NCC Commits N500m To Research In Nigerian Universities
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has committed over N500 million to Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who disclosed this at a two-day regional roundtable with academia, industry and other stakeholders, which ended in Kano at the weekend, said the funds had been committed to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities in salient areas to drive technology development.
According to Danbatta, the Commission is now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from the innovative researches, saying this would be relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of the country.
He said the roundtable organised by the Commission was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally-developed telecommunications innovations, which the NCC has been sponsoring.
“The Commission collaborates with the academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive possible success of these endeavours,” Danbatta said, adding that efforts had enabled the Commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators.
All these are fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s research and development oriented programmes, Danbatta further said.On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanate from the academia, were required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity.
Danbatta said appreciable impacts had been achieved since the Commission reinvigorated research grants for telecommunications-based research innovations from Nigerian academics, focusing on successful commercialisation of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerians.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the Commission, had so far awarded 49 telecom-based research grants to the academia, out of which 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders.
He said the research and development efforts of the Commission were aimed at actualising some of the 8-point Pillar of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, focusing on Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
The event, which featured series of panel session discussions, particularly focusing on sub-themes that addressed the overarching theme of the stakeholders’ forum from different perspectives, drew participants from the academia, telecoms industry stakeholders, financial services sector and other critical sectors or the economy.
Participants deliberated on understanding commercialisation and entrepreneurial model within the university and industry perspectives as well as brainstormed on investment and funding opportunities for prototype development, sustainability and the sale of new products in the market place.