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Sunday, March 23, 2014

FG splash N24m on 16 inventors


Federal Government has presented cheques worth N24 million to 16 beneficiaries of the 2013 Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII) grant, reports ITRealms.

The cheque presentation to beneficiaries, ITRealms gathered was a continuation of nine years support by the Presidential Standing Committee on Invention and Innovation.

Presenting the cheques, the Supervising Minister of Science and Technology Ministry, Mrs. Omobola Johnson while congratulating the beneficiaries on their achievements, described innovation as the lifeblood of any business, any country regardless of social, demographic or economic standing.

She encouraged them to apply the grant towards the next step to their ultimate goal, which is patenting and writing a business plan.

‘‘While the grants that are given to you today are for cry from what you require to take your innovation forward to the next stage which is commercialization and industrialization, I want to encourage you to apply this grant towards that potentially small but important next step to this ultimate goal-patenting, writing a business plan to present to institute that can make substantial funds available to you, making an application to one of our many Technology Incubation Centres in different parts of the country’s capacity building,’’ she said.

‘‘This is how businesses are created and how they thrive and grow. From one innovation or invention from one bright young mind, a viable business is born, jobs are created, people are employed and wealth for nation and for individuals is created.

‘‘Let me congratulate each and everyone of you on this achievement. By receiving this grant, you have in a sense received both an endorsement and a validation of all your efforts. We look forward to receiving about your transition from an innovation to a business.

‘‘For those of you whose innovations and inventions are still in the preliminary or middle stage, we urge you to put in additional effort towards completion on order to provide opportunities to other Nigerians to commercialize and reap the desired benefits from your products,’’ said the Minister.

According to her, vigorous efforts are ongoing to improve the Federal Government’s funding of the PSCII, but added that  collaborations with relevant stakeholders such as Education Trust Fund, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education, Raw Material Research and Development Council and the National Planning Commission, are underway to facilitate the achievement of the ultimate goal of the PSCII Programme, which is to provide a solid foundation for a technological break-through in Nigeria.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Rabi Jimetta said right from creation, man has always searched for better ways of doing things in order to  ease and improve his standard of living and socio-economic well-being by using things that are available at his disposal.

According to her, the desire to encourage Nigerians, particularly those in the informal sector of the economy that have outstanding indigenous technologies was based on their inventions that could impact positively on Nigerians and the economy.

She listed some of the objectives of the scheme as encouraging invention and innovation in technology; to examine ay research claims and assess what can be done to take such claims to prototype and commercial level and to suggest how funds could be sourced to finance the various stages of development from inception to prototype and commercialization.

On his part, the Secretary, PSCII and Director of Technology Acquisition and Assessment, Dr. Adeyemi Talabi commended the inventors for their relentless ingenuity, tenacity and commitment to industrializing the country through various researches in science and technology.

He urged them to take advantage of the research outcome to advance the country technologically, through commercialization drive, wealth creation and employment generation. 

Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr. Momodu Shaka, who invented an auto fire extinguisher expressed gratitude to federal government and promised to use the fund to translate their inventions into commercial scale. 

The 16 beneficiaries had gone through a careful and rigorous screening and selection process that included 399 applicants (innovators and inventors).

So far, 117 innovators and inventors across the six geo-political zones of the country have received grants ranging from N250,000 to N3 million from this initiative, in addition to the sixteen innovators/inventors that benefited from the 2013 edition of the PSCII grant, that scaled through the operational guidance of the PSCII through the selection process.

Most of the inventions were on automobile, health research, climate change, power sector, agro business among others.

The scheme was established by the Federal Government in October, 2005 to encourage and promote inventions and innovations in Science and Technology from the informal sector of the economy, while also stimulating the interest of Nigerians to use Science, Technology and Innovation tools for national development.

Kingsley Opurum
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Mrs. Johnson, supervising Minister, Science & Tech

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