KNUST Makers’ Faire 2015 to focus on climate change and energy

2468249546726_3874265371407Ten groups have been shortlisted from over two hundred applications for the 2015 edition of the KNUST Engineering Fair which is focusing on Climate Change and Energy.

The event, dubbed “Makers’ Faire”, affords engineering students and other participants the platform to produce innovative technologies to address issues in selected areas.

This includes rural education, water resources and waste management.

The annual Faire seeks to unearth the creativity of students to address societal and industrial challenges based on science and technology.

Provost of the College of Engineering, Professor Samuel Ampadu, says the event is important in producing innovations that are tailored to solve local problems.

“The focus of the Faire drifts with the challenges that are pertinent at a point in time in the society. Energy for instance is very critical in Ghana now so we looking at that,” he said. “The Faire is therefore relevant to society”.

One of the groups for instance is creating a technology to provide alternative to the use of charcoal for cooking and other activities.

This year’s edition also seeks to encourage partnerships between social sciences and engineering students.

Professor Ampadu says it is important that the scientists work in close collaboration with the social scientists to effect societal change.

The Makers’ Faire is organized by the Ghana Engineering Students Association in collaborating with Creativity Group, and Technology Consultancy Centre – a research centre in KNUST.

Executive Secretary of Creative Group, Enoch Kwabena Nkrumah is positive the Faire will whip up the entrepreneurial interest among the students.

“The days where we finish school and we wait for jobs should be over…now what we aiming at is that, you bring the idea, we prototype and from there you are given guidance to start up your own business,” he said.

Selected groups will undergo a three-week training program to sharpen their ideas before the actual Faire in September.

Winners of the Faire will receive 1,500 Ghana Cedis and technical assistance to improve the technology from prototype to real projects.

The Faire has been organized successfully in 2013 and 2014. It has brought up various projects and start-ups amongst students based on the core of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The International Development and Innovation Network (IDIN) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, is funding the Faire with $8,500 with support from GN Electronics – a subsidiary of Groupe Nduom.