By Olatunde Ajayi
The Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng) has unveiled inaugural Innovation Competition to encourage and reward innovative works in Nigeria.
Its President, Prof. Peter Onwualu, while speaking during a hybrid press conference on Thursday said the competition would identify and support innovative works in science, engineering and technology that address and solve societal problems in Nigeria.
Onwualu said the winning innovations would be further assisted to scale up their innovations by promoting them to investors.
According to him, the competition is open to all Nigerian engineers, scientists, technologists, technicians and craftsmen, and other professionals involved with engineering creativity.
“The call for submission of innovative works is open to individuals or groups in any discipline or aspect of engineering, including but not limited to ICT/ Telecommunications, agriculture and food processing, renewables, health and waste management among others.
“Prizes will include cash, public recognition, promotion of winning concepts to investors, certificates and plaques,” he said.
Onwualu added that the participants at the first stage of the competition would submit “Concept Note” to briefly describe the innovation and the particular problem(s) that it addresses.
According to him, participants who are shortlisted from stage one will be given three months to further develop their innovations for stage two of the competition.
“Prospective participants have six weeks from Oct. 23 to Nov. 27 to submit concept notes of their innovations.
“It should include societal and economic benefits of the innovation and brief description of the engineering processes that it covers.
“Degree of development of the prototype, sketches, photographs, drawings and other illustrations that can aid the understanding of the innovation should also be included in the submission.
“Submissions for stage one will be screened to assess the degree and level of innovation, engineering content, originality, and impact on our national development.
“Participants who are shortlisted from stage one will be given three months to further develop their innovations for stage two of the competition, this stage will run from Jan. to March 2024.
“The public announcement of winner(s) of the competition shall be made in June 2024,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Innovation Competition Committee, Dr Keluo Chukwuogo, said the economies grow mainly by activities of science, engineering and technology.
Chukwuogo noted that there must be a deliberate effort to move the country from a consumption economy to a production oriented economy.
“The pressure on Naira today is due to the fact that Nigeria produce little. The innovation competition is Academy’s initiative towards making Nigeria a productive economy.
“We know many Nigerians both in formal and informal sectors have ideas and concepts that are needed to be taken to next level.
“The Academy through the competition would support good ideas to commercialisation level to make them contribute towards efforts to make Nigeria a productive economy, “he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that entries for stage one could be submitted by email to email@example.com not later than Nov. 27, while more details on the competition could be found on the Academy website: www.nae.ng .(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma