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CSIR-STEPRI Holds Open Day

CSIR-STEPRI held an open day to  showcase its research output and innovations to the private sector and other stakeholders. It was held on the 22nd June, 2016 on the theme “Enhancing Sustainable Development and Economic Growth through Research and Industry Partnership.” Research publications in agriculture, oil and gas, housing, industry, health and herbal medicine were exhibited.

The aim of the Open Day, the first of its kind was to promote research-private sector partnership and create awareness on the need for industry investment in demand-driven research. Participants include the Chairman and some Board members of STEPRI, industrialists, government officials and researchers from the CSIR Institutes.

Opening the occasion, Dr. Victor K. Agyeman, the Director-General of the CSIR, praised STEPRI for the initiative and urged other CSIR institutes to follow suit. He said, the transformation structure of the CSIR placed STEPRI under “Science and People”. Therefore, the primary focus of STEPRI’s research activities is on Livelihood Transformation and Economic Development which is in line with national priorities as outlined in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA). He said, the CSIR as a whole, will continue to conduct research that is aligned with the development priorities of the government and development partners.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, (MESTI) Hon. Mahama said the Open Day was an important initiative, and challenged other institutes of the CSIR to emulate it. He said CSIR technologies and innovations will remain with the CSIR if they are not showcased for adoption by the private sector. According to him, many countries have utilized science, technology and innovation (STI) to drive their national development. He said, scientific research brings about higher productivity and enhances industrial competitiveness.
However, in Ghana, the failure of the research and development (R&D) system to perform as expected has brought about a gap between research and the private sector. Hon. Ayariga said, government will continue to support CSIR and STI initiatives and invest in the establishment of technology parks and incubation centres to facilitate the use of scientific research for national development. He called for public private partnership (PPP) to enhance collaboration between research and industry to propel the needed national development. Madam Salamata Abdul-Salam, the Chief Director of MESTI the speech on behalf of the Minister

Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia 
CSIR-STEPRI prepared and published an illustrated Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia and this has contributed to establish the scientific basis of the practice of herbal medicine.

National Science and Technology Policy 
STEPRI in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology (MEST) prepared the National S&T Policy Document. It also facilitated the formulation of the framework for the implementation of a new structure for the management of S&T in Ghana.

The Biotechnology Development Programme/ROKs-IDRC Project
This Biotechnology Policy Studies was a collaborative project CSIR-STEPRI executed with the Graduate School of Environmental Studies (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) and the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (Ghana Atomic Energy Commission) in 1999. The project aimed at assessing biotechnology policy needs, taking account of the concerns of all stakeholders, and with due consideration of the national priorities. The Department for International Development (DFID) of UK funded the Biotechnology Development Programme. The activities include a survey of biotechnology-related institutions in Ghana to assess the state of biotechnology, the organization of a citizen’s conference and the drafting of a national biotechnology policy for Ghana.

The CSIR-Technology Development and Transfer Center (TDTC)
CSIR-STEPRI is implementing the CSIR-Technology Development and Transfer Center Projects aims at developing a structured mechanism that facilitates effective transfer of CSIR technologies to the private sector on one hand and on the other hand, the structured system that ensures the generation of ideas from the private sector for the development of appropriate innovations and technologies for business solutions. This market-oriented project is under the Component 2 of the Ghana Skills and Technology Development Programme. The participating CSIR institutes include Animal Research Institute (ARI), Food Research Institute (FRI), Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), Water Research Institute (WRI), Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Crops Research Institute (CRI), and Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI).

Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA)
DRUSSA seeks to strengthen research uptake capacity and participation in the international development research system with the ultimate goal of improving the accessibility and utilisation of locally relevant research evidence to inform Sub-Saharan and global development policy and practice. The project is sponsored by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) with technical support from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). In Ghana, DRUSSA is being implemented by CSIR-STEPRI. The collaborating institutions are the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) at Makerere University and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). The participating ministries are the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) for Resilience to Climate Change Impact on Water Availability in Ghana          
SINTEF, a leading research institution in Norway in collaboration with the Water Research Institute (WRI) and Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) both of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) initiated a research project dubbed “Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) resilience to climate change impact on water availability in Ghana. The project is financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) through the Nordic Climate Facility. The aims of the project include assessment and development of appropriate and innovative model of RWH systems, installation of the model RWH systems in 20 households and 2 schools, training of artisans in building RWH systems as a business and promoting the model RWH systems in Ghana in line with the National Rainwater Harvesting Strategy

Study of Agriculture Innovation  
The government of Ghana has since the 1990s put in place far reaching measures to modernise the country’s agriculture. At the forefront of this agricultural sector modernisation policy is the use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as the critical engine of growth for accelerated development (GPRS II, 2005; FASDEP II, 2007). The level of funding and their effective and efficient utilization, and application of agricultural innovations to a large extent determines the success or failure of the country’s agricultural policy at any point in time. In Ghana, there is a wide source of agricultural innovations including local and foreign. The universities, polytechnics, and the research institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and others play significant roles in the generation and dissemination of agricultural innovations.

