The University of Guyana (UG) and the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) on Friday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the sharing of equipment and resources, staff and student exchange and research and library access.
And within two weeks of the signing of this agreement the partners are required to designate personnel who will be responsible for the necessary information and will be required to submit reports on the current inventory at both institutions, as part of the annual report on the progress being made under the agreement, according to a press release from the Government Information Agency GINA).
The MOU will see an ongoing process of updating the databases of instrumentation on a bi-annual basis, with the databases being made available to staff of both institutions and interested stakeholders.
The MOU was inked between the Director of IAST, Dr. Suresh Narine and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Lawrence Carrington.
Dr. Narine in addressing the media stated that the two entities have over the years shared a close working relationship, which has proven successful.
This, he said, has seen lecturers collaborating on several science projects which have been significantly benefiting students.
Dr. Narine noted also that the two entities have a relatively close relationship in their everyday ventures and the MOU will basically see them sharing resources both human and equipment.
While the institute can boast of conducting intense applied research in its curriculum, Dr. Narine stated, however, that the institution currently does not have the capacity to house a large staff complement to conduct science research.
He added that since 2005, the institute has significantly improved its scientific infrastructure with a budgetary allocation of $30M compared to the $212M invested in 2011 in science and technology research.
“While there has been a drastic increase in science and technology investment, the agreement also articulates simple methods on how IAST and the University of Guyana can utilize equipment and resources of both entities. We will also establish a single point of contact for students to also access resources,” he said.
Dr. Carrington while expressing UG’s satisfaction with the collaboration said that it is necessary, since the future will demand careful use of resources.
Alluding to Government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), he said that the initiative has opened a scientific engagement which fits into the fundamental research which will take the country into a low carbon future. Staff members of the University of Guyana have already discussed over 70 research projects to be undertaken.
Dr. Carrington, however, made it clear that the MOU does not involve any new funds being allocated to the institutions, as future research will be funded from the institutions’ current grant.
An important aspect of the MOU entails collaboration on the social services dimension. This will involve costing, marketing and negotiating with interested parties on research activities as well as multi-disciplinary research in economics and sociology.
The entities will also collaborate under the auspices of the Centre for Communication Studies to publicise and market joint initiatives and for the provision of services to attract the private sector, the release added.