Plans are afoot to reorganise the operations of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST). This was revealed last Monday by Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, who said that the more than three decades old institution is expected to play a leading role in Government’s innovation thrust.

He was at the time addressing a Manufacturers’ Forum on the topic: The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – The Way Forward, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. 

The Minister said Government was moving swiftly to implement a policy with the requisite institutional framework to exploit avenues for innovation.

Dr. Estwick said: “We are looking at establishing a new integrated centre that looks specificially at research development and innovation, to tackle the difficulties facing the manufacturing sector in-house. So, we are working to put the policy framework in place so that we can have an expanded and redesigned NCST to carry out innovation and research functions.”

Apart from a revamped NCST, the Minister of Economic Affairs also announced plans to formulate a comprehensive Industrial Policy to carry the sector forward over the short and medium term over the next decade. 

Dr. Estwick also advised technocrats in the manufacturing sector to retool their operations to “be prepared to grasp the opportunities that will arrive with the upturn. 

“The manufacturing fraternity should therefore utilise this period of economic downturn to reboot and re-engineer its businesses to capitalise on the economic upswing when it occurs within the domestic, regional and international markets,” Dr. Estwick surmised.

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