Winners have emerged in the National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018, which held from March 5-9, 2018, with the theme “Fast-tracking sustainable development of Nigeria through science and technology”.
Organized by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 brought scientists, researchers, inventors, innovators and investors from all parts of Nigeria and outside the country to achieved the following:
- Showcase the immense science and technology potentials available in Nigeria.
- Brought to the fore the great role science and technology can play in the rapid industrialization and socio-economic development of a nation.
- Provided opportunity for innovators and inventors to advertise their breakthroughs with the aim of connecting with relevant stakeholders and investors for the commercialization of such technologies.
- Gave the over 297 research institutions, technology entrepreneurs and organisations with a combined figure of 555 projects to present their innovations and inventions to be scrutinized by a committee for creativity and ingenuity, and relevance in providing solution to pressing societal problems.
Research Institutes Category
The assessment saw inventors and innovators compete in four categories from which the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) came first under the research institutes category, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) Lagos, was second, while Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) got third position.
Tertiary Institutes Category
The first position in tertiary institute category went to Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, came second, while third position went to Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State.
Nnenna Nwosu who is a scientist and senior lecturer at the Federal University of Ndufu-Alieke Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State developed linguascript keyboards that could text and type in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages to ensure Nigerian languages don’t go into extinction.
The author of the project, Nnenna Nwosu, explained that the plug and play keyboards incorporate all the alphabets of the three major languages.
The innovation is a specialised keyboard that uses numerals representing vowels and consonants instead of the conventional Latin orthography, with each number representing a letter, which could type or send messages using the number.
The linguascript keyboard was designed for both mobile phones and computer keyboard accessories to make indigenous languages accessible to everybody so as to afford IT users more reasons to think and type in their own languages.
In the junior engineers, technology and scientists (JETS) category, Government College Science and Technical College, Garki, Abuja, was first, Calvary Arrows College, Gboko, Benue State came second, while Government Secondary School, Bwari got third position.
Technology Entrepreneurs Category
In the technology entrepreneurs category, Bemsbuch International Ltd.; Alpha and Technical Service and Engr. Agada Sunday Ojonimi came first, second and third respectively.
The Federal Government of Nigeria recognized and rewarded the winners with ₦9 million for their various groundbreaking innovations with first position across all categories clinching ₦1 million each while the second won ₦750, 000 and third positions got ₦500, 000 respectively.
In his closing remarks, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu expressed optimism that the outcome of the Expo would advance commercialisation in the country.
In his words:
“Through the work of your hand and the power of imagination, you have shown that Nigeria is the home of the rising sun. You have shown that we have the brain to dream and think.
You have shown that STI holds the key for our beloved country to become truly great. You have shown that the future belongs to Nigeria, if we pay more attention to technology and innovation.’’
The National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 also saw the presentation of science kits produced by a parastatal under the ministry, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to 19 secondary schools from the six geopolitical zones of the nation.