The Governing Council of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has said it will pursue the commercialisation of the CSIR as one of the measures to make it more effective and boost its contribution to national development.
Speaking to the management and staff of the CSIR-Water Research Institute (WRI) at a staff durbar in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, said that would mean making the goods and services produced by the council more accessible to the public and also competitive.
“Commercialisation will help the CSIR harness its potential of making money for itself and the state,” he said.
He proposed the institution of two big trade fairs in a year to be organised by the CSIR to showcase its products and services and make it more visible to the public.
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Prof. Kingsford-Adaboh stressed that the CSIR had the potential to increase its internally generated funds, as well as its financial contribution to the state.
He undertook a tour of duty to the institutes under the CSIR to familiarise himself with their operations and challenges and begin a discourse on how to improve their operations.
Prof. Kingsford-Adaboh said there could be no meaningful and sustainable development without science, technology and innovation and, therefore, the CSIR should be seen and should act as the government’s right-hand man.
He said if science, technology and innovation were the engines of sustainable growth, then the CSIR had the growth of the country in its hands and urged them to be more hardworking to deliver on their mandate.
He appealed to the staff to go the extra mile to enhance the contribution of the CSIR to national development and in return their working conditions would automatically improve.
“It is time for us to shift from the paradigm where we see the CSIR as a government institute and, therefore, think that the work could be approached with a lackadaisical attitude,” he said.
He assured the staff and management that the governing council would not interfere with the management of the CSIR but would support it according to its mandate to put the CSIR on the right footing to deliver better on its mandate.
The Director-General of the CSIR, Dr Victor K. Agyeman, bemoaned the phenomenon of most of the institutes making losses and not meeting their financial targets.
He was of the opinion that although the council was faced with financial challenges, it had enough assets and human resources to maximise to generate more internal funds and eventually more funds for the state.
“We are making financial losses because we are not competitive, our products and services are higher than others on the market and it’s about time we think outside the box to do things differently,” he said.
As a result of the situation, Dr Agyeman hinted that the management and staff of all the institutes under the CSIR had begun a dialogue on how to reverse the trend.
The Director of the CSIR, Dr Osmund Duodu Ansa-Asare, said the WRI was ready to collaborate with the management and governing council to enhance the operations of the CSIR to deliver on its mandate effectively.