The Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is calling on industry players to liaise with the institution to help commercialise the numerous research works it embarks on.
According to the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, the University has many research works that should be supported to enable them to impact society and solve various problems confronting the country.
Contrary to some assertions that products from universities in Ghana are mostly unable to come up with innovations to address the challenges facing the country, authorities at KNUST say their products contribute significantly to tackling developmental issues.
According to them, the challenge has been the lack of adequate collaboration with industry players.
“Let us ensure we are taking the gown to town to ensure that research is impacting the society, and changing the society where problems of the society are being solved, by virtue of the kind of the researches this university is doing. KNUST believes in constructive partnerships, and we cherish the kind of partnership we enjoy from our industry partners. Our industrial partners help us to bring the practicalities of the training of our students to bear. We are grateful to them for what they do, but we are calling on them to help commercialize all these research outcomes from the University. They should come and pick them up, take them all out there so that it would be beneficial to society,” Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST stated.
The many inventions the students and faculty members have come up with include solar-powered traffic lights, wireless quiz buzzers, self-driving cars using computer vision devices, newly patented architectural innovations to ensure easy escape during fire outbreaks, and various electronic and mechanical devices among others.
Industry players who witnessed the exhibition such as the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-nai, and the Executive Director of Agri-Impact Consult, Daniel Acquaye who spoke to Citi News stressed the need for the university to do more in liaising with the industry players.
“They (University) can better engage to know what the industry experts, and then the curriculum is updated continuously. I think the other thing is to come to the universities to see the day-to-day innovations happening,” CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-nai noted.
“At times, some of these innovations are patented, and the private sector is in a fix. They say am I dealing with a private person or the university? It makes it difficult for the private sector to engage with the University. Also, the private sector doesn’t have time, sometimes when we approach the research institutions, they always want to take like forever to get back with solutions. By the time, they come up with the solution, we have moved on and there’s a new challenge that we want to address, so you will see that the academia is behind the industry, one or two steps behind,” Daniel Acquaye stated.
The Director-General of State Interest and Governance Authority, SIGA, Edward Boateng, who was excited about the Innovations being exhibited, assured of government’s plan to link those in academia to various public agencies.
“It is our responsibility to link what we’ve seen today to some of their aspirations to see how they can take it to the next level”.