Uche Usim, Abuja
An effort to deepen local content crystallized on Wednesday, as the Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) enters the 3-day hackathon stage from Thursday.
At this stage, 15 teams are contesting for the opportunity to emerge among the top five finalists.
Upon emergence, the top five teams will undergo a three-month incubation programme, where each group will get a $10,000 equity-free grant, a work-space, expert mentors, global partners and unprecedented market access to the nation’s oil and gas industry over three-months, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready.
NOGTECH is the first ever technology hackathon in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and it is being organized by the NCDMB in partnership with Learners Support Consultancy Company.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote explained at the unveiling in June that the Board decided to sponsor the contest with the aim of fostering innovations in the oil and gas and ancillary industries as well as creating a platform for the proliferation of Local Content and digital technologies.
The 3-day hackathon will connect 15 selected teams to industry experts, mentors and entrepreneurs who will provide close guidance to teams throughout the duration of the hackathon. The objective of the bootcamp is to help build and refine the prototypes by providing further insights on the challenges, develop implementation plan for scaling the venture, and to select the most feasible ventures that will receive the seed funding.
The contest began in June with call for entries in seven thematic areas, some of which are health, asset security, tackling cyber threats, renewable energy, skills and talent management and supply chain, with a total of 630 entries received at the close of submission in the third week of July.
The entries were subjected to two stages of review, first from internal NCDMB Judges and then from external judges, before the top 15 teams were selected. The top 15 teams will now go through a 2-day venture hackathon and 1-day grand finale where they will be pitching to Judges and from which the top 5 teams will be selected for the incubation stage.
At the end of the incubation, the teams will participate in a showcase day to demonstrate their progress. This showcase will aim to connect them with investors and industry stakeholders where they can further amplify their market access.
Some of the top 15 entries included Automated Vehicle Identification and Fuel Management System; Providing simulated active practice environments using Virtual reality technology; End-To-End Anti-counterfeiting & Product Authentication; and Producing fuel-grade ethanol from sugarcane which can be used for pharmaceuticals and in blend with gasoline in internal combustion engines to reduce the greenhouse gas emission.
Other submissions offered an online web and mobile based community platform that connects students to industry professionals and instructors to share knowledge and mentor students; provision of customers real time access to storage conditions of temperature sensitive medication both stationary and transient; and Gas360 monitors LPG use through LPG cylinders, safety status of cylinders (to enable them take appropriate action), transmit such information to customers.
The submissions also included Decentralized distribution of custom built smart environmental & optical sensors; An artificial intelligence-based pipeline vandalism detection using aerial surveillance image data, acquired using long-duration balloon lifted satellite; Surveillance drones that enables oil & gas companies monitor their assets both onshore and offshore as well as inspect oil rigs and pipelines and Detection of the earth vibration signals unique to ground digging by pipeline vandals, using custom designed sensing units (SUs)
Other top entries are offering to make use of a piezoelectric sensor to detect and monitor vibration on the oil pipeline; Technological suite that incorporates a modularized asset management system for surveillance, prevention, early detection, intervention and tracking of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft; and Anti-theft/anti-tamper valve lock system using GPS and OTP (One Time Password) technology to authorize operation.