The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has started the development of a plan to create the needed environment for researchers and innovators to help drive the country’s transformational agenda.
The plan will establish innovation support programmes and also build infrastructure to support innovators across the country.
The Special Advisor to the sector minister, Oliver Boachie, who disclosed this, said the master plan would be implemented next year.
“Infrastructure will be established across the country to ensure that researchers and innovators are able to pilot their innovations and possibly scale them up,” he said.
Mr Boachie was speaking on behalf of the sector Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, at the launch of the second phase of the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund call for proposal in Accra last Friday.
The RISA Fund is a programme aimed at supporting and strengthening research and innovation systems in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Ethiopia.
With £3.5 million earmarked for the second phase, the programme, which will run from 2021 to 2024, is funded by the UKaid.
The beneficiaries of the first phase included the Strathmore University Business School; Kenya, Kenyatta University; Kenya, Burooj Enterprises Pty; South Africa, The Mawazo Institute; Kenya, Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA); Kenya.
The others are iSpace Foundation; Ghana, Heritors Labs Limited; Ghana, Impact Investing; Ghana, Adam Smith International; Nigeria, Intini Research and Consulting; South Africa
Science, technology, Innovation
In view of improving science, technology and Innovation, Mr Boachie said the government in the next 10 years, would focus on strategic technology areas, such as agriculture, manufacturing, health and pharmaceuticals and energy to change the mindset of people to firmly anchor the country’s developmental agenda on science technology and innovation.
“We are in the process of strengthening innovation to recognise all actors within the ecosystem and to provide them with all the facilities they need to do their job better.
“That is why we are collaborating with the RISA programme as their aim aligns with our agenda,” he said.
The UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, who was at the event, expressed the UK’s commitment to deepen partnerships with the country in science, technology and innovation.
“Today we are pleased to celebrate the achievements of the portfolio projects during the inception stage. Ten projects have been completed with a total investment of £888,000.
“The grant funding project will build intellectual capital in the target country, diversify the innovation and research, provide access to financing and also networking,” she said.
She indicated that the deadline for the application was on July 31, and, therefore, urged applicants to visit their website www.risa.fund.org to apply.
She called on eligible applicants to submit their proposals urging them to be creative with innovative ideas to help offer solutions.
Irene Karimi, who is with the RISA Fund, also urged organisations working to strengthen the research and innovation ecosystem in the focus countries to apply to the RISA Fund.
“Research institutes, think tanks, partner government agencies, and private sector companies must take advantage of the grant,” she said.