The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says it is open to partnership with the private sector in the commercialisation of its ground breaking scientific innovation and research outputs.
Consequently, it has appealed to the business community to seize the opportunity and partner with it to drive the industrialisation agenda of the country.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times last Thursday, the Deputy Director-General of the Council, Professor Paul Bosu, said as the foremost institution in scientific and industrial research in the country, it continues to churn out groundbreaking innovations in line with it object of establishment.
However, he said making some of these ground breaking innovations socially relevant beyond influencing national policy continues to be a challenge which the council was working to address.
“Following the re-establishment of the CSIR in its present form by Act 521 in 1996, steps have been taken to ensure the commercialisation of some of our innovations,” he said.
Prof. Bosu noted that the council has played a major role in finding innovative ways of preserving food in the country while creating the necessary mechanisms for adding value to agricultural products.
“It is rather unfortunate much credit has not been given to us despite our major contribution and innovation in the agriculture sector. I can tell you on authority that the council has contributed to developing hybrid seeds, improved varieties and high yielding seeds among others, unfortunately most often this credit goes to the ministry of agriculture,” he said.
He explained that, the council recognised the importance of scientific and industrial research innovations in the socio-economic development of the country.
As a result, the council had shifted from just influencing national policy on science and industrial research into producing some of its innovations to serve the social needs of the society.
“What we have realised is that sometimes people come to us asking us to allow them to produce our innovation on commercial basis, but the same people think those innovations must be given to them for free because we are a government organisation. There are others who also do not have the wherewithal to buy some of these innovations,” he said.
He said the council had positioned itself now to attract partners solely for the commercialisation of its innovations and would go into the necessary arrangement with individuals or groups who strike a favourable partnership arrangement with it.
“It is important that we move in this direction because apart from providing sources of funding for our research other than government and donor agencies, it would also help cut down on importation of a lot of things into the country,” he stressed.
Prof. Bosu said the council continued to play a leading role in adding value to crops to produce food items such high quality cassava flour, maize, rice, soya beans and groundnuts.
Apart from the agriculture, there are other innovations in the areas of technology and construction such as the pozzolina cement and electronic apps.
These, he referred to as the ‘low hanging fruits’ which potential investors could partner the council to pluck for national development.
The director said the scientific community was doing a lot in the laboratories but it would require direct government policies to get some of these innovations that have huge impact on society to be produced for mass consumption.
He called on Ghanaians to do away with the service mentality view of the council and see its innovations as business potential for commercialisation.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL