UNILAG connects 362 innovators to market by ‘Innovation-to-Market’ initiative

UNILAG connects 362 innovators to market by ‘Innovation-to-Market’ initiative

… funding up 112 %

In driving Nigeria’s vibrant and quickly increasing innovation ecosystem, the College of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka by its Innovation–to–Market Undertaking (I2M) has educated and related 362 novel innovators to the market in its first 12 months.

Abiodun Gbenga-Ilori, the director of Undertaking I2M &ITMO disclosed this on the 2023 end-of-year press convention of the undertaking to judge the progress made since its inception, and lift consciousness for the 12 months 2024, held just lately contained in the Design Studio Constructing, College of Social Science on the Akoka campus of the college.

Learn additionally: UNILAG upskills students for entrepreneurship, global market

“The undertaking partnered with facilitators drawn throughout academia and trade to develop coaching on varied points of innovation and uploaded these on the educational administration system of the iBank platform.

“The onboarded innovators have been to take part in a self-paced coaching on innovation and its nuances. 362 innovators from the 524 accomplished the coaching.

“Finishing the coaching was a prerequisite to receiving additional help from the undertaking. Innovators with promising innovation, who might convincingly present a viable plan for the market, have been scheduled to pitch for assets from the undertaking,” she stated.

Gbenga-Ilori defined that the undertaking which is being funded by a grant from the Overseas, Commonwealth & Improvement Workplace (FCDO) by the Analysis and Innovation Techniques for Africa (RISA) to handle three core challenges that inhibit innovation resembling lack of coaching on innovate, lack of a help system for innovators, and lack of a transparent pathway from innovation to market.

“The workplace acquired a grant of $352,682 from FCDO by RISA in 2023 to sort out the talked about challenges,” she stated.

“The funders have prolonged the road of funding for Undertaking I2M from $352,682 to $748,722, therefore, 12 months two of undertaking execution has commenced in earnest.

“The undertaking has advanced right into a multi-year intervention and the appliance course of for this 12 months has commenced,” she added.

The director additional identified that innovators with promising innovation, who might convincingly present a viable plan for the market have been scheduled to pitch for assets from the undertaking.

Assets supplied to innovators included; prototype funding, mental property (IP) submitting, firm and tax registration, entry to the incubator programme, and trade linkage in the direction of commercialisation.

In accordance her, in 12 months 1, the Undertaking I2M completed the next; 62 innovators acquired prototype funding, 67 mental property functions have been filed, 50 startups have been incubated, 40 startups filed with the company affairs fee, and 20 startups acquired seed grants of N850,000.00 every.

Folasade Ogunsola, the vice-chancellor of UNILAG applauded the undertaking, describing it as an initiative geared in the direction of turning ideas into viable business ventures.

“This initiative goals to bridge the hole between innovation and commercialisation. Its main goal is to offer innovators with the mandatory assets, mentorship, and help to rework their concepts into market-ready services,” she stated.

Ogunsola maintained that the important thing energy of the undertaking is its holistic method that makes it contemplate the multifaceted nature of innovation, recognising that success requires greater than only a good thought.

Modupe Ologunagba, a lecturer in College of Pharmacy, UNILAG, one of many innovators that benefited from the initiative shared her experiences with I2M Undertaking.

“My product or innovation is within the space of product growth. I innovated a poly-herbal formulation for burns. The traditional merchandise for the administration of burns are literally primarily based from chemical substances, and most of them do have aspect impact and are fairly costly.

For intensive burns, it’s a must to use this product for a size of time and this tells on the pockets of sufferers.

Wanting inwards and as a result of classes of covid-19 pandemic, there’s a want for the pharma trade to look inwards as a result of we have now a variety of flora which are efficient and could be utilised.

The concept of utilisation of native content material to develop our merchandise is a method to make sure drugs safety, affordability, and availability.

Talking on how the initiative has helped her, Ologunagba stated; “I2M has helped me within the space of harnessing my potential into entrepreneurship. Regardless that I’m a formulation scientist, I’ve not been it from the angle going into entrepreneurship which is what is required.

I’ve been capable of do a prototype of the product. I intend enlisting for the acceleration mannequin in order that I could be listed for the coaching hub for the eventual commercialisation.”

In quite a few Western international locations, universities and analysis institutes drive innovation. Nigeria nonetheless has some work to do on this regard in positioning its tertiary and analysis establishments to be the bulwark of innovation within the nation.

That is crucial as there may be at present a really low correlation between analysis works and innovation. Undertaking Innovation to Market is an initiative of the Innovation and Know-how Administration Workplace (ITMO) of UNILAG.

The undertaking commenced in 2023 and got here at a time when the college administration started the thrust to make the establishment the lighthouse of innovation for different universities.

The undertaking consortium at present has 11 members and they’re; the College of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), College of Benin (UNIBEN), College of Jos (UNIJOS), Maranatha College Lagos (MUL), Bayero College Kano (BUK), College of Ibadan (UI), Obafemi Awolowo College (OAU), Lead Metropolis College (LCU), Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competitors – PAADC, Olabisi Onabanjo College (OOU), and Imo State College, Owerri (IMSU)

Dignitaries that graced the occasion are David Alozie, director of innovation; Sunday Adebisi, director of trade partnership; Hakeem Amuda, director of the incubator programme; and Patrick Okonji, director of the analysis consortium, amongst others.

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