THE GENE TECHNOLOGY AND AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES

ProggABSTRACT

 

TOPIC: THE GENE TECHNOLOGY AND AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES.

SPEAKER: PROF. K. E. DANSO (DIRECTOR – BNARI).

 

The adoption of the Gene technology in crop improvement programme has resulted in tremendous crop yield and huge economic returns in many countries. The technology thus ensures food security, increases nutritional quality as well as sustainable environmental management in the midst of changing climate and limited land availability. Although the basis of the technology does not far deviate from Mendellian genetics and hence other known breeding techniques, critics have raised concerns on the adoption of the technology especially in the developing countries. There are arguments that food produced through the gene technology may pose health hazards, introduce super weeds and erode subsistence farmers of their traditional seeds. This presentation will discuss the genetic basis of the technology and the role of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) in the development of the technology in Ghana. The public concerns on the gene technology and the regulatory role of biosafety to ensure that food produced via the technology is safe for both human health and the environment.

3rd Regular Lecture

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Terms of reference for consultancy services

MONITORING AND EVALUATION FOR PROJECT OUTCOME AND INDICATOR WITH RISK ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROJECT AND METIGATING MEASURES FOR THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROJECT 

1.0. BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT 

It is widely recognized that  the performance of a national economy in terms of innovation and productivity is not only the result of its basic research capabilities and inventions but also strongly influenced by its ability to exploit these inventions commercially and develop them into products.

The role of academic and research institutions have  witnessed continuous change from the production of academic knowledge to ‘capitalization’ of the knowledge with the objective of  improving national economic development as well as the institutions own finances. In Ghana, there has been a lot of concern about the gap between scientific achievement and the commercialization of such achievements for the benefit of industry to stimulate national economic transformation[1] Indeed, the role of universities and research institutions in fostering technology transfer and economic growth is now considered a key element of national economic development policies. The Ghana Industrial Policy for instance observed: “There is a weak science, technology and innovation system, with limited interactions between key agents in the system such as universities, research and technology transfer institutions, and industry”

In response, the Government of Ghana has initiated a number of interventions geared towards realizing the objectives set out in the Ghana Industrial Policy. One such notable initiative is the establishment of the fund under the Ghana skills and technology development project where research institutions could team up with industry to transfer knowledge and technology for economic development. The structure of the university and research institutions as the basic platform makes the relationship with the industry easy to develop as there are many programs that can be created.  Against this background, GAEC has a number of technological innovations of commercial value which it intends leveraging for the growth of the Ghanaian private sector.

2.0 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

To address the needs of the private sector and contribute strongly to the growth of the Ghanaian economy, GAEC launched a project “making GAEC more responsive to the demands/needs of Ghana private sector” or simply put “Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre Project” commenced in January 2014 to run for two year duration. The project is being supported by the World Bank through the Ministry of Science and Environment and COTVET.

The main goal of the project is to enhance the transfer of science and technology to the Ghanaian private sector with three key expected outcomes:

  • Establishment of private-sector oriented staff and institutional incentive schemes at GAEC that encourage the providers to respond effectively to technology demand from the private sector
  • Development of Additional and Effective engagements between the private sector and GAEC
  • Building the capacity of the GAEC to develop, adapt and diffuse technologies to the private sectors

The TTMC project adopts the market-driven approach to science and technology research through the establishment of modern technology commercialization and marketing centre (TCMC) that would serve as an interface between the various institutes and the private sector.

The Centre would be well resourced with requisite logistics and qualified personnel; incentives and performance targets. The project would identify and train technology commercialization (TC) focal persons in each institute to coordinate its commercialization activities. The TCMC would facilitate linkages with industry under structured and value for money framework. The technology commercialization centre would develop a technology transfer process guidelines for GAEC.  The Centre would also be responsible to conducting analysis of the potential commercial market for each innovation, conduct literature and patent searches to help assess patentability, and evaluate possible commercialization strategies that provide a suitable financial return to GAEC. It would also protect the intellectual property surrounding inventions; define the best commercialization strategy and look for the potential commercial partners to develop the technology into a successful product.

To orient scientists to the new approach to innovation and research at GAEC, the project would provides short training courses in commercialization and marketing to TC focal persons and Directors of Institutes. Topics to be covered include marketing for science and technology ventures; intellectual property and legal issues in commercialization, commercialization of science and technology and entrepreneurship for science and technology ventures. The training would be delivered at SNAS with experts sourced from reputable institutions such as GIMPA or abroad. The project would also collaborate with SNAS to institutionalize this training for all its post graduate students.

