Coastal Network Consortium believes Industry-academia linkages provide the basis for a strong innovation system. A strong Industry Academia linkage ensures that the research and development activities in universities are oriented towards demand in the market and in the society; it provides enabling environment for increased creativity for new comers and guarantees the enhanced competitiveness. These functions go hand-in-hand and reinforce each other.
CNC in recent past years has made some attempts to reduce the gap between industry and academia but these have not yielded impressive results.
CNC activities in this regard includes execution of consultancy projects, collaborative research and development projects, and commercialization of innovation. At this level, we have midwifed a process from Association of Oil Marketing Companies to work with Department of Computer Science and Information Technology on Automated and Electronic Petrol Station Management Systems for Growth and Sustainability of Businesses in the Oil Marketing Industry
It has been difficult for the Association of Oil Marketing Companies of Ghana (AOMC) to manually managed the over 1,800 retail outlets, significantly, most of the oil marketing companies operating in the downstream sub-segment manage their activities, data and sales manually. This makes it difficult for them to have basic data such as quantity of petroleum products sold in a month by the retailers, volumes of products sent by bulk haulers to the retailers etc.
This way of doing business affects data management for the OMCs, government and other major stakeholders in the industry. Some fuel stations which have a semblance of automated systems use such to mainly manage the consumables within the shops. In other words, the sales and management of the fuels and related products in Ghana have been done with low levels of automation. This situation causes stress and anxiety when the OMCs with many fuel station outlets have to manually coordinate and manage activities at their satellite sub-stations. Documentation and reconciliation of sales and other activities become difficult since efficient automated and networked systems are unavailable to help us manage efficiently. Fuel theft and fraudulent activities of insincere workers may go undetected for a very long time
The inability of the AOMC s to do thorough research in forecourt management system which need to be designed specifically for the fuel industry with the Dealer making many of the contributions to the special features required to enhance security and increase the profitability of running a service station in Ghana.
The AOMCs by its standard is also to encourage the local oil marketing companies to be at par with the multi-national marketing companies. It is important to understand that the indigenous companies do not have the same strengths and capacities. It is a fact that the multinationals, to a large extent, have a stronger financial muscle than the indigenous companies and in other to protect the local oil marketing companies, AOMCs will want to take a step further to provide for these oil marketing companies to develop local expertise in such a critical sector as petroleum for a continuous growth in their market share, their contribution to government revenue and employment.
A higher level of human resource sharing took place. This level of higher linkages results into need satisfaction of both entities where one sees academia has demand for funds, and the industry is short of time and human resource to carry on research. Thus a mutual juxtaposition of both entities results into high level of knowledge spillovers and increased economic growth.