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R&D Infrastructure: Main Content
Background of the Study
Research and development Infrastructure is facilities, resources, organizational systems and services that are used by the research communities to conduct research in their fields. The availability of research and development infrastructure determines the level and quality of research and development activities. And absence of the required research and development infrastructures or their malfunctioning greatly hinders research performance and effectiveness. In that connection, in Ethiopia, the existence of certain facilities and scientific equipment across research units is not adequately studied and, hence, there is scant information on the research and development infrastructure in the country.
The core objective of the survey is to collect and disseminate pertinent information on research and development infrastructures for policy makers and R&D planners. Moreover, it aims to promote a culture of R&D resource sharing among and across sectors. To that end, STIC believes that the key output of this survey is the R&D Infrastructure Inventory Database accessibility in the Center's website which includes detailed information on the R&D infrastructures available in the subject R&D units.
Methodology and Scope of the Study
Census was employed on the population of the study, which was 33 public higher education institutions; 47 federal and regional agricultural research institutions; 20 governmental agencies; and 8 health research institutions were taken as research population. Accordingly, a total of 118 R&D performing institutions were addressed in the study. The survey is a cross sectional type of survey intended to find out current information about R&D infrastructure in institutions engaged in R&D activities. The statistical analysis of the data was comprised of computing descriptive statistics tools, such as the frequency and proportions, percentage, tables, charts and figures.
Results of the Study
- R&D Facilities and Scientific Equipment
Agricultural research centers have relatively significant share among the remaining sector. Although its portion is relatively significant, 82% of the sector has research facility and scientific equipment. Among the remaining sectors, higher education institutions and governmental agencies have 70% and 59% research facility and scientific equipment respectively.
- Research Space in Research Units
About 77% and 66% of the research units have office space where the researchers carry out research activity and laboratory space respectively. Similarly, laboratory support space, space where materials and equipment that support laboratory, monitoring and testing centers are kept, is found in 62% of research units. Of all the research spaces, space for core laboratory and leased space is relatively low-39% and 36% of the research units have them respectively.
- Scientific Equipment across Sectors
R&D Scientific Equipment
Higher Education Institutions
Agricultural Research Centers
Health research Institutions
Total Number of Scientific Equipment
Total scientific equipment in the entire sectors stand at 5935, /the list and detail of which is found in the inventory database of STIC/. Out of these, 51% belongs to agricultural research centers, and 33% and 14% of the total scientific equipment belongs to higher education institutions and governmental agencies respectively.
- Non- Operational Scientific Equipment across Sectors
Among the sectors, in agricultural research institutions, most of them or 83% of the research centers have scientific equipment which is non-operational. Next to agricultural research center, most of governmental agencies (77%) have non-operational scientific equipment and followed by higher education institutions (76%) and health research institutions (60%).
- Reasons for the Existence of Non- Operational of Scientific Equipment
Generally, of the total institutions surveyed, lack of maintenance is taken as a cause in about 86% of total institutions. About 68% of them stated lack of skilled or professional technicians which can operate the equipment; and 58% forwarded lack of finance, 47% lack of material like consumable and reagents and 41% lack of laboratory space. Moreover, lack of R&D activity accounts 25%.
- Ways of Cooperation and Resource Sharing across Sectors
This data describes that the way they overcome is either through free access to research facilities and equipment of others, payment or rent and simply purchasing the necessary facilities and scientific equipment. Among the ways of resource sharing, most agricultural research centers access research facilities and scientific equipment freely. It takes considerable share of the sector (72%).