No fewer than 18 polytechnic lecturers drawn from across the country have successfully completed a training programme on Research for Impact initiative put in place by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the training programme in Abuja on Friday, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, said the initiative organised in collaboration with Innov8 Hub, is aimed at promoting innovation and viable research in higher education institutions.
Echono, who said Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in technological development, posited that technological development holds the massive key to overcoming challenges bedevilling the country.
“The world has witnessed tremendous transformation with technology at the center stage, transforming lives, creating jobs, and impacting nations. Most great nations that have developed were able to attain such heights through education, technological evolution as well as a revolution that was all steeped in an insatiable quest for knowledge.
“This thirst for better ways of doing things has resulted in innovations that brought about the development of new technologies, new products, transformations in the telecommunication industry, and new ways of existence.
“The emergence of the digital age’ has presented the world with no alternative than to adapt to the emerging realities. Consequently, nations and citizens are compelled to either develop or remain as second-class nations that would continuously depend on and serve other nations that have advanced through learning and impactful research,” Echono said.
While appreciating Innov8 Hub for its willingness to partner with TETFund to propagate and advance an innovation ecosystem in the Nigerian tertiary education sphere, Echono pledged the commitment of the agency to continue to invest in research as the foundation for Nigeria’s emergence as a knowledge-based economy.
“At TETFund, we established a Research and Development/ Centres of Excellence Department to drive the institutionalization of Research & Development in public tertiary institutions, enhance research capacity, and support Research-Industry, among others. The Research for Impact Workshop is one of the programmes aimed at supporting market-driven research for national development.
“At this point, it is important to use this opportunity to restate TETFund’s commitment to promote the commercialization of viable R&D results and patents. This should serve as a further incentive to the Teams to take their prototype to the next phase,” he said.
Echono expressed hope that the two weeks of intense research activities undergone by the 18 lecturers would stimulate knowledge sharing, collaboration, growth and excellence among participants and their various colleagues.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education, Professor Idris Bugaje, challenged the participants to work as a team and also shared knowledge gained with other lecturers in their various institutions.
The NBTE boss commended TETFund’s for the (R4i) initiative, describing it as the most important thing that has ever happened in Nigerian polytechnics in the area of research and innovation promotion.
“I have also been told that what we have here in Innov8 Hub, will be replicated in selected polytechnics across the country. This is the best way to go,” Bugaje said.
Also speaking, Chief Facilitator, Research for Impact Workshop, Innov8 Hub, Dr Obichi Obiajunwa, said the 18 lecturers undergone an intensive two-week programme, where they were equipped with the tools to commercialize their research and develop solutions to real-world problems aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The essence of this workshop has been to empower our researchers to translate their invaluable work (all of those incredible fabrication projects you handle in school) into societal value.
“Through their dedication and hard work, they have taken curated problems within the SDGs and transformed them into four remarkable prototypes in just ten days.
“This achievement reflects not only their ingenuity and passion but also their unwavering commitment to creating a positive impact in our society,” Obiajunwa said.\