The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, has stressed the need for the private sector to provide adequate resources to support science and technology activities.
That, she said, would help promote the local industries as well as boost the economy and make it attractive to foreign investors.
Ms. Ayittey made the remark at an interactive forum between industry and University of Ghana Faculty Researchers in Accra Monday.
It was organised by the Institute of Applied Science and Technology in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the UG-Carnegie Next Generation of Academics in Africa Project. It had the theme, “Strategic Partnerships for Mutual Benefits.”
She noted that the private sector would be encouraged to contribute to finance Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) application and development through various schemes.
She said they would be engaged as interested partners in STI programmes, adding that “this is feasible in the commercialisation of Research and Development (RD) activities.
“Where there are substantial innovations, independent companies may be floated to fully commercialise the RD outputs”, she added.
Ms. Ayittey said to ensure the availability of funds to meet the demands of innovation for the benefit of society government would accelerate the allocation of a minimum of one per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to support the science and technology sector.
“It would strengthen and modify the National Science and Technology Foundation to incorporate support for innovation in its spheres of operations”, she added.
Government, she said, would also take stock of all existing funding lines established to support development in science and technology and industry with the aim to streamlining them to achieve economies in their operations.
On his part, the vice president of AGI, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, stressed the need for government’s policy direction to be geared towards innovations and creativity in industry.
He said it was gratifying that government was about to establish a Science and Technology and Innovation Fund but said the seed capital of GH¢2,000,000 was woefully inadequate to make any meaningful impact.
He, however, said a cost-sharing arrangement on projects of national importance which also benefit the industry partner could be an option.
Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah said the human resource needs of industry had become more dynamic and urged the academia to keep pace with industry’s demands for requisite skills in order to bridge the gap.