The government is committed to creating an enabling policy environment for the advancement of science, technology and innovation in the country,  Madam Salimata Abdul-Salam, Chief Director, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has said.

She said when researchers dialogue with industry actors; they got a clear understanding of their constraints and were able to generate scientific solutions, technologies and/or innovations to address them efficiently.

Madam Abdul-Salam was speaking on Thursday in Accra at the 2017 Open Day of the Council for Industrial and Scientific Research–Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI).

The event, on the theme: “Strengthening Research, Policy and Industry Linkages: An Agenda for Enhanced National Development,” was held to showcase STEPRI’s achievements to its stakeholders and the public.

Madam Abdul-Salam noted that studies had underscored the importance of direct interaction of industries with researchers than from reading research outputs from technical articles; adding that such direct engagements between researchers, industry actors and policy makers were usually weak or non-existent in Ghana.

“This may be due to insufficient experience by researchers of the dynamics of the research and development terrains of the industrial sector. It may also stem from the cultural differences between research and industry,” she said.

“While research is knowledge-directed, industry is more action-directed. Sometimes, it is because industrialists do not know which research Institute to turn to for the relevant technology,” she added.

Madam Abdul-Salam said growth in the industrial sector would promote overall national development; declaring that research institutes were crucial in this growth agenda, as they contributed to technological innovation relevant to industry.

She said what was needed to improve the capacity of research institutions was the provision of human resource, regulatory frameworks, infrastructure and funding.

Madam Abdul-Salam said this would go a long way to help research produce outputs that were cost-effective and easy for industrial uptake.

She said it was necessary for researchers to embrace interdisciplinary applied science because most industrial constraints were complex, which could not be efficiently addressed with a linear model.

She called on industrial actors to put in place mechanisms to efficiently capture research outputs and direct researchers to problems of industrial relevance.

She lauded STEPRI for its contributions towards the advancement of science, technology and innovation in the country.

Dr George Owusu Essegbey, the Director, STEPRI, gave an overview of CSIR-STEPRI’s achievements since its establishment.

He said CSIR-STEPRI, which was one of the 13 research institutes of the CSIR, was committed to conducting studies, formulating and implementing programmes to promote science, technology and innovation in the society in Ghana and Africa.

Dr Essegbey said CSIR-STEPRI had done well despite pressing challenges, adding that “We are in time of extreme difficulties especially for the CSIR, the family we belong. Funding from government over the years has been a challenge”.

“We look forward to a new dispensation when government funding will be better than it has been. We have done our best in CSIR-STEPRI and the evidence is on display at this Open Day.”

He said what had worked for them in CSIR-STEPRI was the spirit of commitment to work at their vision and organisational goals through thick and thin.

Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman, the Director-General CSIR, who chaired the function, said CSIR-STEPRI was among the best performing institutes under the umbrella of CSIR.

He charged CSIR-STEPRI to improve upon its organisational relationship with the private sector and to make its presence visible to the public.

Nana Dr Michael Agyekum-Addo, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Mikaddo Holdings, urged higher educational institutions to churn out graduates with the requisite skills to make them employable by industry.

GNA