Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) has received GBP 109,536 from the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) fund to foster research-industry connections in Ghana.
The project aims to strengthen synergies between research and industry to unlock pathways to financing innovation that will improve integration and coordination, as well as support demand for the financing by supporting Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs).
Over the four-month implementation period, Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) will tackle three significant gaps revealed in its research: (a) unlocking funding for innovation ventures with inadequate access to patient capital, (b) better coordination and collaboration between ESOs to support a pipeline of innovative enterprises and c) building platforms for research-industry collaborations to ensure that research continues to drive collaborative action.
Strengthening the connections between research and industry is essential for innovation, commercialisation, and dissemination of research results. While Ghana has research capacity in universities, research institutions and firms, there is little interaction between researchers and industry. This leads to missed opportunities for scaling up innovation or linking innovations to research. The government’s Science, Technology and Innovation as well as Intellectual Property policies commit to strengthening these areas, which unfortunately still have significant gaps.
Ghana’s IIGh Chief Executive Officer, Amma Lartey, says: “regulatory challenges, lack of innovative financing vehicles and participation by institutional investors like pension funds needs to be addressed if impact investing is to grow within the region.”
She noted that the initiative was urgent and relevant, especially in sustaining efforts that drive industry-research collaboration for poverty reduction, job creation, inclusive growth and reducing the $5billion financing gap for innovation ventures.
She said IIGh is dedicated to catalysing impact investing for Ghana and the project would be key in promoting a healthy ecosystem.
The project will support three action groups, including a Fund-of-Funds action group, ESO Collaborative and a Research – Industry Collaborative to design an impact strategy, build a platform to share and rate ESO programs and help increase ESO program quality, build a knowledge-sharing platform for Research and Industry. It will support a sharing platform that connects impact ventures to impact funds and angel investors, building on successful deal rooms that are run by IIGH.
Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), RISA aims to strengthen research and innovation ecosystems in Africa. It is implemented in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia, with the objective of strengthening national Research and Innovation Systems. This contributes to economic growth and development.
Impact Investing Ghana is a private-sector led initiative that builds a thriving ecosystem for impact investing in Ghana. The organisation represents the country on the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing, the successor to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce that was established by the G8.