To ensure a motivated workforce, the project would review the reward and promotion system at GAEC to go beyond scientific publications to include the provision of science-based solutions to problems facing the private sector. Thus scientists and staff of GAEC would not only be assessed (for promotion) based on the number of publication made but also, the number of technology solutions provided to industry. Further, incentive schemes would be put in place (under this project) to fund the commercialization transfer cost as well as give bonuses to scientists and commercialization personnel who successfully transfer technology to the private sector.  The Centre would also support scientists and private sector companies to source for funding from sources such as SDF, Out grower and Value Chain Fund, EDAIF and Venture Capital Fund to develop the innovation. The GAEC mango farmers’ collaboration provides an example.

To get scientists to be abreast with the pressing technological problems facing the private sector, the project would organize bi-annual workshops which would bring scientists and key industrial actors together. GAEC website would be upgraded and regularly updated to include the various innovations/technology churn out by the institutes. Information and communication materials would also be developed and distributed to potential private sector companies. A number of public relation engagements would be carried out to further promote the various innovations at GAEC both in the print and electronic media. The project

The project thus represents a point of departure in terms of how scientific researchers are conducted at GAEC and the beginning of enduring relationship between GAEC and the private sector in Ghana.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT

  1. To presented here are the expected end of project situation; what resources, infrastructure, capacity, processes etc. are in place to ensure continuity and how and why the outcome of this project will be Monitored and Evaluated.

SCOPE OF WORK

Specifically the Consultant is expected to undertake the following:

  1. Make consultation with the Scientist who has benefited from the grants from the Center, Monitor its progress and Evaluate with its achievements to understand and recommend an efficient and effective evaluation plan
  2. Develop technology, transfer and commercialization evaluation guidelines for the grants under implementation that clearly outlines the 0utcome from idea conception to market.

METHODOLOGY

The consultant is to come up with sound methodology including the use of participatory approaches in carrying out this assignment. The consultant should seek the views and opinion of GAEC management and staff to fully understand the context in coming up with the Evaluation and Monitoring plan.  

DELIVERABLE

  1. A work plan for delivering on the Terms of reference with brief methodology
  2. Final report within 3 weeks of commencement of assignment.
  1. RESPONSIBILITIES

GAEC:

  1. To provide any organizational related information that the consultant may need to carry out assignment expeditiously
  2. To pay the consultants agreed fees
  3. Create platforms for briefing of management /staff on the draft report
  4. Support the Consultant interview appropriate individuals.
  1. Contact persons

The consultant shall report to:

Ms. Sheila Frimpong

Project Coordinator

TTMC

f_shillahumble @yahoo.com

Tel:0246171271

Non-Destructive Testing Appreciation Course

The National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), is offering Appreciation Training Course in Non-destructive Testing (NDT).

Non-destructive testing is the process of inspecting, testing, or evaluating materials, components or assemblies for discontinuities or flaws without destroying the serviceability of the part or system.

Course Objectives

On completion of the course, participants should:

  • Be aware of the NDT methods available
  • Appreciate the basic principles of each method
  • Identify the advantages and limitations of the NDT methods

Course Content

This NDT training course covers: A basic appreciation of the main methods (Penetrant Testing, Magnetic Particle Testing, Ultrasonic Testing and Radiographic Testing), Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel in accordance with ISO 9712:2005(E) and the different certification schemes.

Who Should Attend?    

This Training Course is recommended for:

Engineers, Managers, Supervisors, Quality Managers, Condition Monitoring Technicians, Engineering Technicians, Any non-technical person responsible for NDT and Technicians who maintain plant and equipment.

Starting Date: Monday 25th April, 2016

Duration: One week (Five working days)

Time: 9:30 – 3:30 each day

Venue: National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Kwabenya, Accra.

Fee:  GHS 1,500.00 (Fee includes course materials, lunches, twice a day coffee breaks)

Application: Application forms (GHS 50.00) can be obtained from GAEC/NNRI, GAEC/TTMC or download below

NDT- Appreciation Course -Application form

 Interested person(s) should contact:

Dr. F. Ofosu (Director, NNRI)

National Nuclear Research Institute

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Tel: 0303962584/ 02444104598

Email: f.ofosu@gaecgh.org

Web:   www.gaecgh.org