IAST’s 7th Industry-Academia Interaction Series Focuses on Partnerships in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) is living up to its mandate of enhancing the transfer of knowledge, technology and innovation from University research to meet the needs of industry.

At the 7th Industry-Academia Interaction Series and Exhibition researchers and representatives from industry deliberated on the theme, ‘Sustainable Energy Transitions and Climate Change; The Role of Partnerships.’ It provided an opportunity to hold discussions on how industry and academia can engage on relevant issues and common interests in sustainable energy and climate change, through partnerships.

In stating the purpose of gathering, Prof. David Dodoo-Arhin, Director of IAST, noted that, ‘this industry interaction series is a flagship programme of the Institute which serves as an important platform for the converging of academia and industry as well as fostering collaboration in relevant issues of common interest.’

Prof. David Dodoo-Arhin, Director of IAST

Prof. Dodoo-Arhin underscored the necessity of partnership in driving sustainable energy transitions. He explained that collaboration between academia, industry, government and civil society is essential for achieving managerial goals as the nation and global citizens are compelled to confront these challenges with result, innovation and effort.

He further stated that, in the face of global changes like climate change, no single entity can operate in isolation; it is only through the pooling of resources, sharing of knowledge and mutual support that we can accelerate the transition to sustainable energy sources and mitigate the impact of climate change.

Prof. Dodoo-Arhin gave the assurance that, the University is committed to Research and Innovation, such as sustainable renewable energy solutions exemplified by initiatives like the ongoing research project by the Institute and the School of Engineering Sciences which focuses on converting plastic waste to fuel.

 in chairing the event, stated the importance of trust in building partnerships between academia and industry.

He defined trust in these kinds of partnerships as being truthful, respectful, understanding, sensitive and tolerant of one anotherProf Chris Gordon, Former Director of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) in order to work together for mutual benefit.

Prof Chris Gordon, Former Director of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS)

Prof. Gordon also underscored the importance of Africa’s participation in the global energy transition discourse, as well as the utilisation of the continent’s resources to make meaningful impact in creating opportunities.

Delivering a Keynote Address on behalf of Mr. Hakim Ouzanni, Managing Director, Societe Generale Ghana, Ms. Priscilla Ashiam, Head of CSR and Sustainable Development at Societe Generale Ghana, spoke on the CSR achievements of Societe Generale through partnerships and its positive effect on the Ghanaian community.

She mentioned in particular, a sustainable energy partnership with Melcom Ghana, that has led to the inauguration of a 1,262KWP Grid-Tie Rooftop Solar PV system at Melcom’s Spintex Branch.

Ms. Priscilla Ashiam, Head of CSR and Sustainable Development at Societe Generale Ghana

She also added the provision of boreholes to deprived communities which addresses Sustainable Development Goal 6, hosting of financial literacy programmes for tertiary institutions and other market segments which addresses Sustainable Development Goal 10, as well as the launching of ‘The SG Woman Club’, which addresses Sustainable Development Goal 5.

One of the Guest speakers, Mr. Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO, Private Enterprise Federation, in his presentation shed light on challenges businesses in Ghana face such as the unavailability and high cost of electricity.

He made a strong case for incentivising the private sector to stabilise their operations and create solutions to support the national transition agenda.

Mr. Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO, Private Enterprise Federation

Mr. Osei-Bonsu encouraged IAST to develop policy briefs from the dialogue series and share with relevant stakeholders to support policy decisions.

Ing. Maximillan Kwarteng, Deputy Director in charge of the Renewal Energy Department at Bui Power Authority, shared with participants the production of Green hydrogen as one of the sustainable energy projects the Authority is embarking on. He also mentioned an afforestation programme that is being carried out to generate electricity that is less carbon and projects aimed at protecting the water that is used as fuel to generate clean electricity.

Ing. Kwarteng concluded that the Authority collaborates with academia and other professional educational institutions on Research and Development programmes to improve on their renewable energy projects.

In his presentation, Dr. Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu, Former Director, Strategic Planning Policy, Energy Commission, touched on sustainability of energy security and its affordability and reliability. He noted the need to address climate change by increasing sustainable energy access and adaptation to climate challenges such as extreme weather conditions; temperature, storms and floods.

Dr. Essandoh-Yeddu in his final remarks, proposed enhancing graduate training, in house and open Short courses, capacity building programmes (internships), exchange programmes, professional certification and mentorship all on sustainable energy and climate change.

Mrs. Nkechi Rosier Onuoha, Managing Director, Xcyte Africa on the topic, ‘Empowering Africa’s Future Leaders, Driving Economic Progress’, stressed the need to expand energy means through affordability. She stated the need for collective action in addressing pressing issues on climate change.

Following the presentations, there was a Question-and-Answer session on the various themes discussed.

In attendance at the event were UG students and faculty, students from Accra High School (SHS) and Professionals in the energy sector.

After the sit-down session, a two-day exhibition was formally opened by the Chairperson, Prof. Chris Gordon. Held at the Samuel Kenneth Aboah Recreational Quadrangle behind the Balme Library, the exhibition had on sale various made-in-Ghana products, as well as display of products and equipment from the Ghana Air Force and the Ghana Navy.

The 7th Industry-Academia Interaction Series and Exhibition was sponsored by Societe Generale Ghana Limited and the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).