Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aniebonam outlines roles of Technology Parks

National President, Nigerian Information Technology Professionals in the Americas (NITPA), Prof. Manny Aniebunam, has outlined the roles of Technology Parks (TPs) in the new world order.

Speaking on the Abuja Technology Park, Prof. Aniebonam, said that after over 30 years of existence of TPs as a world-wide movement, there is of course much to be said about their roles and nature.

These roles, he said, are in two forms, namely that TP must be regarded as a tool and must prove to be powerful elements for regional development.

According to him, TP as a tool serves as a means towards achieving certain goals and objectives, rather than being objectives in itself, even as TP as a proof of powerful elements for regional development, becomes a success if provided with adequate model.

He stressed that for TPs to attain its utmost best in effectively promoting national or regional development must focus on companies and entrepreneurs, saying that it helps firms to become more innovative and competitive.

“The main aim of a TP is to help companies to become more innovative and therefore more competitive and in general, to increase the economic level of their region or municipality.

Prof. Aniebonam who is equally the chief executive, AfriHub Nigeria, pointed out that through global perspective, the key word for today’s economic success is technology, research and development, knowledge management and innovation.

“TPs are the bridge between universities and companies,” he declared, adding that TPs are the ‘translators’ of the often-different languages and interests of the academics and entrepreneurs.

Therefore, TPs are very significant in helping the universities to increase their own competitiveness and in other words to better fulfill the new role that today’s society demands as well as remaining active agents of economic development.

“Last but not least, is to increase their income via research contracts with the industry,” he said, decrying the implementation of the Abuja Technology Park.

For him, there is a need to have at least, within 20 miles radius of the park, several first-class institutions, universities or national centres of excellence.

TP, he said, must provide for high-quality and adequate infrastructure, which includes space, landscape, communications and transportation access, good location and other facilities.

Good value added services, he highlighted, would leverage on efficient links to universities and research institutions, researchers, laboratories and equipment facilities to name a few.

Even as incubation units would encourage and facilitate the creation of new local companies, whereas international links and contacts would avail the access of these companies to the global networks, while technology cum knowledge monitoring and observatory, would assist their clients in updating their knowledge-base, especially on their competitors.

“To know where there are new sources, relevant technologies and knowledge,” he said.

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