Overview of the Department of Research & Development/ Centers of Excellence (R&D/CE)

INTRODUCTION:

Given that the Global economy is knowledge and skill intensive, the need to develop human capital and establish infrastructure  for sustainable innovative Research and Development (R&D) has become a top priority for Nations  and industries  committed to strategic economic success and competiveness. Increasingly, governments and businesses look to tertiary education institutions to play catalytic and axial roles in generating and applying knowledge for economic and social development. Tertiary education institutions should have the competence to meet their expectations.

In spite of the fact that the role of R&D in national development, including leveraging the quality of research and academic programs is well known, the level of R&D infrastructure and productivity in Nigeria remains unacceptable.

This fact  has  lead to the initiation of TETFund Research and Development (R&D) intervention by TETFund Board of Trustees  to critically address some of the challenges facing Research and Development in Nigeria as well as provide the enabling environment for harnessing, incubation and transformation of  research findings into tangible and intangible products (commodities, services, processes, etc) that solve problems of the economy and national development through collaboration with industries, relevant development agencies and other knowledge–based institutions.

TETFund R&D intervention is geared towards education-driven promotion of linkage programmes such as:

—   Cumulate  the generation and maturation of research-based development initiatives in the country;

—  Stimulation of enabling platforms for the evolution of Nigerian Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) into Centers of Excellence in research innovation and technology incubation.

OBJECTIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT ARE:

  1. To ensure that research projects are problem solving by prioritizing  areas of focus as defined by national development agenda;
  2. Promotion of partnership between the Fund, educational institutions and industries as it relates to the research works by putting in place the appropriate mechanism for the adoption and utilization of research findings;
  3. To ensure that all research works meet the SMART test criteria and are ultimately applicable to the relevant and identified industries;
  4. To promote multi-disciplinary research projects that will increase stakeholders’ engagement to national /regional developmental matters.

With the initiating of the R&D intervention the Department of R&D/CE was created with the following Functions:

  1. The Department of Research and Development/Centers of Excellence coordinate and manage the implementation of:
  1. Research and Development:

—  To promote and support market-driven researches that have national impact (meet the needs of the industries);

—  To promote research-industry linkage;

—  To promote inventions and innovations;

—  To promote commercialization of viable R&D results and patents;

—  To enhance research capacity and capability in public Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs);

—  To encourage public/private R&Ds.

  1. Centers of Excellence

—  Identification of TEIs in research innovation and incubation as Centers of Excellence.

Amongst other functions of the department are:

—  Ensure the institutionalization of R&D departments in public TEIs;

—  Provide general guidelines for institutional and national research funds utilization;

—  Support the launching of completed research projects;

—  Scrutinize/vet proposed research works to determine their  relevance;

—  Organize and manage records of all research works in public TEIs;

—  Create platform to patronize research works by the relevant agencies and industries;

—  Create avenues for proper implementations of research findings;

—  Publicize relevant research works to industries;

—  Motivate, develop and promote national and regional Centers of Excellence in the Nigerian public TEIs;

—  Ensure the adoption and implementation of research findings by relevant agencies.

—  Constitute and support a 60- member standing committee on R & D made up of  best researchers and innovators which shall provide advice and guidance for the implementation of the key functions of the Department.

DIVISIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT:

The Department is made up of two divisions:

  1. Research and Development  (R&D); and
  2. Centers of Excellence  (CE)