Business Opportunity Identification Survey (BOIS) for the Rural Enterprise Programme
Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are not only significant in rural economies but also play crucial roles in national economic growth and development by providing employment, income, food security and poverty reduction. The Rural Enterprise Project (REP) now Rural Enterprises Programme has since 1995 been working with the Municipal/District Assemblies and other stakeholder to establish and expand MSEs in rural communities of Ghana. CSIR-STEPRI conducted a Business Opportunity Identification Survey (BOIS) in ninety-five (95) selected districts in Ghana to enhance the operations of the REP. The study employed four key data collection instruments involving a survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions as well as personal observations. The research team also interacted with key informants in the selected districts/municipalities including District/Municipal Chief Executives, the Coordinating Directors and the Planning Officers of the Assemblies. Information gathered includes the natural resource endowments, the business environment, local and traditional skills, and potentially viable businesses (existing and new).

Advancing Sub-Saharan Africa – European Union cooperation in research and innovation for global challenges (CAAST-Net Plus)
CAAST-NET Plus is a network of 26 partners based in Europe and Africa. It is based on the goal of strengthening research and innovation between the two regions to effectively tackle global challenges of health, food security, and climate change. Ghana is represented on the platform by CSIR-STEPRI.

Pan African Competitiveness Forum (PACF Ghana Chapter)     
The Pan-African Competitiveness Forum (PACF) was established in April 2008 in Addis Ababa with the support of the African Union (AU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in collaboration with The Competitiveness Institute (TCI). The establishment of the PACF was in response to the concern to see Africa develop in a sustainable manner and achieve the Millennium Development Goals within the foreseeable future, and get integrated into the global economy. The PACF’s vision of Africa’s integration and effective competition on the global stage is founded on innovation and cluster-based initiatives bringing government, academia and business into a triple helix partnership. CSIR-STEPRI is the host of the Ghana Chapter, comprising entrepreneurs, academia/research institutions, and government.

National Science and Technology Policy

STEPRI in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology (MEST) prepared the National S&T Policy Document. It also facilitated the formulation of the framework for the implementation of a new structure for the management of S&T in Ghana.  
Survey on The Use of Mobile Telephones for Micro and Small Business Development: The Case of Ghana   
This project was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada, through its Regional Office in Senegal. The project duration was one year and ended in January 2008. The objective of this study was to examine the level of usage and the contributions of mobile telephones to the growth of small business in small urban areas of Ghana. The study sets to fill the gap in research on ICTs and micro and small businesses which occupy a critical niche in the country’s economy.
The study was a survey of 600 micro and small businesses in less urban and rural areas selected from Prampram, Kasoa, Konongo, Berekum, Navrongo and Savelugu. The survey was augmented by focus group discussions.

Individual and Household Survey e-Access & Usage 
The study was a survey undertaken under the auspices of the Research ICT Africa Network. This survey was also carried out in 18 other member countries of the Network. The objective of the survey was to contribute to the development of e-Index for Africa in terms of ICT access and usage. In all 1,200 households and individuals were interviewed from Major Urban, Other Urban and Rural areas of the country.

Developing the Rural Economy of Ghana through Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs):Issues and Options

This was a  desk research on micro and small enterprises (MSEs) operating in the informal sector in the rural areas of Ghana. The research utilised data that the Institute collected through the REP Business Opportunities Identification Surveys. The study was based on the recognition of the integral role MSEs play in economic development, poverty reduction and employment creation in the rural areas of the country.

The ROKS-IDRC Project on Biotechnology Policy 
STEPRI is implementing the project “Towards a Systemic Approach to the Evolution of Biotechnology Policy in Ghana.” The IDRC is funding the project under an initiative called Research on Knowledge Systems (ROKS). It was one of the three proposals from Africa and one of the nine from the world-wide proposals, which won awards out of a total of 141 proposals submitted for the 2004 competition. The collaborating partners are the Biochemistry Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Centre for Development Studies of University of Cape Coast (UCC). The project team members are:
* Dr. J.O. Gogo – Former Director of STEPRI, Project Supervisor
* Dr. G.O. Essegbey – Director, STEPRI
* Dr. G.K. Frempong – STEPRI, Deputy Director
* Prof. J.A. Micah – University of Cape Coast, Researcher
* Prof. V.P. Dzogbefia – KNUST, Researcher
A first step in the implementation of the project was the organization of a Stakeholders’ Forum on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Prior to the Forum, the research team carried out a desk research and identified the stakeholder categories including researchers, farmers, environmental activists, policy makers and industrialists. The representatives of these categories were invited to the Stakeholders’ Forum, which was held in July. Papers were presented at the Forum and the general discussions, which followed the presentations, highlighted the rather antagonistic positions of the proponents and opponents of genetic engineering. The proceedings of the workshop have been prepared.
The ROKS-IDRC Project will be implemented until June 2007. The activities in progress include a survey of biotechnology-related institutions in Ghana to assess the state of biotechnology, the organization of a citizen’s conference and the drafting of a national biotechnology policy for Ghana.

Tailor – Made Boitechnology and Endogeneous Development
Tailor-made Biotechnologies for Endogenous Development was a collaborative project between the Technology and Agrarian Development Working Group of the University of Wageningen, Biotechnology Trust Africa, Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, The Netherlands Biotechnology Programme Andhra Pradesh, India, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Fundamentales en Agricultura Tropical (INIFAT), Cuba and Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA), Brasil.
The underlying principle of the TMBT concept is the integration of modern scientific knowledge and good traditional agricultural and food technologies to solve the numerous problems affecting the resource poor farmer and budding agro industries in a way to assist them pull out of the poverty trap. TMBT should lead to a new thinking where the farmer is in the centre of development, actively participating through sharing of indigenous knowledge and enforcing heterogeneity of farming systems.In 2005, STEPRI produced a publication on tailor-made biotechnologies highlighting the cases of maize and cocoa.