18 Nigerian academics receive $250k SGCI research grants

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Eighteen lecturers from Nigerian higher institutions have been awarded a $250,000 grant through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)’s Research for Impact Initiative (R4I) by the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI).

The grant will be used to develop four prototype projects into commercially viable products.

Research groups

The lecturers, organised into four groups, were hosted at Innov8, an innovation hub in Abuja, to work on the following prototypes:

  1. Development of Technology to Mitigate the Effect of Drought in Desert Areas of Northern Nigeria
  2. Development of Automated Garri Frying Technology (Jollyfryer)
  3. Creation of Biosensor Device for Water Purification Using Solar Energy
  4. AirVolt: Affordable Access to Electricity with Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

The SGCI aims to strengthen the capacities of 17 Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in sub-Saharan Africa, significantly contributing to national research and innovation ecosystems.

Launch Event and Statements

At the SGCI launch event in Abuja on Monday, Deputy General Manager of Innov8 Hub, Mr. Deji Ige, emphasized the significance of the collaboration between TETFund and Innov8 Hub.

“The landmark event today marks the beginning of new possibilities. It is a testament to the power of foresight, commitment, and collaboration,” Ige stated.

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He highlighted the paradigm shift in Nigerian academia towards research for solutions, innovation, and venture creation, rather than solely for publication and promotion.

Ige praised TETFund’s leadership and commitment to initiatives like R4I and TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR), which have driven human capital development, R&D advancement, and economic growth.

He acknowledged the selection of 18 participants from various Nigerian tertiary institutions for their innovative projects developed at Innov8 Hub.

Impact and Future Prospects

Dr. Saliba Bakare, Director of Research and Development at TETFund, noted the transformative potential of Nigeria’s collaboration with SGCI, which began in 2020.

The $250,000 grant will support four research teams working on impactful projects, including advancements in garri processing and renewable energy.

Bakare explained that the grant aims to bridge the gap between research and practical application, fostering innovations that can be commercialized.

“The essence is to help them transform their research findings into commercializable goods and services in this country,” he said.

A key focus of the grant is on helping research teams develop their innovations into market-ready prototypes and pitching these products to industries, ensuring that the research translates into tangible economic benefits.

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“Four teams are going to use this money to develop their research into prototypes and pitch them with industries so that there will be take-off of the product coming out from the research,” Bakare noted.

The success of these initiatives underscores TETFund’s pivotal role in driving national development and Innov8 Hub’s critical support in transforming academic ideas into innovative, practical solutions.

SGCI

SGCI, under the support of esteemed funders like the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, IDRC-CRDI Canada, National Research Foundation, SIDA, and DFG, aims to empower Science Granting Councils (SGCs) across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The African Centre for Technology Studies (Kenya), the Association of African Universities (Ghana), and Université Cheikh Anta Diop are leading the implementation of this noble initiative to enhance national research and innovation ecosystems.

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