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Environment Ministry to commercialise research findings

BY: Doreen Andoh
Mr Oliver Boachie (left), Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, speaking to journalists at the workshop
Mr Oliver Boachie (left), Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, speaking to journalists at the workshop

Effective September 1, 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) will start the official commercialisation of research findings.

This was announced by the Special Advisor to the sector Minister, Mr Oliver Boachie, at a consultative meeting with key stakeholders of the ministry in Accra Wednesday.

Research commercialisation involves translating ideas, technologies, innovations and proposed solutions to specific issues in a scientific research into marketable products and capital gain for the public.

The ministry is leading the commercialisation by operating a national secretariat, known as the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialisation Centre (GIRC-Centre), which will collate all existing and future researches.

The initiative is expected to enhance the partnership among the government, public research institutions, industries, academia and the private sector and ensure that the collaboration enhances productivity and national development.

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Stakeholder engagement

The consultative engagement is part of preparations to begin the running of the GIRC-Centre in September.

Stakeholders at the meeting included policy makers, researchers, research institutions and development partners.

The long-term goal of the initiative is to make the GIRC-Centre, the primary government agency under MESTI that coordinates all scientific research collaboration projects and public-private partnerships (PPPs) related to Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

It is also expected to be the primary engine that drives the use of STI for national development.

Throwing more light on the project on behalf of the sector minister, Mr Boachie said the GIRC-Centre would also be equipped to provide support services that would anticipate the challenges faced consistently by researchers and innovators in their attempt to commercialise and assist them to avoid the pitfalls associated with those challenges.

“Examples of such services include the conduct of market surveys, the development of business plans and the provision of legal advice on intellectual property rights (IPRs),” he said.

Strategic areas

Mr Boachie said the GIRC-Centre would place special emphasis on attracting collaborative research projects related to strategic areas, including agriculture and food processing, sanitation, waste management and waste recycling, oil and gas and bio-fuels, green energy and energy storage systems.

The rest are health and pharmaceuticals, ICT and robotics, mining and minerals processing and manufacturing.

He said at the meeting, stakeholders would discuss how to develop all frameworks required to implement the initiative and run the GIRC-Centre.

“This consultative forum will also highlight some fundamental issues and challenges for effective linkages between research-academia and industry,” he said.

He explained that the centre was crucial to the development of the country and the government was poised to transform the innovation system by providing an enabling environment for it to thrive.

He named other entities that would play essential roles within the collaboration framework as donor agencies, development partners, venture capital firms, intellectual property management institutions and data protection regulatory institutions.

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