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13 December 2017
Research Uptake for societal empowerment and sustainability Print
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 09:06

A two day Research Uptake Sensitisation and Planning Event was held by the DRUSSA Universities in West Africa, and hosted by University of Ibadan. There were thirty delegates from Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Calabar and University of Ibadan. Professor Oyeronke A. Odunola, Director of the University of Ibadan’s Research Management Office, who coordinated the event, reports on the success stories and challenges that were shared.

 

"Prof. A. I. Olayinka highlighted the importance of Research Uptake as an essential part of universities engaging their stakeholders and providing solutions to societal problems"

The Vice-Chancellor Designate (University of Ibadan) and outgoing President of West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA), Prof. A. I. Olayinka highlighted the importance of Research Uptake as an essential part of universities engaging their stakeholders and providing solutions to societal problems. The event was facilitated by DRUSSA partner the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and opening remark was given by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Gbemisola Oke.


Research Uptake at the University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan participants presented some of the research projects in which Research Uptake played an important role:

  • Development of viable crop-aquaculture systems for sustainability of resource poor farmers. Over 530 farmers, and 8,000 students and youths have been trained. The adoption level being 40%.
  • Research on dietary intervention strategies with bio-fortified yellow cassava. Potential uptakes include sustainable livelihoods and private sector/business community engagement.
  • Community integration and use of local plant, Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) for sustainable remedy of oil spills. Partnerships and networks have been established and theNigeria ‘Kenaf’ resources conserved.
  • Zero waste and social impact involving natural fiber transformation and utilization of invasive aquatic weed, Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth) into beneficial products (handicrafts and biogas) and creation of alternate livelihoods.
"The workshop provided a platform for brainstorming about activities to be completed in the remaining months of the DRUSSA Programme and ways to contribute to the ongoing sustainability of Research Uptake activities at each of the universities"

Institutionalising Research Uptake

Beyond taking specific research projects and their results to stakeholders through community engagement, partnerships and other Research Uptake activities, the universities have also made much progress in incorporating Research Uptake (RU)  into their institutional mechanisms, including policy. For example, Obafemi Awolowo University has reviewed university policies with faculty RU officers in order to ensure that RU is accommodated. The University of Calabar is also making waves with the research blog on their website, another example of institutionalising RU.

The workshop provided a platform for brainstorming about activities to be completed in the remaining months of the DRUSSA Programme and ways to contribute to the ongoing sustainability of Research Uptake activities at each of the universities.

Common Challenges

Participants at the event identified some major challenges common to their universities, including further institutionalisation of research uptake, and funding for sustainable capacity. The need to use the DRUSSA training in Research Uptake communication and adopt innovative ways to strengthen each university’s relationship with its relevant national, regional and local policy makers, and provide research evidence, solutions and transfer of technology, knowledge and innovation to industries was also emphasized.

 


Professor Oyeronke A. Odunola is the Director of the University of Ibadan’s Research Management Office

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