Prof Robert Kingsford Adaboh, Head of the Chemistry Department of University of Ghana, has called for support to boost the department’s research capability.
The department is one of the largest in the country with a reputation for excellence in both teaching and research.
In an interview with Ghana News Agency, Prof Adaboh reiterated his calls for massive injection of capital into the Department to enable it to play meaningful roles in society.
“There is no relationship among academia, industry and government, it is only a mirage and rhetoric. Most companies prefer engaging the services of foreign institutions and research bodies to those of us who speak their language and operate in their environment,” he said.
“Our researches are there gathering dust because there is no money to either continue or finish them.”
He said many local companied did not have a plan or budget for research and development due to importation of almost all raw materials and there was no serious link with academia “which is the bane of our under-development.”
The Department has recently made strides in acquiring state of the art equipment for the sciences.
Key among such equipment are the first ever 500MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance(NMR) and a bench top SC-XRD(X-ray Diffractometer) for single crystal analysis all from BRUKER INC, installed in the Department of Chemistry, Frank Tortor building and a Panalytical powder XRD machine installed in the Physics Department.
“These equipment are pricey and therefore every effort should be made to maintain them sufficiently to prolong their lifespan usage. The NMR alone cost us over US$1.5million and requires a careful regime of maintenance,” he said.
Prof Adaboh said the cost of maintaining the NMR machine alone was about GHC 112,000 annually and that the machine, which is the first in sub-Saharan Africa, could easily pass as a flagship and a pride of major scientific institutions.
He said injection of enormous human, logistical, financial and technological resources into the Department’s activities would help in solving the environmental dilemma, new drugs and the perennial energy crisis in the country.
He said the NMR instrument would support undergraduate and graduate training and create an enabling environment to position the University as a center of attraction for cutting edge research as well as high quality teaching.
He said the instrument would also compliment the work of institutions like Ghana Standard Authority, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Mampong Center for Scientific Research and independent research groups and individuals.
Dr Adaboh said the NMR instrument relies on helium gas, liquid He and liquid Nitrogen for its maintenance which are expensive, adding that the Department expects to generate enough revenue in two years to mitigate some of the running cost because it needs uninterrupted power supply.
Prof. Adaboh appealed to educational institutions, researchers, oil exploration companies, research groups and individuals to take advantage of the NMR and other machines to enrich their researches.
He said the department was in need of Mass Spectrometer and an ultra-modern good organic synthesis laboratory and therefore called for public support.
He congratulated the University of Ghana, TALIF, EDIF and all other partners both locally and internationally especially Kasapreko Company Ltd for supporting them over the last few years. GNA