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23 November 2017
University of Ghana’s Technology Development And Transfer Centre: A Platform For Academia-Industry Engagement Print
Friday, 12 June 2015 10:03

Building University-Industry linkages is key to the success of the uptake of new technologies and innovations. The University of Ghana has set up a new office, the Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC), to promote these linkages and at the same time strengthen the capacity of researchers to produce applied research that meets the needs of industry.

At the 2015 SARIMA-ACU Conference, Diana Adobea Owusu Antwi from the University of Ghana described how the university is building university-industry linkages by opening its Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC). She identified some of the challenges that had inhibited the building of such linkages including:

  • Inadequate structures to promote engagement or collaboration with industry;
  • An under-developed Framework to guide researchers to engage with industry including identifying, (re)packaging and promoting market-oriented research for use by industry;
  • Inadequate relevant capacity and competencies for managing the University’s relationship with industry;
  • An absence of information systems or database of technologies developed at the University.
"The TDTC provides the structures and mechanisms to narrow the space between researchers who tend to focus on academic freedom, open discourse and knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and industry that focuses on profit and confidentiality"

The University of Ghana’s Technology Development and Transfer Centre

With a vision “To be a world class technology development and transfer center by facilitating effective development and transfer/commercialization of innovative market-oriented technologies / inventions to the private sector” and with financial support from the World Bank, through Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation, the university set up the TDTC in 2014. The TDTC is situated at the Office of Research Innovation and Development (ORID) and provides services to both industry and researchers. It engages with industry on its technology and research needs and works to match industry partners with researchers. Its services to researchers include the provision of expert support for intellectual property management and the technology transfer processes.

The TDTC provides the structures and mechanisms to narrow the space between researchers who tend to focus on academic freedom, open discourse and knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and industry that focuses on profit and confidentiality. 

Building Institutional Structures

In the short time since it was established the TDTC has developed the university’s approach to industry engagement (i.e. policies, guidelines) and put in place management and administrative supportive systems to facilitate research collaboration with industry. It has also enhanced the capacity of researchers and Research Development Officers to (re)package and promote demand-driven research for use by industry and instituted a grant scheme to enable researchers to “fine tune” existing technologies for transfer to the private sector.

"To highlight the advantages of industry working with universities the TDTC has initiated a number of events to profile existing technologies through organising and /or participating in technology fairs"

Closing the Gap

To highlight the advantages of industry working with universities the TDTC has initiated a number of events to profile existing technologies through organising and /or participating in technology fairs. It will soon commence an industry-specific field visits to assess challenges and provide workable and practical solutions. In order to make information on technologies available to industry it is also developing an online database.

All these initiatives contribute to strengthening the relationship between academia and the private sector, and promoting technology transfer and Research Uptake at the University of Ghana.

The full presentation can be found here

 


Diana A. Owusu Antwi, Research Development Officer, Intellectual Property & Tech. Transfer.  Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID); University of Ghana,  http://orid.ug.edu.gh

Sampson Addo, Research Development Officer, Intellectual Property & Tech. Transfer.  Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID); University of Ghana,  http://orid.ug.edu.gh

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