From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and Innov8 Hub, at the weekend, intensified efforts aimed at increasing the level of research and development in the country.

The event which held at the premises of Innov8 Hub in Abuja, was aimed at championing the cause of pushing through the limitations of research and development for solution, innovation and value creation in the country.

The event which focused on capacity building program for academics, researchers and innovators, witnessed the presence of selected universities from across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The overall structure of the 10-day program was designed for the participants to work closely with mentors and experts at the Innov8 Hub, Abuja, where they were immersed in intensive procedures R&D problem definition, ideation, testing, prototype development and proof of concept.

To encourage team work and efficiency, the 12 participants were distributed into four teams with the aim of working together to identify a challenge in the Nigerian society and proffer an evidence-based solution that will offer a proof of concept with a functional prototype that will be further developed into a minimum viable product for the innovation and solution ecosystem. 

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND and Initiator of the Programme, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, reiterated the commitment of TETFUND to initiatives that will instigate a vibrant, focused and problem-solving research and development engagements in Nigeria, especially in the academia.

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He highlighted the need to urgently revitalize the Triple Helix Synergy among the government, the academia and the Industry for nation building.

Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Skill “G” Nigeria Ltd and the Chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, Prof. Gregory Ibe, emphasised the importance of the partnership between government and private sector to assist the academia in redirecting their focus to viable solution-driven researches that will translate into innovations, inventions and breakthroughs.

On his part, the Charge d’Affairs of the Israeli Embassy/Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Yotam Kreiman, reiterated the support of the State of Israel for initiatives that will help Nigeria become a reference nation for research and development, innovation and invention.

Kreiman stated that a similar initiative of the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigerian Government and private sector partners like Innov8 Hub, to encourage innovation start-ups, entrepreneurship and job creation in Nigeria tagged “Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR)” is ongoing. 

During the event, all the participants testified that the program has reawakened their consciousness and redirected their view of research from being just an academic endeavour that ends up on library shelves, to a means of developing technologies, devices and processes that will address societal challenges and solve problems.

At the close of activities, Team Crop Plant developed a “Nigerian Rice Insect and Disease Monitoring” device; Team Environment developed a “Metal Absorbent System” that can trap metallic particles from effluents in smelting plants; Team Nutrition formulated from locally sources raw materials, the “Afri-Kid Super Formular” which is highly nutritious for children of 6-23 months and very affordable for parents.

Also, Team Sustainable Cities  developed a “Remotely Powered Regulation Device” comprising of a mobile application and an appliance-specific device that monitors appliance power usage in homes through which appliances can be switched off remotely from any location via the mobile application.

The participants pitched their innovations and prototypes to investors, industrialists, financiers, policy makers, members of the diplomatic corps and guests from all works of life; for possible investments and progression into minimum viable products.

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