30.03.2005 General News

CSIR carting new course - Commercial Director

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Accra, March 30, GNA - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Wednesday said it was charting a new course in order to make its roles more relevant to the development efforts of the country.

Consequently, the Council was strengthening its linkages with the private sector by identifying their needs and tailoring them for appropriate researches, Mrs Josephine Okutu, Commercial Director, CSIR, said at a three-day seminar on the theme: "Developing and Implementing a Private Sector Marketing Strategy."

The seminar being attended by 40 participants is aimed at developing a database to enhance prompt response to technical queries from the private sector.

It is also aimed at developing and establishing organisational structures and processes for efficient and effective linkages between CSIR scientists, the private sector and communities to facilitate technology transfer.

Mrs Okutu said the nation was gradually realising that without a highly developed scientific research and development base, the country's development would remain a mirage.

"More importantly, organisations, which hitherto had seemingly been unconcerned about the CSIR, are now prepared to open up and identify with its programmes."

She, therefore, challenged the staff to be more determined in order to turn round the fortunes of the various CSIR institutes through commercialisation.

"Let us remind ourselves that we need to be prepared by developing both our human and material resources more than ever to be able to deliver up to and even beyond the expectation of our clients," she said. Referring to a report dubbed: "In House Review of CSIR Commercialisation Plans of 2002," she said one of the findings was lack of requisite skills to undertake business development and marketing. She, therefore, called for more training programmes for personnel to enhance their professional competence.

Mrs Okutu noted that the staff had not been able to meet its 30 per cent commercialisation target over the years and appealed to them to work hard in order to meet the target.

Dr Essel Ben Hagan, Director, Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), said the mission of IIR was to carry out demand driven applied research into industrial processes and product development.

This, he said, included the transfer of appropriate technology and provision of consultancy services to small and medium scale industries as well as stakeholders in Ghana and other West African countries. "In pursuit of this we need to smoothen the transition between our scientists and the people who want to use technology to make money," Dr Hagan said.

He stressed the need to strengthen the Commercial and Information Division through capacity building and upgrading of staff skills to promote technology transfer to the private sector.

Dr Hagan challenged staff to make good use of government's policy on creating a Golden Age for Business by making their services known to the private sector.

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