Professor Paul Bosu (left), the Director-General of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), speaking during the CSIR Science Impact Fund Raising
Professor Paul Bosu (left), the Director-General of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), speaking during the CSIR Science Impact Fund Raising

CSIR urges govt to operationalise Research Fund

The Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Paul Bosu, has called on the government to operationalise the national research fund to enable the CSIR to research to solve societal problems.

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“I am calling on the government to operationalise the National Research Fund, put in money so that CSIR, research institutes, universities, other academic institutions and other scientific institutions can draw from it and use it to build this country,” he said.

He noted that although the Ghana National Research Fund Bill has been passed into Act, the government has yet to commit enough resources to the fund to help in the conduct of science, technology and industrial research aimed at helping to address some pertinent challenges the country faces.

“It's a fund, the bill has been passed into an act. It's a fund that is supposed to push money, not just for CSIR, but for science and technology in general. But we are yet to see its operationalisation.

Government needs to increase its commitment and support to science and technology research development,” he said. Professor Bosu spoke in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Friday evening during the CSIR Science for Impact Fundraising dinner at the Labadi Beach Hotel. It raised GH¢875,000.00 on the night with an expected target of  $20 million (GHc 300 million) in the next five years.

Professor Bosu indicated that although the CSIR had been conducting research, funding came from external sources who were interested in research that served their interest or the world generally.

“The government is supposed to fund research and development, but most of the time we depend on donors from outside. They will fund what interests them or what interests the rest of the world generally,” he said.

He explained that external donors “will fund climate change, biodiversity among others but it's difficult to find donors funding engineering, manufacturing, electronics, robotics, those things donors don't usually provide money for because it's business.

It's a market, and so they would rather support their countries. If we want to do real science that would impact our society and help industries, we have to fund our research as a country”.

As a sign of leadership by example, he noted that the staff of the CSIR had all committed one per cent of their basic salary to the CSIR Science Impact Fund. Meanwhile, he also called industrial and corporate companies and Ghanaians to help raise the funds to help conduct the needed research to address the country’s challenges.

Area of research

On the area of urgent need as a country, he said Ghana needed research in science and technology to address the concerns of food insecurity. “We have to develop technologies for increased production.

We have a lot of these varieties that can be developed or that can be used, but we need to develop something like irrigation schemes, and then food processing and preservation. Our farming is still rudimentary; we need to be able to change and modernise farming,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to donors who contributed towards the fund and appealed to the government to commit funds to help in industrial research that would address the country’s pressing needs.

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