Ministry To Establish Research Fund

The Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) says it is taking steps to establish a fund in support of research. The goal is to aid aggressive promotion of new ideas and better application of solutions to problems faced by the private sector. Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, the Minister, expressed concern about the situation where almost all research activities carried out by the research institutions and universities are done through donor funding. The downside is that these donors determine the areas such research should be focused and this he said would have to change. The Minister was addressing separate meetings with the staff and management of some research institutions under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as part of his two-day working visit to Kumasi. These included the Crop Research Institute (CRI), Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) and the Soil Research Institute (SRI). Mr Oppong-Fosu said one of the key priorities of his ministry was to strengthen the linkages between knowledge institutions and industry for effective utilization of research outcomes by entrepreneurs and businesses. He said there wasthe need for a stronger partnership between those institutions and the business community to make sure that entrepreneurs had access to research findings and used these to boost their operations Research Scientists at CRI complained of the high import duty on chemicals and equipment brought in for the Institute’s research work and called for the Minister’s intervention to get the taxes waived. Dr Victor Agyeman, Director of the FORIG, said it had always worked to ensure that its research outcomes were relevant to industry and called for more support to deliver on its mandate. Dr Eugene Atiemo, Director of BRRI, said he was unhappy about the refusal of some ministries, departments and agencies to pay for work done for them by the Institute and appealed to the Minister to help them retrieve those monies.