NCC commits over 522m to facilitate Research, Innovation in tertiary institutions, awards 49 telecoms-based research grants
August 3, 2022
…Ten viable research prototypes showcased for possible commercialisation
Following its mandate to deepen research in the fields of Information and communications Technology, ICT, and encourage the development of viable prototypes of telecoms-led products to address the needs of the industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has awarded over N522 million as grants to tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations by the end of 2021.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, disclosed this at the ongoing two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders, in the South West region.
According to the NCC, in order to foster the overall growth of the nation’s digital economy, and to facilitate the adoption and utilisation of indigenous technology, the Commission’s Telecommunications-based Research Innovations from Academics in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions programme, which involves the provision of research grants to tertiary institutions to conduct research has led to the development of ten (10) viable research outputs (prototypes) and 49 telecom-based research grants being awarded.
Buttressing this further, Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of the commission said the Commission is now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches as this is relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of our country.
“As you may be aware, the Commission collaborates with the Academia in maximising the contributions of our tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry.
At the end of 2021, we have provided the sum of Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ten Naira, Twenty Seven Kobo (522,551,910.27) as Research Grants to tertiary institutions. Each research is designed to deliver a prototype that can be commercialised for the benefit of the industry and consumers.”
The focus of this year’s Regional Roundtable is to galvanise all stakeholders to address challenges, issues around commercialisation of research prototypes.
In this regard, the theme for this year’s roundtable, “The Path from Innovative Research to Commercialisation of Viable Prototypes” is relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s Policy towards achieving indigenous innovation for sustainable development in the Telecommunications sector of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Danbatta noted that the roundtable was also organised to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally- developed telecommunications innovations which NCC has been sponsoring.
“The Commission collaborates with the Academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive the possible success of these endeavours. “ Danbatta said.
Danbatta said these efforts have enabled the Commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these are fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes.
On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanate from academia are required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande said the 2022 Regional Roundtable is targeted at bringing together relevant players and agencies to develop a framework/template commercializing telecommunication-based research prototypes which emanated from NCC research grants to the academia.
According to him, experience indicates that even the most promising ideas face daunting commercialization challenges as difficulty always exist between promising concepts and viable products. This event will provide a forum for stakeholders to share experiences and exchange ideas on the best strategies to adopt in commercializing viable innovative research outputs from our Academia.
“This is just one of several initiatives by the NCC, we’re driven by the vision to source materials we need in the telecoms sector from the country and also generate a pool of man power, that will service the digital economy”.
“I believe our discussions will generate new ideas and strategies for addressing commercializing challenges that confront our researchers,” he added.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of ten (10) viable research outputs (prototypes) by awardees of NCC innovation grant from 10 professors and Doctors of 7 tertiary institutions across the country.
The prototypes were showcased and adjudged very innovative, marketable and capable of addressing the needs of Nigerians if commercialised.
Report by: Theresa Igata