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iSpace Foundation begins national dialogues on technology inclusion in Wa

iSpace Foundation, a leading innovation hub based in Accra, has begun its national consultative dialogue sessions on gender and disability inclusion in research and technological innovations in Wa in the Upper West Region.

The consultative dialogues formed part of the foundation’s Research, Innovation and Commercialization (RIC) project aimed at strengthening inclusivity and resilience in the research and innovation spaces.

A team of officials from the iSpace Foundation led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Josiah Kwesi Eyison, on Monday, May 15, 2023, opened the National Dialogue Series of the RIC in the region and carried out a chain of activities.

The dialogue in Wa was the first of a five-city tour of the RIC National Dialogue Series to be replicated in four other regions including Tamale, Northern Region, Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Takoradi, Western Region, and Accra, Greater Accra Region.

Arkeisha Amissah-Arthur, Project Director, RIC project

Miss Arkeisha Amissah-Arthur, Project Director of the RIC project, said the project was a year-long and aimed at bringing together different stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise to streamline the commercialization of research and innovation projects in Ghana.

She said the visit to Wa has enabled different stakeholders to come under one roof in panel discussions, training activities, and tours of maker spaces and universities to explore the potential of commercializing research and innovation projects in an inclusive manner.

She noted that a panel discussion session, which was held at the Regional Library, brought together industry, legal, and academic experts to discuss such important topics as "Gender and Disability Inclusivity in Research" and "Tackling the Fear of Copyright and Intellectual Property (IP) Protection in Commercialization."

“During the panel discussion, we were able to discuss diversity and inclusion within research and innovation for commercialization and also the importance of intellectual property,” she said.

She added that participants were taken on a tour through the Research and Reference section of the Wa Regional Library to familiarize themselves and expose them to resources they could use for their research works.

Visit to DHLTU

Miss Amissah-Arthur said the team also visited the Dr Hilla Limann Technical University (DHLTU) and was taken a tour around the technical and innovation workshops to view some of the equipment and artefacts and assess how they could be leveraged by students and the university to improve innovation and research for commercialization.

“We went to Wa Polytechnic [DHLTU) and viewed some of the fabrication workshops and we were taken round a tour that was very exciting,” she remarked.

As part of the tour, a pitch competition was held for teams of young people with innovative ideas in agriculture that address some of the most pressing needs of farmers in the region – from solving post-harvest losses to making irrigation farming cheap and accessible to farmers – to compete for funding and mentorship.

At the end of the competition, Ecopest Ghana, which pitched an innovative idea about solving post-harvest losses, emerged winner and got a cash prize of 10,000 Ghana Cedis to help implement their idea.

Ecopest Ghana, pitch winners

Miss Amissah-Arthur disclosed that the winners of the prize in each of the five regions where the RIC project was being implemented would undergo mentorship training and peer learning and, later in the year, compete for a national-level prize of 30,000 and 25,000 Ghana Cedis for first-placed and second-placed teams.

She said the iSpace Foundation looked forward to cataloguing the pieces of information generated from the dialogues to create learning resources such as a guidebook, that would help people understand the process of commercialization in Ghana.

“And that also includes a directory of people in each location that can help with the journey as well as research desks that we would install in innovation hubs in each region of Ghana, altogether five cities so that we can have national access,” Miss Amissah-Arthur said.


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