Ghana has moved a step further in its quest to concretise the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialisation Centre (GIRC-Centre) by holding a second major discussion with partners in Accra.
The GIRC-Centre is a policy initiated by government to place Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at the centre of the country’s socio-economic development agenda, making STI the fulcrum around, which national development would revolve.
Plans are that the framework development would be done by August, while the operationalisation commences in September, 2019, to help harmonise the findings of various studies conducted by scientists and researchers as well as the translation of research findings and other innovations into products and service for commercialisation.
Mr Oliver Boachie, Special Adviser to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), speaking at a day’s workshop said the Centre when done would facilitate the creation of industries and jobs, grow the economy and quicken the pace of Ghana’s socio-economic development.
The meeting brought together participants and partners from the South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency, GIZ, MakeIT, University of Rostock, Representatives of Israel, France and Societal General.
He said the proposed strategic technology areas include Agriculture and Food Processing, Sanitation, Waste Management and Waste Recycling, Oil and Gas.
Other areas are bio-fuels, green energy, health and pharmaceuticals, Information Communication Technology, robotics, mining and minerals processing and manufacturing.
In order to effectively exploit the benefits of the focused areas, Mr Boachie said there would be intensive training in technologies, including precision machining, digital manufacturing and applications and fundamentals of Physical Metallurgy.
The initiative, he stated, would see the establishment of eight proposed Strategic Technology Centres, a series of well-equipped physical facilities where businesses, scientists and engineers work together to pilot, innovate and scale up research output that were identified to have market potential across the country.
“Our national innovation system faces a lot of challenges including fragmented science, technology and innovation institutions, poor coordination of research and development activities and poor linkages between research and industry,” he said.
“Many people have brilliant ideas and we don’t want people to steal it. It may be one dollar of an investment today, but in the near future these innovations will be worth millions so we will protect these novelties”.
Mr Vusi Skosana, Head of the South African Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), sharing the experience from his country, said with support from GIZ, the country started with few centres and had spread across the rest of the provinces.
He said recently a total of 38 innovative products were developed through support provided by the Technology Platforms; eight technologies reached demonstration stage and six were taken up by the market.
The TIA, he testified has stimulated and supported technological innovation to improve quality of life for South Africans by ensuring skilled and capable workforce were supported in an inclusive growth path.