Scientific innovations require collaboration among researchers, students-Pro VC

Achieving scientific innovation and academic excellence in graduate education requires fostering a culture of creativity, curiosity, flexibility and collaboration among students and researchers.

Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said investing more in infrastructure, equipment, and training for institutions could help address local and global challenges.

Speaking at the maiden KNUST Annual Post Graduate Conference in Kumasi, Prof Owusu-Dabo said Africa and Ghana could become a hub of scientific innovation and academic excellence for the benefit of humanity if inputs and outputs become higher.

He said it was important for Africa to do more in the areas of research and innovation, saying that only two per cent of world research output and 1.3 per cent of research spending came from the continent.

Despite the shortfall, he said the continent had chalked some successes in scientific innovations which included Precision Oncology, The Mamaope Jacket, LifeStraw, 3D printing technology to create low-cost prosthetics for people with disabilities across the continent, as well as implementation of mobile health clinics and artificial intelligence (AI).

‘These innovations show that Africa has the potential and talent to contribute to scientific advancement,’ he observed.

Prof. Owusu-Dabo said a team of researchers in KNUST had developed a low-cost and rapid diagnostic test kit for COVID-19, while vaccine trial projects on typhoid and cervical cancer led by scientists in KNUST and many others were also currently going on.

The maiden conference organized by the College of Health Sciences, KNUST was held on the theme ‘Scientific Innovation and Academic Excellence: The Hallmark of Graduate Education’.

The Pro VC said despite the prospects, a major challenge was the generational protection of intellectual property (IP), which facilitated knowledge sharing, technology transfer and cross-sectorial partnerships that enhanced the quality and impact of scientific innovation.

Globally, Ghana is ranked 39th in IP with a score of 40.88 points, which indicates that there is room for improvement.

He said it was imperative for the new generation of scientists and researchers to contribute to enhancing our intellectual property environment through scientific innovations and technology-driven tangibles.

Prof. Christian Agyare, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, said the College was dedicated to advancing knowledge and innovation in health sciences.

He said in the last four years, the College had been leading in publications and had contributed to about 60 per cent of the research outputs of the KNUST.

He added that there was immense potential within the health sciences community to make significant contributions to the world.

Prof. Alexander Yaw Debrah, the Conference Committee Chairman, said Ghana must be able to succeed with the world developing rapidly through research and innovation, which were fundamentals for reducing poverty and building stronger economies.

He believed the conference which was to encourage postgraduate students to showcase research work to the world would challenge them to come out with cutting-edge findings and problem solutions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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