Botswana Speaks blog

How Nigerian Universities can drive Technology and Innovation

According to an article published on Techtrendsng, it is worthy to note that the tri-angle of innovation around the world is held together by the cooperative endeavor of the Government, the Academic Community, and the Technology Industry. A deficiency or disconnect in any of these key drivers of innovation will definitely bring an imbalance in the innovation ecosystem. This makes the role of the academic community in driving innovation very critical

 

 

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The world is waiting for Innovations out of Africa, the African Union and other relevant stakeholders are beginning to take several African innovation initiatives a bit seriously. Technology and Innovation is now like a major Sport with each country running their innovation Olympiad. Nigeria on the other hand has the potential to lead in this following her huge human and material resources.One key sector that has huge potentials for growth and competitiveness is the Education sector-the application and use of technology in Education, but these potentials remain untapped.

In a recent article titled Why Nigerian Universities cannot Drive Innovation in Nigeria, some of the enormous challenges facing the Nigerian universities were outlinedsuch as Poor funding of the Universities by government, brain drain, Infrastructural deficiency,skill and knowledge gap, poor ethical standards and different levels of malpractices.We all have come to agree that these problems have hindered technology innovation outof Nigerian universities for several years.

Despite these daunting challenges there are growing opportunities inherent in the Nigeria academic community as stated earlier which need to be properly harnessed to ensure the future and survivability of the country. This calls for urgent need to begin to think of solutions to these problems and finding out the way forward for our country with focus oninnovation.

Several approaches and projects have been undertaken by the government to foster innovation, some of them have not yielded any good result and has no justification or bases for their institution. It is time for a new method, it is time to critically look at what other nations like Israel and the US are doing in the area of technology and Innovation.

It is worthy to note that the tri-angle of innovation around the world is held together by the cooperative endeavor of the Government, the Academic Community, and the Technology Industry. A deficiency or disconnect in any of these key drivers of innovation will definitely bring an imbalance in the innovation ecosystem. This makes the role of the academic community in driving innovation very critical.The importance of the collaboration of the academy, the industry and government is crucial for creating a fostering entrepreneurial eco-system. The industry funding experience and networking; the academy human resources and R&D capabilities; and the government policy – all combined together creates an effective way of promoting and developing business, education and technology for a successful entrepreneurial eco-system. This type of collaboration is non-existent in Nigeria and that is a major problem hindering innovation here as many nations are maximizing their ivory towers by creating superb technology institutes and centres focused at grooming a generation of innovators for the future.

While many universities around the world are at the centre of innovations, leading the formation of thriving tech ecosystems, Nigerian universities are yet to realize how important their role is in driving innovation. It gives me great concern seeing how innovation ecosystems are driven by the intellectual prowess of the academics and the academia.For example,the contribution of Technion-Israel Institute of technology to the technological development of Israel and the world clearly shows how relevant the academic community is in leading innovation in a nation. The story of Israel’s transformation as a Technology giant cannot be complete without mentioning the contributions of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology which has graduated over 67,000 tech entrepreneurs and professionals that are adding great value to the Start-up Nation and the world at large.

Read more on Techtrendsng

 

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