By Raji Rasak
Lagos, Nov.19, 2020 The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in partnership with Enactus Nigeria, on Thursday launched the first Nigeria Content in Science and Technology Innovation Challenges (STIC) in Lagos.
Mr Simbi Wabote, the NCDMB Executive Secretary, described the STIC as an enterprise development programme designed to challenge students of all Nigerian tertiary institutions to stretch their ingenuity and apply science and technology.
Wabote said: “This is to create home-grown, innovative and technologically driven business solutions to address some of our pressing everyday problems.
“This will also accelerate reverse-innovation and create wealth, while also providing job opportunities for the growing numbers of the unemployed people of Nigeria.
“The STIC is structured to provide opportunity for successful applicants to experience top-of-the-range personal and professional development through a mentorship programme integrated into the project implementation.
“The successful applicants will also apply themselves to the rigours of market research, critical thinking, ideation, product development and marketing implementation and performance control as they attempt to create their unique business solutions consistent with the winning ideas for the STIC.’’
The executive secretary said that universities in developed countries played key roles in innovation, research and development, and adaptation of new technologies.
“Nigerian universities have over the years remained less-aggressive in pursuing expanded educational goals that will promote the commercialisation of research products to promote rapid industrial growth and create jobs for our youths.
“NCDMB/STIC is open to all undergraduates in accredited tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“This will provide a unique platform for students and tertiary institutions to embrace and imbibe the concept of research and development in creating sustainable innovative solution to life’s problems,” he said.
Also, Mr Michael Ajayi, the Country Director, Enactus Nigeria, expressed optimism in the potential of the STIC to positively engage Nigerian youths, create job opportunities and discourage capital flight.
Ajayi said, “The STIC is also designed to encourage Nigerian students to embrace entrepreneurship as a career option by supporting the development of entrepreneurial ventures.”
He thanked the management team of NCDMB for the courage and commitment to investing in the youth population of Nigeria through the STIC.
The country director said that such deliberate and targeted investments like these would truly prepare youths of today to succeed and thrive now and in the future.
Providing more information about implementation of the STIC, Ajayi said the STIC was scheduled to run for seven months from the submission of application online to regional competitions and then to the grand finale.
He said STIC “provides a unique opportunity for Nigerian students with the most innovative and compelling solutions to problems in any sector of the Nigerian economy.’’
In his remarks, Mr Olatunbosun Alake, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State on Innovation and Technology, said the state government would collaborate with all stakeholders to grow innovation in the state.
Alake said the state government recently started funding of seven innovative start-up companies in areas such as food security, secular economy and COVID-19 prevention.
He said the state was also finding research Initiatives in the University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Yaba College of Technology and African Research Centre of Excellent.