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CSIR Launches Science for Impact Fund With a $20M Aim

Ghana lacks substantial funds in R&D infrastructure as well as human resource development; this fund aims to bridge that gap.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched the CSIR Science for Impact Fund (CSIF), a new initiative aimed at raising $20 million to support groundbreaking research and innovation.

This ambitious fund will focus on identifying and supporting high-impact research projects and technological innovations that have the potential to drive industrial growth to spur sustainable economic development.

Speaking at the press launch, Professor Paul Bosu, Director-General of CSIR, emphasized the importance of the initiative, which is designed to foster collaborations, promote local community development and create a more innovative and sustainable future.

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“We are committed to fostering increased collaboration between academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and community development,” he said.

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As part of this commitment, he said, CSIR staff have volunteered to contribute one per cent of their salaries over the next five years to support the endowment fund.

Professor Bosu appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to support the Council in its mission to deliver effectively on its mandate and support science and technology innovation.

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Professor Mike Osei-Atweneboana, Chair of the CSIF planning committee, and Director of CSIR Water Research Institute highlighted the funding challenges faced by CSIR.

“We face limited funding for R&D infrastructure, human resource capacity development, and operations,” he noted.

While CSIR is primarily funded by the government and receives modest financing from donor agencies and internally generated funds, he pointed out that releases from the national coffers had been below expectations and donor funding continues to dwindle.

According to him, to overcome this financing gap, CSIR was amended in 1996 (Act 521) to introduce private sector involvement and integration of market principles into its operations through commercialization of research.

However, he indicated that despite best efforts, the general economic situation in the country had made it extremely difficult for CSIR to secure financing to efficiently carry out its operations.

“Simply put, the funding required by CSIR to fully execute its mandate and carry out relevant activities is lacking,” Professor Osei-Atweneboa said.

Therefore, to salvage this persistent lack of resources, he said, the management and staff established the endowment fund to guarantee a sustainable source of funding.

Welcoming participants, Mrs. Geneviene Yankey, CSIR Director of Administration, explained that the fund had been dubbed the “CSIR Science for Impact Fund” and aimed to support innovative demand-driven research and technological innovations.

She said this was expected to drive industrial development and support development projects in communities through technology transfer, adding the focus on community projects was designed to drive social inclusion and sustainable development.

With the tagline “Supporting Science, Transforming Communities,” CSIR  called on corporate bodies and individuals to join forces in supporting this important initiative.

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