General News of Saturday, 5 August 2017
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, says the country’s drive toward an accelerated industrial development can only be possible if science and technology are given the desired attention.
He acknowledged Ghanaian industrial operatives require research and development to be able to respond consistently to both domestic and international competition.
He is therefore pushing for stronger academia-industry linkages to a strong innovation ecosystem for mutually beneficial windfalls. Addressing an Academia-Industry Stakeholder Conference in Kumasi, Mr.
Ahomka-Lindsay noted the successful implementation of the government’s industrial policies cannot be realized without the inputs of scientists. “Indeed, it is the scientist who should conduct the required research for innovation, new technologies as well as new products for industrial development,” he said.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has developed an Academia Industry (AI) Database to serve as platform providing avenues for interaction and collaboration among researchers, industry partners, students, alumni and donor agencies.
This is part of activities under the entrepreneurship and job creation thematic area under the DANIDA-funded Building Stronger Universities Project (BSU II).
The project supports the KNUST in creating an enabling environment for high quality and relevant research; and research-based education that will promote sustainable technological and socio-economic development.
The Deputy Trade Minister noted industry and academia stand to gain mutually when they collaborate. “The manufacturing sector in Ghana is characterized by a large population of micro, small and medium sized firms, most of which use obsolete technology and have low capital and human resources base,” he observed.
“This limits their ability to undertake and absorb science and technology for innovation, in order to improve their level of productivity and competitiveness”.
Mr. Baffour Awuah of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) welcomed the collaboration as critical to develop the industrial sector.
Provost of the College of Science at the KNUST, Prof. Ibok Oduro, says the university is pushing a new paradigm for industry-academia partnership through the implementation of well-thought out programs and activities.
The conference was on the theme: “Strengthening Academia-Industry Collaboration for National Development”.