Wednesday, July 23, 2008
By Allan Mulenga and Margaret Mtonga
Wednesday July 23, 2008 [04:00]
SCIENCE and technology minister Peter Daka has implored industries to augment the government efforts in funding colleges offering technical courses. In an interview yesterday, Daka said industries needed to spearhead the promotion of science and innovations in institutions of learning.
“It is clear that without science and technology, industries and researchers will not meet the needed target of production in the country, as this can only come from funding institutions providing technical training to young engineers and scientists,” he said.
And officiating at the National Science and Technology Council organised colloquium on ‘creating and enhancing linkages between research and development centres and industry’, Daka said there was need for Zambian industries to build the country’s comparative strengths and advantages in agriculture, natural resources, health and engineering.
He said industries should be able to produce value-added products as well as be at the forefront of the increasingly knowledge based industries.
“How we succeed in maximising the gains from our national research and development effort will largely determine our ability to secure the future we all want for Zambia,” he said.
Daka urged scientists to be innovative in their researches as it was through innovation that they would generate ideas and commercialise their work.
“Innovation involves better focus on research and development in developing new products and services and improving production methods. It also covers developing better work practices improving management skills and making better use of the existing equipment and facilities or using these in a unique way,” he said.
Daka said since innovation covered all sectors and played a crucial role in creating jobs and generating wealth, it was a key force to the Zambian economy.
Daka said it was the more reason the nation needed to develop an innovative culture, saying innovation would only come if industry and research as well as development institutions operated in an environment that was rewarding.