As part of efforts towards achieving technological and economic development in the country, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has gone into partnership with Innov8 Hub, an Innovation Startup driven organization, to make innovative opportunities accessible to academics in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.
Speaking during the Opening Event of the TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR), an initiative aimed at helping academics and researchers to transform ideas into prototypes for commercialization, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono expressed the readiness of the Fund to support and replicate innovation hub projects in public universities and other tertiary educational institutions in the country.
The Executive Secretary stated that “being a year- long programme, TETFAIR is aimed at providing unique opportunities for our academics and researchers to transform their ideas into market-driven solutions, including the development and fabrication of prototypes. Through the programme, selected teams of researchers and academic staff with promising ideas for innovative solutions in the program areas of focus are being taken through a journey that combines technology and product development along with venture creation”.
According to Echono, many Nigerians who took part in startup programmes by Innov8 Hub have recorded several breakthroughs in inventions and technology.
Declaring the programme open, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said the initiative would help address the gaps in education and proffer solutions that would help Nigeria meet global demands.
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Rt. Honorable Goodluck Nanah Opiah stated further that ‘most of the countries that have emerged as global leaders have achieved this status through ingenuity and hard work of their scientists. I believe that all the experiences gained would be deployed to improve and expand the frontiers of Science and Technology in solving real life problems’.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Monilola Udoh stated that the initiative would further help in harnessing the massive talent in Science and Engineering in Nigeria as well as boosting local enterprises.
Speaking on the role of Innov8 Hub in the collaboration, the Communications Adviser, Mr. Deji Ige said “Innov8 Hub in simple terms, is a midwife that helps Nigerians who are pregnant with innovative ideas, to birth their ideas into invention, nurse their invention into solution, and transform their solution into enterprise”.
While stating that Innov8 Hub has helped Nigerians develop and perfect over 72 prototypes ready for commercialization, he added that it has also been involved in the emergence of 15 solid startups and currently working with over 150 innovators, inventors and venture creators, among whom are academics and researchers.
In his remarks, TETFund Director of Research and Development, Dr. Salihu Girei Bakari commended the initiative and outlined some of the benefits of the partnership which include reduction in the wholesale consumption of foreign technology and an increase in knowledge creation and absorption through creation of patents.