The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa in the Western region, has observed that, one of the problems of tertiary institutions in Ghana is the inadequate link between industry and research outcomes from the universities.
To overcome that problem, Professor Jerry S.Y. Kuma said, the UMaT had introduced courses in entrepreneurship and management, which are compulsory for all students who passed through the university so that research outcomes and innovations could be commercialised.
"Our research outcomes have perhaps not helped to solve the everyday problems of the Ghanaian," the Vice Chancellor stated.
Prof. Kuma made the observation at the opening of the 3rd Innovation and Career Fair of the university last Friday.
Companies that sponsored the event included the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), AngloGold Ashanti, Star Assurance, Maxam Intertek, Petroleum Commission, Ghana and Sametro Links, African Underground Mining Services, Legacy Financial Services and Tomm Optic.
The theme for the programme was: "Think Smart; Be Innovative 2017."
The vice chancellor explained that UMaT, as a well-known brand, was committed to academic and research excellence, so the fair was instituted to help unearth the entrepreneurial potential in the students.
It is also to enable the students to transform what they have studied into feasible projects that will positively impact the communities and the country at large.
The fair serves as a platform that brings together engineers, researchers, students, consultants, business executives, service providers and all who have an interest in innovation in mining, petroleum and related disciplines.
Prof. Kuma said the theme for the fair was particularly relevant because "our current global economy is characterised by constant innovation, product improvement and competition. I believe national development should necessarily hinge on creativity and innovation."
"During occasions such as this, academia and industry are given the opportunity to interact and share ideas on innovative projects of students and how such innovation could impact our national development agenda," the vice-chancellor added.
The Special Guest Speaker, Dr Kofi Osei-Kusi, who is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Osei-Kusi Foundation, said one could not study only science to be successful in life, for which reason there was the need to read outside the science discipline.
Dr Osei-Kusi, therefore, advised the students to “find solutions to problems in the communities where you study and live.”
Ten student innovators and their colleagues made presentations which included the conversion of sachet water bags into diesel fuel by thermal and catalytic pyrolysis and an App that detects phone thefts.