Expert Calls for Increase Funding of Scientific Research
Except adequate equipment and funds are made available, novelty or breakthrough in research may be farfetched. This is because novelty and excellence in research are significantly dependent on the quality of research equipment and available funds.
This was the submission of the Director, National Centre for Energy Research and Development, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Paulinus Ugwuoke at the 2nd International Conference on Science and Sustainable Development held recently at Covenant University, Ota.
Professor Ugwuoke, who presented the first Keynote Address titled, “Advancement of Science and Technology through Novel Research,” at the Conference which had, “The Role of Science in Novel Research and Advances in Technology” as its theme, decried the lack of research equipment, financial resources and human capital in research institutions and universities.
“Provision of relevant research equipment for relevant research areas targeted at the country’s needs and provision of sufficient funds for research are critically essential to promote novel research,” he said.
Professor Ugwuoke argued that science, technology and innovation drives economic growth and therefore needed support. He proposed strategies for advancement of research and innovation which includes encouraging excellent and relevant scientific research in the research institutes; strengthening the link between science, economy and society to encourage innovation; as well as ensuring availability of human resources for research and innovation activities.
Provision of high-quality research equipment, and infrastructure, he said, are the main preconditions, not only for good quality scientific research, but also for technological and innovative development.
In her submission, the second Keynote speaker, Dr. Nana Browne Klutse, a Senior Research Scientist at Remote Sensing and Climate Centre, Ghana Space and Technology Institute, emphasised the need to integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development when carrying out novel research.
Dr. Klutse, who spoke on “Climate Change and Tradeoffs: Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals,” warned of the consequences of change in global temperature and what the continuous release of Carbon dioxide to the atmosphere meant for Africa in the area of temperature, ecosystems, rainfall, drought, water stress, agriculture and sea-level rise. “As we research, we should be thinking of how to improve the environment,” she advised.
In his remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shalom Chinedu noted that the University organised the International Conference as a veritable platform to encourage more partnership in research efforts aimed at promoting sustainability.
Professor Chinedu, who stood in for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero said that, “As a university committed to research in the area of science and technology, we have established several vibrant Research Clusters to advance research in relevant areas and promote technology oriented initiatives that will offer improved healthcare delivery, education, business, and governance among others.”
He expressed hope that the presentations at the Conference would among other deliverables, open new vistas of scientific and technological possibilities in the quest for sustainable development.
The Head, Department of Physics, Dr. Mojisola Usikalu, who convened the Conference, noted that for any successful economy, particularly in today’s quest for knowledge based economies, science, technology and engineering are the basic requisites. “If nations do not implement science and technology, then the chances of becoming developed become very slim and thus could be rated as an underdeveloped nation.”