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KNUST Needs More Well-Resourced Research Centres to Solve Societal Problems in Ghana and Africa

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KNUST Needs More Well-Resourced Research Centres to Solve Societal Problems in Ghana and Africa

“Every aspect of human society is confronted with some challenges. However, the University through its research and development activities can offer practical solutions to engender the needed societal change.”

Dr. George Y. Obeng, Director of Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC) at the College of Engineering made this remark during an interview granted the Office of Grants and Research. With several years of experience in academia, he believes that KNUST needs to augment its efforts in research through the creation of more well-resourced research centres that will focus on addressing specific industrial and business needs. He explained that, these centres should be supported by the national government to create facilities for rapidly growing industries that can demonstrate a high rate of overall employment gain. For instance KNUST could be resourced to set up specific industry-linked centres such as "Tomato Centre", Mango Centre, “Sanitation Centre” or “Electronics Centre” among others that will dedicate efforts to progressively work on all processes and products to support innovations in such specific local industries for growth and employment change.

He further said that with research as one of the core mandates of the University, students’ academic projects, particularly final year projects which are capstone should be taken seriously. According to him, this is where under the direction of faculty members, students explore societal problems of personal or professional interest and discover new ideas or innovations that can help create new opportunities for entrepreneurship and community development. He also pleaded with authorities to take a second look at how patents are assessed and weighted in the University. He suggested that "if we want to do demand-driven research that responds to industrial and societal needs, then processes and products with patent potential and commercial value should be seriously considered”. Dr. Obeng is optimistic that when these and other growth factors are well-examined, the university would not only serve as a global centre of academic excellence but also a development impact laboratory for finding solutions to societal problems in Ghana and Africa.

He is currently a Senior Research Fellow and the Director of TCC of the College of Engineering, KNUST. He has been with KNUST as a senior member since 1994. He is a member of several local and international associations and committees. His interest has been in the development and study of renewable energy and agro processing machinery. The experience he has acquired working with both national and international agencies supersede his humble demeanor. Among some of the agencies are EU, DAAD, ZEF-Bonn, CIDA, World Bank/GEDAP, Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, MIT, UPENN and so on. He also has several scholarly publications to his credit.