Industry, academia cooperation vital to dev’t – UCC Research Director

Prof. Samuel Kobena Annim
Prof. Samuel Kobena Annim

Industry and academia have been advised to establish a relationship devoid of suspicion and secrecy as a way of bridging the gap between the two to foster economic development.

They have been advised that academia’s role of identifying problems and researching into them coupled with industry’s sincere readiness for collaboration is a sure way of realising national economic security.

The admonition was offered yesterday [Tuesday] by the Director of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Samuel Kobena Annim, at the launch of the Industry and Innovation Unit of the University.

The newly-launched Industry and Innovation Unit (IIU), which is a branch of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy, is to create an enabling multi-disciplinary platform for research to be directly linked to industry.

Explaining the unfavourable relationship that currently exists between industry players and academia, Prof. Kobena Annim said, “In terms of sharing knowledge, we are so much engrossed in keeping knowledge to ourselves to the point that it is no more relevant.”

He further lamented, “For us as academics, we rush to publish our papers, and for industry players, they would want to go through series of processes to ensure that whatever is coming out would ensure a healthy and stable industry.”

In his view, there is a need for both parties to ensure a healthy balance that will create a win-win situation, adding that Ghana’s lack of a clearly established research fund portends weaknesses in the nation’s quest for economic progress.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, on his part, outlined that the IIU will, among other functions, seek “to showcase research output of staff of the University and to develop mechanisms for tracking and measuring outcomes and impact of the University’s engagement with industry, social laboratories and policymakers”.

Some industry players present at the event reiterated the need for a firm pact between the two bodies while they asked that academia must point industry to profitable ventures based on research.

They added that academia should keenly monitor the implementation of its research findings used by industry.

By: Joseph Ackon-Mensah/