TO benefit from the excellent work being produced within Ghana’s academic and research institutions and to guarantee a fruitful relationship between academia and industry, a three-member team of Ghanaian researchers has proposed, among others, the creation of a research development fund.
Government, industry and stakeholders in academia must consider setting up a development fund that will provide patient capital for research purposes but also support researchers to move from the discovery stage to promoting development of products, solutions, innovations so that the findings of these studies can benefit the country.
The team, made up of Dr Abena Yeboah-Banin, Dr George Acheampong and Professor Clement Appah researched into what would bring industry and academia closer, in pursuit of Research, Innovation, Socialization, Communication, Advocacy and Marketing (RISCAM).
The researchers inquired into what it will take to bring research findings and outputs closer to industry to enable commercialisation.
Speaking to The Finder in an interview during a workshop to build a bridge between researchers and journalists or communicators, Dr Yeboah-Banin was confident the research fund could easily be created and become operational if the relevant stakeholders commit to it.
“Just as COVID-19 struck and government as well as private sector players mobilised funds to build an infectious diseases centre to help deal with that scourge,” she stated.
The UG lecturer disclosed that in other jurisdictions, the private sector plays a leading role in contributing into the fund, which goes to benefit their economies in the long run.
Dr Yeboah-Banin charged private sector businesses to incorporate such contributions into the fund into their Corporate Social Investment strategies.
Beyond private sector contributions, government, as the manager of the economy should commit resources to the fund.
The workshop was organised by Heritors Labs in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) and funded by The RISA Fund.