hansen and Soehne, Burkhard Wollborn, noted that the benefits of establishing the Central Laboratory “will for a long time be a backbone in the future development of the University. I am sure that many talented students who are honoured by studying at KNUST would become future human assets to this great country to help developing it into the status where it actually belongs to”.
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