$400m boost for innovation: Disbursements to start this year

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Innovators and researchers in science and technology should be receiving at least four hundred million dollars to support their work by the end of 2018.

This is according to the Minister of Business Development, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal.

He tells Citi Business News the move forms part of efforts to use technology to solve major challenges confronting the country.

The government is aiming at creating at least two hundred and sixteen (216) factories to add value to goods produced in the country and create employment as a result.

Dr. Awal made the disclosure at the Annual Regional Meeting of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Accra.

“We cannot develop without evidence based research and that is how come the government is supporting all sectors of the economy. This the only way we can ensure that Ghana goes and sustains its space within the international market; by ensuring that we have innovation driven products…you can only compete internationally only when you have innovation driven products,” he stated.

The Minister added, “Your products cannot satisfy only local needs. It can only compete internationally if they are well researched and value added. That is why the President is allocating one percent of the nation’s GDP to research and innovation.”

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal also tells Citi Business News the allocation could increase in subsequent years.

The theme for this year’s ARM is “Research and Innovation for Job Creation”.

In addition to the funding support, the government has launched the Ghana Innovation & Research Commercialisation Centre (GRIC-Centre).

This is a new partnership between government and public research institutions, universities and other tertiary institutions and the Private sector.

Meanwhile an Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Council on Science, Technology and Innovation will be set up and chaired by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

The council’s mandate will among others emphasise close collaboration among key ministries such as Trade & Industries, Food and Agriculture, Education, Communication, Business Development, Local government, sanitation and water resources, lands and natural resources, roads and highways and transport.